We often compare the state of the business world in the past and now. It appears that fifteen or twenty years ago, many things were more challenging. However, such a fierce competition like the one we are witnessing now didn’t exist back then. That meant that if you were good in your industry and you managed to become more or less known, chances for you to stay in the game were pretty good.
The globalization and further liberalization of the market changed the playground for businesses, which led to ferocious competition. Companies that want to stay in business and have any chance of success need to keep on investing in new products. But that is not enough, as the success of a new product requires significant resources.
And even with that, the chance that it doesn’t bring desired results or that it simply fails is greater than we would like to admit. That is why all companies need a process of Product Development which includes a wide range of activities where a company visualizes and implements a new product. This stands whether you are creating an online gaming website where people can play games such as £10 free no deposit or some other type of business.
Even the biggest world’s companies invest in the product development process. During the first fiscal quarter of 2018, Apple invested more than $3.4 billion in research and new hires, which would give the company a competitive edge in the fast-developing tech market. When talking about other product development examples, we need to mention Jeff Bezos, who conducted a detailed review of all the economic sectors to understand what would be best to sell online. The process of Product Development helped him get the idea for the starting point.
You know the rest of the Amazon story, right? Okay, let‘s see now what precisely the process for product development entails.
What is Product Development?
Product Development starts with an idea, which is practically the basis of the further process. Each of these journeys can create a digital disruption when the product meets the needs uniquely and functionally. If the product can solve users’ problems, we say that the businesses achieve product-market fit.
When you think about it – it is the first stage of product management. Developing a product is all about seizing the opportunity that revolves around clients’ needs. When launching product ideas, you need to do literally what Bezos did. It means that you need to analyze the market, product, and distribution characteristics.
Apart from this, Product Development is also an umbrella term that covers six stages of the product life cycle. Product life cycle refers to the length of time from the moment the product is first introduced to the market to the moment it gets removed from the sales. It comes in four stages – introduction, growth, maturity, and decline.
The stages in the product development process are as follows: idea generation, idea screening, concept development, and testing, building a market strategy, product development, market testing, and market commercialization. You start with the idea and end with technical and financial requirements.
What Do You Need to Do Before Starting Product Development Process?
There are some preconditions that you need to consider before you begin the product development process. Taking these factors into consideration will save you a lot of time and effort along the process. So, let’s dive in!
Is the Product in Demand?
Of course, the main question is whether the people need the product you are thinking about. The importance and frequency of the need will be critical for the size of your market. At the beginning of the process, your product can be idea-driven or market-driven. In the case it is driven by the idea, you need to count on the possibility that there isn’t a real need for the product. That said, you might need to develop strategies to convince the market to buy your product.
Is it Possible to Make It?
You might think – “But, of course, everything can be produced!” Indeed, that is true for many things, but it is essential to remember that engineers don’t always have creative freedom. The question is, in fact, can it be made from the technical point of view. Does the equipment required for the production exist somewhere? If the answer is yes, then by all means, proceed with your idea.
How Will the Product Reach the Customers?
The location of the customers is another critical topic. How are you planning to deliver the product to them? If you need to find new ways of distributing your product, you have to think about the investment it requires. You might create a high-quality product, but if you can’t deliver it to your target audiences, it won’t do anyone much good.
Do You Have the Finances Required for The Project?
Throughout the text, we mentioned several times that the product development process requires a significant investment. Additionally, even if everything is perfectly splendid and you have created the product everyone wants, it will not bring immediate profit. One question is do you have sufficient funds to realize the entire process. Yet, is what you have enough to cover your expenses until the moment you see first profits?
Seven Stages of Product Development Process
The first time you read about the Product Development process, you might be under the impression that things are happening in chronological order. But in practice, everything can be different. These seven stages can be very chaotic, and you might have to return some of them several times before the completion.
Generally, you should try to think of many ideas that can create a new Product Development strategy. So, start by brainstorming on ways to answer clients’ needs. This part of the process is not about finding ideas that will be implemented. While thinking about customers’ problems, you need to consider personal problems first, qualify every issue, and think of the solutions. After that, you can start narrowing down solutions for each of the problems.
When you finish, you can decide on which of them have the strongest potential to succeed. One of the best ways to do that is to use SWOT analysis. As its name says, it allows you to figure out the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the idea you have for generic product development. Think about consulting the Agile Development team, as their expertise will allow you to understand the technical part of the process.
Concept Development & Testing
When it comes to concept development and testing, the first step is the value proposition evaluation. When you conduct this evaluation, you can map the problems in time, which leaves time for your team to solve them. There are several steps in concept development.
- First, you need to quantify what we call the gain/ pain ratio. It means that you need to understand the benefits and efforts you need to invest.
- Second, you have to analyze the competition. For example, you need to understand what competitors’ products miss and how to improve them.
- Enlist the main features of your product. The main thing is to show the ways your product will help the customers.
- The fourth thing is to create a value proposition chart.
- Finally, you need to test the concept. That practically means that you need to select a group of customers and present the project to them. Their reaction will reflect the efforts you made till that moment.
Business analysis or market strategy is about developing ways to reach the target audience. One of the best methods is to follow McCarthy‘s 4P’s of marketing when working on Product Development. It will help you understand whether your project is worth investing in or not. You also need to identify the base price of the product. There are two ways to do this – a cost-based pricing model and market-focused pricing.
When the idea is in place and, the marketing strategy is documented, it is time to move on to the Product Development cycle.
- The first step is to create a prototype, which means that you create a UI/UX of the product and present it to stakeholders. It helps people visualize how the product will look.
- Minimum Viable Product (MVP) focuses on user stories in Agile that will set your product apart from other similar products on the market. The best way to do it is to rely on Agile Product Development.
This stage aims to reduce the uncertainty regarding the success of a product. In simple terms, during this phase, you will test the viability of your product and its marketing campaign. You can follow any one of these two strategies.
With this strategy, testing engineers use and assess the performance of the product. After that, the map marketing results. If they detect any problems, other teams plan and make the changes before the product gets the final green light.
This strategy relies on the evaluation of a selected group of clients. They use the product for an amount of time and then give their feedback to the company. Simply put, this strategy revolves around the voices of the customers.
Market entry or commercialization is an umbrella term that includes different strategies that ensure the success of the product. Here is what it entails.
- You need to market the concept over the product.
- Inclusion of Brand Voice
- Organizing webinars.
We have covered the most significant steps in the Product Development Process. However, it is critical to know that the steps can vary depending on the nature of the product idea. Generally speaking, the way you manage the process is vital, but with so many variables involved, your determination, decision-making, and product quality will be the best indicators of success. Have you heard about the product development process before? What are your experiences?
Thomas Glare is a passionate freelance content writer, always striving to inspire others and bring insight into the endless possibilities of the modern times we are currently living. He also spent a lot of time collaborating with some prestigious online casinos, thus being the No. 1 expert in matters of gambling. He continues to improve his knowledge and is the co-designer of “Echtgeld Spielautomaten”, one of the most popular games from Novomatics.
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