7 Steps of Product Development

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When developing or launching a new product can often make or break a business, especially if the business is a startup. Some businesses develop only one product while others develop many. Product development offers vary based on the nature of the business and the management style. However, most of the businesses follow the main 7 steps in development process.

7 Steps of Product Development

Brainstorming the Product Idea

The first step is to generate an idea for the product. You can first ask employees that deal with customers regularly for product ideas. Survey customers for feedback on existing products. Examine your industry to see whether there are areas where useful products do not exist. Create an online survey for your customers or social media fans to take. List all ideas for a new product.

Evaluate the Ideas

Once you make a list of product ideas you need to share it with the appropriate decision-makers in the company. E.g Management team. Discuss the pros and cons of each idea and narrow the list to the best ideas, based on their potential to generate revenue, as well as the time and resource you have to actually create the products.

Market Evaluation

Seek feedback from customers, employees and partners on which idea is most appealing. Ask customers for feedback via email or phone calls. Send an email to partners and employees and ask which of the products seems most useful or valuable. Reduce the list to just one or two product ideas.

Analyze Competition

Analyze the remaining product idea from a business perspective. Determine how much, if any, competition exists for similar products. Determine the demand of the product and estimate all costs affiliated with the product, such as development costs and operational costs to help determine the profit margin.

Prototype and Marketing

Develop a prototype of the product and then share it with a hadful of good customers and key partners. Ask the to try it out and provide feedback. The marketing team should use the feedback to craft marketing messages and developing marketing campaign ideas, such as email campaigns, websites, posters, etc. Base the marketing messages on the most common positive comments or reactions from customers and partners during the prototype evaluation.

Market Testing

Next, develop a prototype of the product or a new version if a current on exists. Develop additional prototypes for market testing. Do a small product release in select areas. See if  product is selling and evaluate why sales are high or low.  A small launch helps determine what needs to be done before an official launch.

Prepare for Launch

Begin production for the first round of the product launch. Evaluate how many products to produce based on your market testing and demand for the product. Advertise and speak to product distributors about ordering the product, if the product will be sold in stores.