One of my favorite parts of the product development cycle is showing off our amazing new creations. This last stage of the product development process is one of the most important because it creates buzz for future opportunities. Though it’s the last stage in the process, bringing a product to market starts before you even start considering design.
Here are five tips to taking a product to market:
- Work as a team. When identifying needs, start with existing customers and identify the unique challenges they are currently facing. Bring an integrated team of Engineers and Sales together and brainstorm feasible solutions.
- Stay Involved. Keep all team members involved from beginning to end. Once an idea starts down the product development road, stay involved to make sure the product being developed will actually be useful for your customers. Working with a big team of engineers is fun to watch because the creativity and passion for developing new things spawns so many great ideas. However, knowing that at some point someone has to buy a product, being very specific about expectations is critical.
- Be nimble. As new information comes in from potential customers or as the market landscape changes, quick feedback to the design team is critical to make sure the final product is exactly what is needed. Willingness to adapt and shift course when necessary is crucial to staying on top of industry needs.
- Know your customer. Make sure when you are telling the story you are communicating in a way that speaks to the right target audience. Depending on the customer – whether it be buyers, engineers or executives – make sure your message touches on what is important to these vastly different audiences.
- Know when to say “no”. One of the most important tools to have is the power to say no at any time. The further you go down the product development process the more expensive it becomes. If a product begins to show it won’t work or another technology comes out that makes yours obsolete, be willing to stop. Save time and money and apply it towards one of the many other great ideas your team undoubtedly has.
There are countless other lessons learned and best practices when it comes taking a product to market. I hope these five takeaways can give you the insight needed to move faster and avoid hurdles.