Your new product development process needs to reliably turn out a product that your customers want, need, can afford and can immediately see how they can use it to improve their lives. In short, something they love. If you don’t succeed at this, your product launch will demonstrate that you don’t understand your customers, and can’t serve their needs, doing great harm to your brand at the same time as you fail to get back the money you invested in developing the product in the first place.
Today we’re looking at what needs to go into your product development process to give you the best chance of coming out of it with a product customers will love.
Before you get to work on a product, you need to know what your customers want, and how much they have to spend. If you’re not developing a product that fulfils a need for your customers, it’s not going to be popular! Similarly, if you’re not designing with your customers’ budget in mind, you run the risk of creating a product they simply can’t afford to buy!
Creating a foundation of market research means you know exactly who you’re aiming for as you start your design process.
Before you commit to prototyping your product you’ll discuss lots of different concepts that you could take forward. It’s well worth making customer feedback a part of that process. Exposing customers (or potential customers) to the concepts for products you are considering can give you an important steer onto the course that they find most relevant, most useful and most attractive.
A market research firm can help again here, as they can connect you with a cross section of your market so you know you’re getting data that’s representative of the people you’ll be marketing to.
Customers need to remain at the heart of your design process, so as you create prototypes, test them with your customers. Look at how they use them – their behaviour could be more revealing than answers to survey questions. How do they interact with your product? Is it quick and intuitive, or hard for them to master? Do they know what it is right away?
Leaning into the qualities that your customers value most about the product helps you create something that is valuable to them, that will be easy to sell!