Things to Know Before Beginning Your Product Development Process

Creating a new product can be a very exciting process, but jumping in without preparation can be detrimental to your final outcome. Before you get started developing your product, there are some things you should know and do. Giving enough attention to these few details will set you up for success as you work through your process from start to completion.

Conduct thorough research on your competitors.

This is technically a part of the first stage of the product development process, which involves performing research and getting to know your product market. You’ll want to learn everything that you can about your industry—what makes you different from your competitors? What makes you the same or better? What materials are your competitors using? Could these materials work for your product as well? Why or why not?

You will have done adequate research when you can confidently answer any questions from your product development company, your friends, your family, and even strangers about your product and your goals relating to its development. The more you know about your industry and your competitors, the better prepared you will be to manage unexpected occurrences regarding design, manufacturing, or marketing when you finally begin the product development process. Doing so will help you get a better idea of the type of audience that you will target with your product.

Make sure your target market actually needs your product.

Once you’ve conducted research on your product market and your competitors in the industry, you can hone in on your specific potential customers’ needs. Remember, your customers must see a valid need in your product. Your product is only as valuable as your customers’ demands and once you know everything there is to know about your consumers (and how they behave in your industry and engage with your competitors), you can assess how useful your product will be for them. Validating your product’s place in the market is an essential step in deciding whether or not you should continue with product development on your current path or begin the process at a new starting point.

Make sure your design is manufacturable.

This may seem like an obvious statement, but assessing the manufacturability of a product is a necessary thing to do before you begin product development. You’ll want to have a product that is not only manufacturable at the manufacturing phase, but also manufacturable at the prototyping phase. If your product is unable to get past prototyping, then it certainly won’t get past manufacturing. Arriving at this point in the product development process after putting in the work for this version of your product and realizing that your product can’t be created can be disheartening. Carefully go through your plan including product dimensions, material compatibility, etc. to avoid wasting time later on.

Before you begin developing your product, consider these three tips and put them into action so you can navigate the process without any issues and create a product your consumers will love.