For any product to be successful in the market it must follow proper product development stages. Whether it is a tangible or intangible product, there must be steps or guidelines to be followed to ensure its quality and success. A lot of hard work and lobbying from all players and this is where synergy is much required for you to come up with something that will boost the company’s revenue. All that you need is to have a structured road-map that will give you a clear path to follow.
The Complete Product Development Stages Guide
1. Idea Generation
This is the first stage of any product development. It is only from a great idea that a great product can be achieved to improve company’s revenue to a great extent. Ideas can come from many sources and the best one is the SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. This is a very strong tool that study’s the market dynamics and come up with ideas that will help the company compete fairly with the rest. It is from this analysis that accompany may find it wiser to change their product or come up with a new one for proper competition.
Feedbacks from the customers are also a very good source of ideas. The salesperson who has direct contact with the customers may collect the information from them and develop an idea on what the market needs at the moment. Also analyzing the competitor’s products, use of corporate spies, trade shows or the policy of Open Innovation can also help a lot in generating ideas.
2. Screening Idea or Research
The company will be having several ideas on the table but only very few or even one of them is required. So this is a very crucial stage where the company will have to choose the best ideas and at the same time reject the unsuitable ideas no matter what the reason is. There should be specific screening criteria to be used to ensure that a good idea is not lost. What the company should look at is the affordability, ROI and the market potential of the product. These are three areas that should be considered carefully to avoid future failures.
3. Concept Development & testing
Once an idea has been screened and found viable to be processed, it is very important to give your customers a chance to respond to it. Remember these are the people who will be consuming your product. If you happen to produce the product without their contribution, it might turn out to be a flop and this would ruin the company’s financially considering the amount of invested put in place. Go for your most trusted customers/consumers who will give a genuine view. Find out if they understand the concept and mostly if they need it. Use their response to improve the concept by making the necessary changes.
4. Business Analysis
This should always be the next stage after you the concept screening have been finalist. It is at this stage where the company heads come together to assess and find out if the product/service is worth processing. The profitability of the product/service should be the center of discussion. Also it is at this stage that detailed marketing strategy, product positioning and highlighting the target marketing should be discussed at length. It is important also to find out whether there is a demand for the product and if there is any other competing product. All these factors will help a lot in deciding viability and the profitability of this product.
5. Product Development
This is one of the most crucial parts of the product development stages. After the profitability of the product has been approved in the business analysis stage, then the next step is to create a prototype. The task is given to the marketing and technical departments to proceed with production. They come with the design and specification of the product and also the manufacturing methods. The product should be produced in small quantities or just in limited production model at this stage. The customers are again given an opportunity to contribute in the specific areas like the packaging, look and the feel of the product. Their views can be used to finalize the product manufacturing and make it better.
6. Market Testing
This is where the first batch of the final prototype is released to the target market. The selling of the product at this stage is very instrumental because it will determine how the market takes receives it. The acceptance of the product at this stage makes it easy even for the marketing strategies. This is the stage where the company will go back to the drawing board and come up with the best methods to penetrate the market based on the market testing results. Still, more refined changes are made on the product to improve its competitiveness in the market.
This is a very crucial stage that is meant to put everything in place for the launching of the product. It is at this stage where the pricing and marketing plans are finalized once and for all. The prices are set a very balanced position to ensure that the product makes it easy into the market and at the same earn some revenue for the company. The sales and distribution teams are also briefed to ensure that everyone is ready for the final and the most crucial stage- launching.
This is the last and the most crucial stage of product development in that it creates the necessary awareness of the product in the market. The most important questions that should be asked at this stage is; where and when the product will be launched and the targeted consumers. This should be a well researched stage since it is the apex of everything and any mistake would lead to a total failure of the whole process. The impact that a launching makes in the market works as the driving force for the product success in market penetration.
These the most practical guidelines for any product or service development. If these steps are keenly followed to the letter, there is a very high likelihood of product success. They are the main complete product development stages that have been tested and found to work incredibly for many producers.