When you get an idea for a new product or offering, it can be tempting to just go for it.
But just because you think something is a great idea doesn’t actually make it so. Developing new products can be very costly, especially if you don’t have any indication that the product will become a big seller. So, before you spend all of that time and money developing a new product, you need to find out a few key factors and ask before you build.
Would People Use Your Product?
A new product idea can be innovative and disruptive, but still miss the market. So before actually launching a new product, you should make sure there’s a fairly sizeable market of potential customers who would actually use your new offering.
What Features Do Customers Want?
The features of the product are also likely to make an impact on whether or not people are likely to buy. In order to make your product as useful as possible, you should ask your customers what features they would like to see incorporated into your offering before you build it.
Under What Circumstances Would People Buy the Product?
There are also other circumstances that could impact the product’s potential for success. The biggest of these factors is price. At what price would people consider buying the product?
Also, how would they prefer to buy the product? What type of advertising would be likely to grab their attention? Finding out this type of information before launching a new product can save you from using a trial-and-error method, which can be a waste of time and money.
Does the Product Work?
Once you have an actual prototype of your product, it can also be a huge benefit to test the new product with select customers. Having a tangible item can bring up issues that they (and you) may not have considered before. You can find out how well the product works, if people can see themselves actually using it, and if there are any missing or unnecessary features.
Different products are likely to require different amounts of research beforehand. For instance, if you’re considering launching a new product that is very similar to one you currently sell, you might not have to go through many steps to find out if the product will work. Or if your new product is something that customers have been asking you to develop for years, you can be fairly certain that there’s a market out there for it.
However, doing actual research can give you a much more accurate picture of the market for a potential new product than a few offhand social media comments. An easy way to do the research before you build is using online survey software and sending either to existing customers or even to a panel made up of people who meet the same characteristics as your potential target customers. And product testing can give you a better idea of your new product’s potential than just posing a theoretical question.
Overall, the cost of research and testing is worth it when you consider the huge risk of launching a new product line. So, instead of just going with your gut excitement over a new product idea, make sure customers are just as into the idea as you are. Then you’ll have a much higher chance of succeeding.
Product Testing Photo via Shutterstock
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