New product development can be one of the most challenging parts of a business. That’s why many established businesses choose to acquire start-ups with proven products instead of trying to develop them from scratch.
The first step of the new product development process is idea generation. This involves generating ideas that would solve customer problems in a creative and novel way.
Stage 1: Idea Generation
Product ideas are the fuel that drives new product development. These can come from internal sources, such as R&D and analytics employees or external ones, including suppliers, distributors, customers, educational institutions and competitors.
The key to identifying the right idea is to ensure it has a market gap and is unique. It should also provide a better service than existing products, which will differentiate you from your competitors. Then, you can test the concept with a prototype and gather customer feedback.
Stage 2: Market Research
Market research during new product development is a crucial part of ensuring that the product you create is one that people will want to buy. This step can include conducting a feasibility analysis and testing the prototype or concept with real customers.
This can be done through a test market release or by sending the product to select individuals for review. This feedback will help determine if the product is viable, if it can be delivered on time and on budget, and will highlight any areas that need to be addressed.
Stage 3: Design
Design during new product development is the process of converting ideas into workable products. It typically involves creating a prototype of the product to identify areas of risk and opportunity.
This phase includes brainstorming ideas, screening & refining them to find the best one, and developing a detailed technical specification of the final product. It also includes analyzing the market and developing a marketing strategy.
During this stage, you should come up with a prototype that is as functional as possible without adding unnecessary features. This is known as a minimum viable product (MVP).
Stage 4: Development
During this stage, you’ll work on developing your ideas and determining the scalability of each concept. This will help you understand whether the product is worth constructing.
This is the final phase of new product development before you bring it to market. It involves assessing the potential for a product’s success in realistic market dynamics.
It’s important to focus on both the technology and marketing strategy during this stage. Failure to do so can lead to failure of the product and costly mistakes in production.
Stage 5: Testing
Testing is an essential aspect of new product development. Businesses must test their products for functionality, usability and whether they meet customer needs.
This involves sharing prototypes with audiences and asking for their feedback on how well the product works. This way, companies can get a sense of how the product will perform in the real world before it launches.
Then, they can make improvements based on the feedback and market research. This ensures that the final product will be successful.
Stage 6: Manufacturing
After a prototype has been created, it’s time to start building the supply chain for manufacturing. This includes finding suppliers for raw materials and securing partners to manufacture, ship and store the product.
NPD focuses on converting new ideas into workable market offerings. Many companies use a management structure such as the stage-gate model to manage this process.
The fuzzy front end is the part of NPD where large or incremental business and technology opportunities are identified & analysed in a more unstructured manner. The results provide essential information to make Go/No-Go decisions and paves the way for more structured NPPD processes.
Stage 7: Marketing
Assuming that the product design is complete, it’s time to start thinking about marketing. The idea is to create a value proposition that appeals to your target audience and makes them want to pay for your product.
One way to do this is by using a SWOT analysis, where you look at the product’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You can also use brainstorming techniques such as the SCAMPER method. This helps you refine your product concept so that it’s unique and solves a problem for your customers.
Stage 8: Launch
Once management has a product concept and marketing strategy in place, it can evaluate the business attractiveness of the new product. This involves reviewing the sales, cost and profit projections to determine whether the product can satisfy the company’s objectives.
This stage is often handled by a cross-functional committee of individuals from different departments within the company. The goal is to filter ideas to pick the ones that are most likely to succeed. A minimum viable product (MVP) is frequently developed at this point.