Product development is a process that includes the stage of idealization to product supply. This process can be seen both in relation to the new product launch and in relation to the old products that we intend to improve. The product development process is a long process that starts not during production but long before the product is made. The vast dimensions of this process include from the creative thinking of the initial concept to the supply of the final product and then its measurement. Product development in today’s sense is an answer to how, why, what and when to make a product. In this regard, the product manager will have constant and continuous communication with the engineers of this field and the marketing team. The purpose of these communications is to produce and supply the product as well as to improve it to be liked by the customer.
Successful Product Development
In order to succeed in the field of product development, we need a correct and appropriate strategy in this regard.
Some of the characteristics of successful product development are as follows:
1. The starting point of this process is to review and provide a suitable definition of a new product that meets the customer’s needs.
2. Alignment of new product design concepts with embedded strategy for development
3. The process that we choose and implement to cultivate ideas should be flexible and light.
4. This process should be done by expert teams consisting of several specialties.
5. The result of this process is the production of a successful product that leads to business development and customer satisfaction.
The Difference Between Product Development and Design
Despite the similarity that these two concepts seem to have, product development is a broader concept than product design. In other words, product design can be considered a subset of product development.
When we study and research the market in order to find the needs of the customers and the opportunity to offer the product, we are actually doing the product development process. On the other hand, when at the end of the initial investigations, it is time to come up with ideas and implement them, this stage is known as product design. In product design, we need the initial design of the product. But in product development, we need brand strategies, market research and analysis, customers’ needs and demands, and considering available resources and facilities.
Product Development Steps
1. Checking Customer Needs
The first step we can take in product development is a comprehensive understanding of the current market and the needs of customers who are our main and ultimate goal of supplying products. To achieve this knowledge and understanding, we can act through the following questions:
– According to the existing situation in the market, what are the needs of customers?
– What value-creating ideas are there in such a situation?
– What are the unmet needs of customers and how can they be met in the best way?
2. Idealization and Processing of Ideas
After knowing the needs of the customers, we will check the ability to meet their needs. If we can respond to the needs by using the facilities under our control, it means that we have got the opportunity. But the work does not end here; Rather, by examining the ideas, we should come to the conclusion that there is really an opportunity in front of us or that we have made an analytical error. Next, we have to check whether the proposed idea is feasible or not. Every idea that comes to mind is not necessarily feasible.
This stage is the stage of idea processing. It is at this stage that the difference between successful managers and unsuccessful ones is determined. Because in the processing stage we have to identify and remove weak ideas.
3. New Product Concept Development and Initial Product Testing
In the next step, we will develop the concept of product development and perform initial tests on it. Doing these tests is necessary to find the strengths and weaknesses. After concepts are formed, they need to be tested by customers. To perform some of these tests, it is enough to present an image or say a word. In addition, physical testing of the product can also increase the trust of customers.
4. Economic Analysis of the Product
This stage is done in line with marketing experiments. Once our product performance tests are successful and completed, it’s time for marketing trials. At this stage, we will review the new product and marketing strategies. At this stage, marketers check the market conditions. Marketing tests and reviews should be appropriate for the type of product and are different for different products.
This stage is encountered with 2 serious risks that cause some business managers to ignore it; The first risk is related to the costs of marketing testing, which can be high. The second risk is related to competitors that the marketing test may provide our idea and product to competitors for copying.
The studies carried out in this stage include the following:
– Can this product be introduced as a successful business?
– What will be the economic status of the product?
– Is the supply of the product associated with profitability?
– How profitable will the product be?
– Will the success of the product be independent or along with other products?
5. New Product Testing
After finishing the product development process, we have the product testing stage ahead. This test is done in different ways. For example, it may be limited to the production of the prototype. It means to check their condition by making one or more samples. Or if our product development was in the software domain, we might release the initial product as a beta version. In the third case, we may offer limited supply. At any stage from the beginning until now, we may decide to stop the product development process; It means to come to the conclusion that the initial assumptions were wrong and it is better to stop the project.
6. Product Commercialization
The last step in product development is commercialization. During the launch and introduction of the product to the market, we may face a lot of costs in the field of manufacturing and advertising. But these businesses are the ones who decide what product, when and in what dimensions will enter the market. All this depends on the managers’ risk-taking ability and their access to distribution channels.
Up To Sum
Businesses should seek to renew and develop their products to respond to the ever-changing needs of customers. To succeed in this matter, they must do the product development steps correctly. Product development is done by considering the needs and wants of customers and understanding the market conditions, which is possible through market surveys and research.