Most businesses often depend on the release of their new product to stay ahead of the competition. As a business owner, developing a new product and bringing it to the market can be one of the best feelings. Still, it's not always a smooth process. If your new product doesn't entice the customers, you will have lost inventory costs and manufacturing.
Many businesses have struggled to become significant in their fields, and some became inspiring stories for many entrepreneurs. 70% of new product developments are unsuccessful, which indicates how complicated the process can be. To ensure costs and time invested in the project don't go to waste, you should be aware of the main challenges to increase the chance of a successful product launch. Although every stage in product development is crucial, there is one stage that's the most challenging:
Research and Testing
The most challenging stage in product development is research and testing. Your product might seem like a success at first thought, but a thorough peek might uncover extensive complications. For example, your research might reveal that another organization tried to launch a similar product but with poor results. You can learn from their errors.
Market research and testing will provide you with the insight to produce quality products. Investing time to deliver quality products should be crucial to success as an entrepreneur.
Why Should I Conduct Research for My New Product Development?
Research is essential to ensure no company has a copyright of the same product you plan to develop. Deciding to move on with manufacturing and selling your product without a comprehensive patent search might result in high-cost conflicts.
In addition, most products are unsuccessful because the company failed to listen to the customer's viewpoint. With product research tools like focus groups, you can get reviews/opinions from your targeted customers. In a focus group, every person has a turn to test a new product and express their opinion.
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As an entrepreneur, you can ask the members of the group questions to find out if the odds are in your favor, plus how much they're willing to pay so you can settle on a price. The group can also suggest upgrades to your current product.
Although market research aims at customers, it's also essential to include other stakeholders. You can involve stakeholders and consumers when conducting research through any of the two main phases we're going to cover today:
1st Phase: New Product Idea Generation
This phase is a great point to start your research. It brings value to any organization, even if they're in the first stages of testing. Additionally, it offers clear insight into customer satisfaction and direction for enhancing and marketing your new products. However, the purpose of this 1st phase is to understand the market's needs and decide on the product you will develop for your business.
Some of the questions this phase can help shade light on include:
- Is the new product / feature solving customer’s problem?
- Is the audience contented with the products available in the market?
- How can the products be enhanced?
- What are the new products or features the market is interested in?
- What are the current needs of the customers? Are the needs being met?
- Will the market have interest in a new product?
2nd Phase: New Product / Feature Testing Research
Once you're through with the first phase, your business will have identified the customer's needs and is ready to begin developing a new product that will captivate the market's attention. The test seeks to ask your target audience to assess your new product to be sure it meets their needs.
This 2nd phase will give you the necessary insight into any needed change before you wrap up and release the product. It also helps in the product launching through the marketing insights. Depending on how complex your product is, you might be required to re-visit product testing numerous times till you get it right.
Some of the questions product testing research can answer are:
- What does the target audience love about your product?
- How can I improve the product?
- What are the chances customers will buy the product?
- How much can the market pay for the product?
- What will the customers use the product for?
In terms of techniques and tools, there are several qualitative and quantitative approaches to gather the insights that will not only tell you who your buyers are and what they care about, but why they care and how they value individual product attributes.
Focus groups could reveal how real prospects react to your idea, and show you whether there is a market for your idea. Conjoint analysis uses survey data to evaluate how respondents rank different attributes of a product or service in order to estimate the value of each component in terms of its effect on customer decisions. For example, conjoint analysis models out customers' price sensitivity curve to show how much customers are willing to pay for your product.
At the beginning of the process, you might have a plan or design of how you'd like your product to look and test it before finalizing.
After a couple of months, your organization may have a clearer idea of the specifications or a sample. Then finally, when you're close to finalizing the product, you should have a prototype or the product itself so the consumer or targeted audience can test it and provide feedback. Always remember that research is vital.
All companies go through challenges; it's almost like a rite of passage. By conducting research and testing your product, you can identify any issue and address it before it worsens. Lastly, pay attention to fluctuation in prices before setting a price for your new product, and never forget "research is key."