Creating an efficient product development process is essential to bring your idea to life and put it front of customers. However, it is not enough to have a great idea. It is also crucial to put it into practice in the right way, going through the different development steps and marketing it properly. Jorge Zuñiga Blanco, an entrepreneur and business strategy expert from Costa Rica, discusses the seven important stages of the product development process.
The development of new products is the whole operation that brings to the market the service or product that is in mind, making it available to customers. This is also the perfect time to take advantage of the various tools for product managers to make everything go smoothly.
It’s also time to consider how you’re going to pay for the whole process and whether you need to start looking for investors. If, in the end, someone invests in your idea, it is necessary to reach an agreement with the investor.
Although having an efficient product development process is essential to bring the final product to market, there are some more complex aspects that must also be taken into account. Explains Zuñiga, “Apple failed several times before getting and marketing the right product. They are the perfect model and tried to get good products, but a failure in the product development process meant that they did not reach the market immediately.”
This trend continued until they created the wildly successful iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro. They all followed an efficient product development process and strategy.
The different stages of the product development process are very important and must all be taken into account. Obviously, every stage of a product development process will take your idea from the head to the desk and to the market, and planning everything in detail is essential to get there.
Idea generation is the first step in the process of developing a product and should be taken seriously. It is the process of creating and developing the product concept that you have in mind.
While it’s essential to the concrete project you want to develop, it can also help you come up with concepts for other products. In addition, it is important to note that during this first part of the process, companies usually have many different ideas that can be beneficial and essential for a company to update its product catalog.
The screening of ideas is the second phase, which is fundamental in the entire product development process and will undoubtedly help define whether the idea is worth developing, in terms of costs and benefits. In fact, creating a product and getting it to market is not cheap and requires a lot of research and experience.
As a company, one of its main objectives is to create ideas that deserve to be produced and that allow it to obtain the initial benefit that it had in mind. It is essential to give great importance to the potential benefit that the product will bring to the company, and that is why the detection of ideas is essential for an effective product development process.
Developing a product, and testing it, allows you to test the ground, see if it reaches the number of customers you want, and finally, understand if your product has a place in the market. Secondly, you will want to create various concepts and try them all out.
Adds Zuñiga, “As a company, developing and testing these different concepts will help you determine which concept people like the most and buy it. Your ultimate goal is to find the product that your audience will find interesting and testing the concept before marketing it will allow you to modify the end result.”
Marketing is one of the most important activities of a company and is no exception when developing a new product. Creating a business strategy involves not only advertising, but also general marketing around your product, brand building, building trust, and much more.
To begin with, and this is extremely important for any marketing strategy, you will have to analyze the competition and see what works for them. For example, if you’re creating a life-changing fridge, you’ll want to see why competitors’ flagships work so well, what they bring to customers, and analyze their marketing strategies.
Apart from that, you will have to continue to calculate the final costs of your product, which will include development, price and profit, making sure to be in line with your break-even point. Developing a working business and marketing strategy will be the turning point of the entire product development process.
Your product development is the light in the tunnel, where you will see the initial results. Not many ideas end up beocming products, and an efficient product development process has contributed to their commercialization.
In fact, an investigation by the Marketing Research Association shared that only 40% of the products developed end up being marketed. Of this 40%, only 60% will generate income. So getting this far is great, but working on ongoing strategies and marketing is just as important.
Merchandising is the stage where you can finally see your product for sale, being marketed with your competition’s products, and having your chance to position yourself among the best items in your category. Therefore, it is essential to involve the right elements throughout the process and increase your profit until the launch of the final product.