Deciding to create a product can be an exhilarating experience. Actually turning that decision into action is another matter and takes a series of smart decisions to yield the results you are looking for. Here are 5 critical steps you need to follow to create a product that matches your vision, has market potential, and shelf appeal:
1) Become an expert in the product’s market
Ignorance about your product’s market is not bliss when it comes to launching a new product. To avoid the heartache, wasted time, and hemorrhage of cash, you need to become an expert on the realities of your product’s category. Doing this can be an investment of time but it is more than worth the effort.
Before spending any money on your product development, make sure you Google your product and its market, speak to a distributor in your market, and perform an exhaustive search of the competition to see what is working, what isn’t, and why. After doing this, you still probably won’t have enough information but you will be in far better shape than you were before.
2) Choose a market category that has enough buyers to make it easily profitable
This is a critical step in your product creation analysis. As you do your research, pay attention to the amount investment companies are putting into items in your category. Do the products, websites, and other materials look top-notch, or do they predominantly look homemade? How long have these products been selling and what happened to the previous ones? If the marketing materials primarily look homemade, that’s often a sign that companies aren’t making much money and the market for your contemplated item might not be very big.
You can also look at how many hit products are in your category. If there have only been a few in the last ten years, that’s also a bad sign. When picking a market, you should find one that clearly has a large number of buyers (preferably in the hundreds of millions) and one where there is enough money going around that you can wedge your product in and sell it relatively easily.
3) Invest in what’s needed to set you apart from the competition
Now that you are an expert in your product category, what does your product need to set it apart from the competition? In every market, there are unique traits among products that set them apart as being high quality or desirable. Sometimes this is just functionality, other times it is materials or aesthetic design. Branding often plays a major role but can quickly be undermined by a poorly designed product. Usually, this distinguishing trait is either not cheap or not readily available because it takes development work. However, once you have it, you have a desirable product.
Determining what this trait is and designing it into your product will set you up for success. This is one reason it is smart to hire a professional product development team like Jupiter Design to help you deliver. Otherwise, what will set you apart from everyone else?
4) Hire a professional team to make the best version of your product
This obviously sounds a bit self-serving but the point is true nonetheless. If you are doing your product launch correctly, you have a business to run and products to market and sell. Your job is to sell and be the best at doing that as you possibly can. A professional product development team, like the one at Jupiter Design, is there to arm you with the branding, carefully developed products, and supporting materials you need in order to be successful.
A good design team specializes in helping you avoid the numerous pitfalls that are inherent when you set out to create a product. They also help you deliver a product that meets the needs of your customers and investors. What you spend on product development with an experienced design team pales in comparison to the potential lost time and funds that are usually incurred when you try to do it without the experience of having done it a thousand times. Additionally, the better results you get from having a professional-looking and functioning product are critical to a thriving business.
5) Sell constantly to collect feedback and improve your offering
Creating a product is almost always done for the end goal of selling it to someone, even if that person or group doesn’t purchase it with money. With that goal in mind, it’s important to keep that as the primary activity of your operation even before you start developing your product.
Be talking with your target buyers (at every level of the supply chain) throughout the entire process of creating and launching your product. One of the most disheartening things to watch is when someone invents and tweaks a product for years but fails to actually sell it through to its intended users (never leaves the garage). Selling is the primary indicator that distinguishes your product between a hobby and a business. Make yours a success story by selling throughout the process.
Although there are many more steps required to create a product, nailing the 5 steps above will set you on the right strategic path to make optimal decisions throughout the process. Our team has been through the product launch process from just about every vantage point (founder, creative director, product designer, investor, and buyer), so we have a unique perspective on what’s needed to be successful.
We are always happy to provide a free consultation to help set you on the right path so please reach out to us to discuss your next project!