You don’t want to put a new product on the market without doing automated concept testing. This kind of testing can help you identify key attributes of your product, benchmark your product against others on the market, and determine how it’s likely to perform.
The question is, how do you get to the point where you actually have a new product to test? There’s a lot that goes into creating a product that you need to consider before you even start thinking about the testing process.
Solve a Problem
One of the best strategies to take when developing new products is to develop something that will solve a problem for your customers.
The key to developing a product that solves a problem is to laser focus in on the problem you want to solve. A product that claims to solve multiple problems is almost always less effective than one that solves just one problem—as long as it solves that problem well.
This concept can often be found in the kitchen. For example, silicone food savers are a reusable way to keep food fresh that would otherwise end up in a plastic baggie that will eventually be thrown away. They are only good for saving items like halved onions and lemons, but they specifically solve a problem that everyone who cooks experiences, while saving them money at the same time.
Give Your Customers What They Want
If you’re an existing brand, it’s a good idea to listen to your customers. They know what they want from you, usually better than you do!
The trick is talking to your customers to find out exactly what it is they want to see from your brand next. A few ways to get their input include:
- Sending out an email encouraging a response
- Creating an online survey
- Calling a few of your best customers
- Sending out a survey in the mail
- Taking an informal survey on social media
You don’t want to blindly follow the idea of your customers, as they don’t always what’s best for your brand, but knowing what they want is a great place to start when you are ready to add a new product to your catalogue.
Seriously Consider the Impacts of Expanding Into a New Market
The concept of expanding into new markets has been a popular one for quite a few years. Amazon is the perfect example. Once upon a time, it was just an online bookseller. Today, Amazon sells literally everything under the sun, in addition to building a media empire through their Prime program.
This concept can still work quite well for many businesses. For example, if you start out as a leggings brand, you may decide that you want to make other items of clothing as well. Eventually, you may find yourself selling shoes, accessories, bags, and more.
That doesn’t mean this is the right strategy for everyone. It can be difficult to expand into new markets, and do it well. Many companies can actually increase their success when they hyper-focus on the markets they are already in, which might mean finding a new way to innovate the newest leggings instead of designing T-shirts.
It should come as no surprise that you should also consider profit when creating a new product. Just because your customers have requested something specific that will solve a problem for them doesn’t mean it’s worth your money to design and sell it.
Sometimes, no matter how you tweak the product’s design or the manufacturing process, you just can’t make the pricing work. It’s important to make sure you make a good profit whenever you sell your product, and if you can’t without pricing yourself out of the market, you should move on.
The amount of money it’s going to cost to develop your product, and how much you can sell it for, are both important considerations, but so is time.
Are you already dealing with more orders for your existing products than you can handle? It might not be the right time to develop something new. In addition, it might be a better use of your time to take your existing products and improve them instead of starting all over and creating something different.
Developing a new product can be an exciting time for your business, but only if you begin the process mindfully. With the considerations on this list, you can develop a product that people actually want to buy.