What Are the Steps of Product Development (From Concept to Market)?
Product development is a lengthy process which involves bringing an original product idea to the market. Even though this differs by industry, it can essentially be broken down into six stages: ideation, research, planning, prototyping, sourcing, and cost.
Here’s how to develop your original product idea and what to consider at each stage:
Many aspirants become bogged down in brainstorming, constantly waiting for a burst of inspiration to reveal the product to sell. While coming up with something fundamentally “new” can satisfy our creative side, many great ideas come from examining existing products.
The SCAMPER model is a valuable instrument for quickly generating product ideas by asking questions regarding existing products. Each letter describes a specific message:
With a unique product idea in mind, one may feel inclined to jump ahead of the production process. However, this can quickly become a blunder if you haven’t validated your idea first.
Validation ensures that you develop a product that people will pay for and that time, money and effort will not be wasted. Product ideas can be easily validated in multiple ways, including:
- Business analysis
- Value proposition
- Success metrics
- Marketing strategy
However, if you choose to confirm and validate your idea, you must get feedback from a substantial and unbiased audience on whether they would buy your product. However, it is recommended not to overvalue feedback from people who would “definitely buy it” if you’re launching a theoretical product.
Validation research also helps involve competitive analysis inevitably. If your idea or niche has the potential to take off, there may be chances that there are already competitors working in that space.
Since product development can get complicated quickly, it’s essential to take the time to plan before you start prototyping.
When you finally approach developers or start looking for materials, if you don’t have a concrete idea of what you want your product to look like and how well it will perform, it’s easy to get confused in the later steps.
The best method to start planning is with a hand-drawn sketch of what the product may look like. A professional quality design is not necessary as you may not be presented to any fabricators at this stage.
Attempt to utilize the diagram to demonstrate a list of the many components or materials required to bring the product to life. A tote bag design sketch, for example, might be accompanied by the following list:
- Zippers (large and small)
- silver clasps
- Leather belts
- protection pocket
- embossed label
- inner wallet
The end goal of the prototyping phase is to develop a finished product to use as a sample for later mass production.
There are very few chances that you may have a finished product in one go. Business leaders may have to work with third parties to prototype their products a lot of time, which also involves product testing.
You may also require to create a 3D model to make a prototype. To change 3D designs into physical forms, manufacturers used to make moulds for each part. However, with the help of 3D printing, designs can be converted into physical samples at a reduced cost with faster turnaround times.
Once you’ve created a prototype that you’re comfortable with, you’ll need to acquire resources and arrange production partners. This is often referred to as supply chain planning, and it involves identifying the suppliers, activities, and resources needed to make a product and deliver it to customers.
While this phase primarily involves finding manufacturing services, warehousing and shipping may also be considered in between decisions. Finding different suppliers for different materials, potential manufacturers may allow you to compare costs.
After you’ve completed your research, planning, prototyping, product testing, and sourcing, you need to calculate the cost to manufacture the product. This is accomplished by adding the cost of goods sold (COGS) to the data acquired to arrive at a retail price and gross margin.
It is recommended to start by developing a spreadsheet with each additional cost broken out as a separate line item. This should incorporate all raw materials, factory setup costs, manufacturing costs and shipping costs.
Once you’ve figured out the overall COGS, you can get a retail price for your product and subtract the COGS from that price to find the potential gross margin, or profit, for each unit sold.
Albeit you can skip one of these steps while developing a product, it is recommended to consider and follow all of them so that you can do it in the best possible way and the results are compelling, so that there are fewer chances of having to do it more times or amend something.
About the Company:
While developing a product, it is recommended to invest the right amount of resources, price in detail, define a successful marketing strategy and engage the suitable testers to provide the best information regarding your product. Also, if you are a beginner, you should seek guidance from one of the best product development companies like, Trigent, which has tons of experience in developing products for various businesses and entrepreneurs alike.