The development of a successful launch of a product starts with its concept. There are many parts to the concept that should be developed, tested, and refined before any significant investment in its development is made. Some of them are:
- A product definition
- Its fit into the current product offering
- Target market
- Promotion and delivery plan
- Cutting Edge or “Me-Too”
Once you have done a preliminary evaluation of the product or service, take a look at the marketplace. Are there any other products out there that essentially do what you intend to do? If not, then you are on the cutting edge of development and should do well if the customers want what you create.
However, if you are attempting to create a “Me-Too” or commodity product that is very similar to others on the market, you will have a much tougher way to go. You must market the product in a manner that is unique and targets the customer more effectively than the competition.
Portfolio fit is one of the first obstacles to overcome. The new item must have a logical place in the current product line or business unit. Without this place, the sales force and customer base will wonder about the company strategy. A more likely scenario is that the marketing and sales efforts will take more time and effort than other options and these efforts will be diluted if the new product does not fit well in the strategy.
A low risk path is the extension of an existing product line. This is a good option if the existing product line is not as comprehensive as competitors’ lines and there are customers looking for ways to purchase more from you.
It is a good idea to discuss your product line and plans with current suppliers whom you trust. Their broader industry knowledge (because they sell to you and your competitors) will help you determine what products to add. This method can get you to market more quickly with lower risk.
Your customer base can give you the additional intelligence. Since the data will come from a broader source, it could be more beneficial. The downside is that you could be tipping your hand to the field and therefore your competitors. Sometimes you have to risk taking the good with the bad.
What is your concept development process?
Do you have a favorite technique?
Do you have a story to share?
Let’s talk about it in the comments.