Every company aims to present a new product in order to continue its success over the years. Big companies like Samsung are highly known to create and offer new products every year. To reach the goal of being creative and innovative, every company needs to learn and understand the importance of product development.
Importance of product development
Each company wants the success of its new products, but even when nobody wants to admit it, there is a high risk of failure or lackluster results. Because of this risk, every company must understand the importance of product development. Product development is the life of companies and societies.
Many important products shaped the history, some are part of different cultures, others became the symbol of a generation, and many present the future to us. Products can be physical from a smartphone to a coffee maker, but it also can be a service from a solution to a new marketing concept. For a successful product development companies need the following actions:
New Value for Customers
The most important reason for any development is giving a new value to customers. Easy, if the new product doesn’t offer a good and interesting value, there is no need to spend money on it. But, if the product offers a higher value, the customers will appear and spend their money.
Let’s go back with Samsung! They present every year at least three new smartphones, do we really need to change our smartphones every year? Well, Samsung is a smart company and understands the product development concept, so every device offers new value to the customers, so they change their devices every year. This is not just with smartphones; it goes from accessories to their home appliances line; every new version offers new features that increase the product’s value.
Of course, presenting new versions of existing products is good and keeps the success of the company. But they don’t improve society; we already discussed that new products could change history, take vaccines, for example, when new vaccines or drugs are developed to help fight diseases and save lives, improving society.
Maybe this kind of product is not pretty, doesn’t have shiny features, and isn’t presented with a big showcase. But they can change many lives, and people will always be grateful for that. Currently, the world is desperate for a new vaccine, and many countries are developing several versions to find the correct one. A vaccine is not attractive but can change history, save lives, and improve society.
Company’s Growth and Existence
Products, whether physical or services are like the company’s children; if a company doesn’t present new products or new versions, it will disappear, take, for example, Kodak. But it goes beyond that; society benefits from companies thanks to the employment of people that also are customers. Besides, companies support society with taxation and charitable programs. So constant product development is a good thing, not just for the companies but also for the society and its people.
Stages of the product development process
This process is what takes to transform an idea into a product that is offered to consumers; to do this, there are two phases:
- Market research with its respective analysis.
- The creation of proof of concept, test, and finally, the launch of the product.
With a good development strategy focused on your industry and what the market research shows, a product can overcome the failure rate and be a huge success for the company. That is the reason behind the creation of several models for product development that have been used for years by important firms and companies, check them out:
- The Stage-Gate model: this is the most popular with eight steps to define the evaluation, building and design, and the launching.
- The IDEO process: here, the user is the center. With their observation, product development takes the correct lead, using their experience with the product or similar ones. The name comes from IDEO Design Firm.
- The Booz, Allen, and Hamilton (BAH) model: here, we have seven stages. It focuses on minimizing the risk while leading the team in the formation of the strategies.
No matter the choosing model, the developing team will need time, require months, and in some cases, years, to have the desired product, and this will depend highly on its complexity. Sometimes product development needs to be rushed in order to face market competitors. So we are going to show you the five main steps in the product development process:
1.- Brainstorming: here the product development team needs to think on ideas, those could be anything, but it would be good is they came from the following sources like:
- B2B publications.
- SEO trends.
- Web forums.
- Consumers trackers
These ideas can also be inspired by local problems; making local research can be extremely helpful. If the team tries to answer questions like, Who is the customer? What are the needs that the product will satisfy? And what is the value of the product?
Another excellent strategy on this step is performing a SWOT analysis based on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that the idea can have, to finish with an excellent product. With the SWOT, you can understand many aspects that consumers will expect.
2.- Screening and research: after the team has a good list of ideas, it’s time to be filtered through a screening process. Before starting to use big focus groups, the best is to seek the help of the employees and hires, know the industry, and give fantastic feedback.
After obtaining this inside results, you can move to the next point to seek the target customers’ response and have a product validation. The best way to do this is with different methods that have been simplified in the last years:
- Online surveys and polls.
- Q&As through social media.
- Product giveaways.
- Landing pages and paid ads on social media.
- Google Trends for a research demand.
Competitors are also a great field to do research, knowing the weaknesses and strengths of the competition can help the team to modify the ideas according to them. And this step is also perfect for designing a marketing strategy for the new product.
3.- Concept Development: with the ending of the above step, the team will have few ideas, the ones that are realistic and the most popular among the target customers. Before the prototype, a plan and blueprints are necessary to focus on the costs of designing, manufacturing, packaging, and distributing the potential product.
The human and capital resources are important; they must be defined together with a marketing plan and a business strategy with revenues and market share for the product. The legal aspect is also important, from patents to other situations, the legal team must be on board with this new product. With all these plans and aspects, a strong business is exactly what will attract investors.
4.- Prototyping and evaluation: this is the stage of design and production, creating a prototype or at least a mockup. At this stage, some companies even present a small-scale release, and others reunite a small group of customers to evaluate the product. This is also the stage to check out mistakes, correct some major problems, and add some demanded features according to the target customers. This stage will determine if the product is ready to move into large-scale production and launch it.
5.- Commercialization: the stage where the product is finally in the marketplace. It’s pretty standard that the first launch will present the basic product, that will change and become more and more innovative with time, thanks to the preference of the target customers. Here the pricing and distribution details must be determined, and the supporting, either customer or technical, must be ready to attend the inquiries of the audience. The research will present excellent data to know when and how to promote the products.
Every product started with an idea or a solution to a need. It’s the product development that becomes that idea or solution into a finished product ready to be presented to the world. Those products can define an entire era or generation or simply improve the lives of many. Check out more articles about products and marketing with the Magazine, and don’t forget to follow us on our social media!
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