With millions of different products hitting the shelves every year, standing out from the crowd can be difficult. This makes the product development process more important than ever. During each of the eight stages companies need to ensure they are being as efficient and innovative as possible. Check out our quick guide on how to do exactly this below. Of course, there are plenty more resources you can use to improve your business dealing available from Marketbusinessnews as well.
The product development process can be broken down into eight basic stages:
- Concept – an idea for a new product is discussed. Usually thought of in terms of fulfilling a consumers’ needs
- Feasibility Study – the concept is scrutinised in terms of its profitability, feasibility and more.
- Design – firm engineering specifications are formed, and a prototype of the product is produced.
- Testing – this prototype is thoroughly tested, both for safety and usability.
- Validation – a final check that the finished product meets the customers needs set out in the concept stage.
- Manufacture – the product is sent to the factory, or wherever it is being made. This does not apply to things like software which do not require manufacturing.
- Launch – the product hits the market. Lots of marketing and advertising to increase brand visibility.
- Refinement – the company responds to any customer complaints and problems. Improvements are made if necessary.
What strategies can be used to make it as effective as possible?
Understanding how a product is developed is only half the battle. Companies also need to make sure they are working as effectively as possible during each stage. Here are some of the strategies that can be used.
One of the toughest stages of the product development cycle is step one: Concept. If coming up with a million dollar idea was easy, everyone would be doing it. If you are suffering from a lack of creativity, one idea is to look at what is doing well in a particular industry and modify your product so it meets consumer needs even better.
Offer a Trial
An effective strategy that can be employed at the launch phase if offering a trial of your product. This method relies on customers being so impressed by their free taste of your goods, they then splash out the money for the real thing. It therefore requires companies to be 100% confident in their product. It can also act as a great way to show consumers how they stand to benefit from your product. It does not cost that much either, particularly if a time limit is placed on the trial in the case of software.
A great way to ensure you will get a significant amount of market share when a product goes to market is to increase its base value. For instance, if it is software, the addition of a dedicated customer service team can be a cheap way to make your product more enticing for potential customers. Offering similar premium features is another good strategy to help you out at the launch phase.