Creating new products (part 1)

Although the vast majority of people are not aware of it, creating a new product involves hundreds and thousands of hours of work. A product needs to be well designed, must meet the needs of the customers, and must meet quality standards. Most companies will take product creation through six steps, which make up the two vital stages of product development.

The first stage, which we discuss in the following article, addresses product development conceptual issues, and comprises three steps:

 

1. Product conception

A product starts with an idea, and companies will often brainstorm ideas in order to decide the types of products they need to add to meet customer and market demands. Conceiving a product doesn’t stop here, however. Next, the number of potential customers is weighed in, and profitability calculated in order to determine whether the product should get the go ahead.

 

2. Concept statement

The concept statement is drafted based on the ideas from the previous stage. Through the concept statement a product gains shape and purpose – this is the point where the design and functions and features of the product are determined. At this point, companies should also determine the pricing for the product and where they plan to distribute it, as well as calculate a marketing budget and a marketing plan for the product. It’s common for companies to create more than one version of the product to cater for different customers with different needs.

 

3. The focus group method

Companies use the focus group method in order to see what the customers think about their new product. A focus group consists of 7 – 15 customers and a moderator, who uses a guide in order to introduce the product to the focus group members. The customers are asked if they like the product, if they’d purchase it, and what else would they like to see added to the product. The company representative can assist to the focus group discussions and usually he can see what is happening through an one-way mirror.  The information is then used to perfect the product.

 

Check out what happens in the second stage of product development!