Embarking on the new product development process can be daunting. Which is why we’re here to help. There is a way to achieve production of a product in an efficient, cost-effective way. But you’ll need a plan.
You’ve already learned the first four phases in the new product development process by reading Part 1 of this two-part series. Now, it’s time to learn the next four phases, including product development, test marketing, commercialization, and launch.
If you haven’t already done so already, start by reading Part 1, which examines the preparation and planning steps, phases 1-4, of the new product development process. Then continue reading below to learn phases 5-8.
The second four phases of new product development process are:
5. Product development and prototyping
Watching your idea become tangible is an exciting step in the new product development process. Create a prototype or limited production model, with an eye on manufacturing methods and design specifications.
Working prototypes require a lot of detail, and you might have to make some quick decisions about your product, especially as a three-dimensional CAD model is created. Make sure your prototype matches the market desires and aspirations you fleshed out in phase 3.
The good news is, once you’re done, you’ll have a great model to put into the hands of your customers. And you’ll want to do just that. Give it to your customers for testing, and obtain their detailed feedback.
6. Test marketing
At this step in the process, all elements of your product, including your marketing message, are put to the test market and then refined further. You’ll want to get as close to having a marketable product as you can, including the packaging, and the look and feel of the product, to obtain the best feedback possible.
Have your testers compare your product to competing products, using double-blind tests. Doing so well give you good feedback on your design details and how well your product functions. It will also give you insight into how to market your product.
Different consumers choose a product for a vast number of reasons. Make sure to get qualitative feedback on your testers’ attitudes toward your product, their reactions to it, and any thoughts they have on the design. If practical, offer subjects to take one free sample after testing. This demonstrates sincerity if they take the one they said they liked best. If they don’t, then ask why they chose a different one.
Run a final test to determine if your proposed selling price, product name, and packaging are on par by using Google AdWords, Facebook, and other social media.
Then, take your test marketing a step further by creating a batch production of your product, and get out there and sell it! You could also conduct a pre-order campaign, if it fits with your business plan.
You’re one step closer to the end of your new product development process, but it’s not over yet. At this point, your product has been developed and tested, and some final decisions need to be made before you go to market.
Start producing your product using your intended supply chain. Consider your production batch size and how often you intend to produce your product. Remember to hash out shipping methods and fulfillment of local orders, and make sure the sales teams and distribution are educated about your product.
Be prepared – this step can take longer than expected, as all the little decisions, details and supporting documents need to be finalised. User manuals, warranties, website, distribution logistics, intellectual property (IP), packaging & palletising, and safety standards certification all need to be finalised. Some of this will need to be delegated outside your organisation if you don’t have sufficient resources and expertise.
You’re at the final stage of the new product development process. Pat yourself on the back, and then send your product out into the world. Finalize your marketing and publicity plan, and start spreading the word that your product is ready for the masses, and improve people’s lives.
Have a detailed launch plan in place, which includes:
- Where and when to launch your product to maximize reaching your primary consumer
- A review of the market performance to assess product success and drive any necessary changes
Remember, you’ll want to make sure your distributors have plenty of product to sell. Advertising is also a good way to get your product into the minds of your buyers and helps you make a splash early on. Free publicity is great if you can get it. Send the word out to relevant media, and show them why your launch is newsworthy to their audience.
Industry trade shows are a great platform to launch a new product and find new markets for it. Also start driving traffic to your website, or other distribution channel. Make a big push to launch your product, and drive those orders to come in.
We hope your new product development process goes as smoothly as possible. If you have any questions about the process, or want to find out more about how Outerspace can help, contact us today. We’re here to help bring successful products to the world.