You’ve come up with a brilliant idea for a product and are ready to take the first steps to make it a reality. But where do you start? Here are 5 steps you should follow for successful product development.
The first step to successful product development is, of course, innovation. You want to create a product that consumers can’t live without. Innovation isn’t just about creativity, though this is a part of it. It’s also about taking risks, failing, and taking risks again. Very rarely will you come up with the perfect product right away.
Expect to make little tweaks, modifications, and sometimes scrap the idea entirely. While this may feel like failure, it’s actually a very important part of the process. With each failed design, you come closer to achieving that perfect product. Innovating all the time is challenging, so develop a plan to sustain your innovation efforts.
Protect your intellectual property
It’s a common misconception that you don’t need to obtain intellectual property rights until you’ve completed your product. The right time to start investigating intellectual property laws is the moment you come up with a unique idea.
Intellectual property includes patents, design rights, trademarks, and copyright. Confidentiality agreements should also be made in the initial stages of design.
Intellectual property laws vary by country, so make sure you take the time to research the laws that are relevant to you. The best thing you can do to protect you and your business is to hire a lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process.
Build prototypes early
Though your design might look great on paper, how it functions in reality is another matter entirely. Building a prototype early on will help you identify design issues so you can make improvements to functionality and performance. You don’t have to have a huge budget to build a prototype. Even the most basic household materials can be used to make the first prototype.
A prototype is also a great thing to be able to take with you to professional meetings. Rather than describing your idea, all you have to do is show it.
Don’t skimp on the marketing
No matter how awesome your product is, if it isn’t marketed properly, it won’t sell. Even the most life-changing, revolutionary inventions have to be marketed to sell. The marketing process begins with conducting in-depth market research. Your product needs to fill the needs of your target audience. Once you’ve found your target audience, conduct customer testing to figure out what’s working and what isn’t, and make changes accordingly.
From here, it’s time to promote. Take high quality photos and get your product noticed on social media to start generating interest.
Outsource the product design
If you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, you may be strapped for cash and doing everything yourself. While you and your team can design products in house, using a product design company is often much more advantageous. Product design companies have years of experience and expertise under their belt. While you’re the visionary, they have the real-world experience to make it a reality.
Outsourcing the product design can also be cost-effective, as agencies will often do the prototype building and market research as well.