Business & Marketing

7 Essential Steps Involved In The Product Development Process

The Product Development Process

More often than not, new product development is seen as a complex process. There are lots of moving parts and departments as well as stakeholders involved in a product’s ideation, manufacturing, and development.

Everybody from sales and marketing to legal and accounting makes a contribution to ensure that the new product launches smoothly and is viable. If you’re planning to come up with a new product. There are several essential steps involved in the process of new product development and these include the following:

1. Ideation

A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs get stuck at the stage of ideation because they are waiting for some genius-level inspiration to reveal the ideal product they must sell. While creating something new can be fulfilling, most of the ideas are the result of iterating upon existing products.

If you are looking for something exceptional, make sure to do your research and get inspiration from both old and latest products. You can do this by analyzing online marketplaces, as well as checking some product descriptions to get inspiration when reinventing trends.

2. Validation Of Your Ideas

Product ida validation

With product ideas in mind, you might feel inclined to launch into production. But this can be a huge mistake for brands or trademarks if you fail to validate your ideas first.

The process of product validation is essential to ensure that you are creating a product that people will pay for and that you will not waste money, effort, and time on ideas that will not sell. You can validate your ideas by discussing them with knowledgeable people or creating an online survey to get feedback. Just make sure to get unbiased and substantial audience feedback and be wary of assessing feedback too much from those who won’t purchase the item in the future. Take note, until money changes hands, you can never count anyone as your customer.

3. Planning

New product development can be complicated and it is essential to take some time planning before you start creating your prototype. Once you approach manufacturers or start looking for some materials. If you do not have any concrete idea of what you want your product to look like and how it’ll function, it is easy to get lost.

New product development business concept on device screen

To start planning, sketch your product. It should be detailed and accompanied by different labels explaining various functions features. You can also use a diagram to make a list of materials or components you’ll need to bring your product to life.

As you plan for your product, you must also consider the material’s overall quality, labels, and packaging. Which may come in handy when sourcing and costing.

4. Prototyping

The primary goal of this step is to make a finished product to use as a sample before mass production. Usually, prototyping involves experiments with various product versions, making improvements, and eliminating options until you’re satisfied with the final sample.

Prototyping also varies significantly depending on the product type you’re developing. The simplest and least expensive cases are the products for which you can do prototyping on your own. These may include food recipes or cosmetic products. But, if you want to come up with a good sample, it’s best to work with a third party company like those that offer 3D printing.

5. Sourcing

If you’re satisfied with your product prototype, it’s time to gather the materials and secure your partners for production. It’s also known as creating a supply chain. Which includes vendors, resources, and activities required to make a product and deliver it into the hands of customers.

During this step in new product development, you’ll come across the decision of whether to produce the product overseas or locally. Make sure to compare these options carefully and weigh their pros and cons.

6. Costing

Money flow for product

Now that you have a clearer picture of what it’ll cost to produce a product, it’s time to undergo the process of costing. Which takes all the information gathered and adds up the possible cost of goods sold to determine the gross margin and retail price.

Costing may include cost of raw materials, manufacturing, factory set up, and shipping. You must also include the costs that may be involved in producing products overseas or locally.

7. Manufacturing

After the prototyping and testing are done, it is time to start the manufacturing process and launch the final product. If the limited release wasn’t done in the prototyping phase, it can’t be done at the stage of manufacturing. There are several reasons for a limited release. One of these is to build up demand and the other is to enable manufacturing to ramp up to meet the demand before the full release.

If full release is completed, the job still isn’t complete. The feedback cycle starts again and you may use what the market will tell you about your new products to develop your next offering or improve it. As you tweak your product, you have to go through the steps given above once again to build better products.

Conclusion

During the process of new product development, the journey to launch a finished product may vary from one business to another. If you’re struggling to figure out everything, take note that the products that came before yours had to overcome several challenges. So no matter what you are developing, consider putting in the necessary preparation combined with the above-mentioned steps for you to have a successful final product.

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