Product development generally refers to all stages involved in developing a product from its initial concept or idea. It requires the skills and ability of individuals to modify and improve an existing product or formulate and introduce an entirely new product to the market.
In other words, it requires the ability to conceptualize, design, and develop a product keeping the needs of consumers in mind. The sole purpose of doing all this is to achieve a higher market share by introducing products that meets the needs of consumers in a better way.
Stages Involved in the Product Development Process
Stage 1: Idea Generation
This is the initial stage where a team sources ideas regarding a new product. This involves generating ideas while taking a look at customers, competitors, journals, etc. This is a crucial stage as it lays the foundation for all other phases.
Stage 2: Research and Idea Screening
The ideas generated in the first stage needs to go through a screening process to filter out the practical ones. The product development team seeks opinions from valuable sources to avoid the pursuit of costly unfeasible ideas.
Stage 3: Concept Development
After the idea screening, the team researches to develop a comprehensive plan and blueprint before launching a prototype. It also performs SWOT analysis to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that exist for your product in the market. In addition, legal considerations are also well thought-out.
Stage 4: Prototype and Assessment
In this stage, the team breathes life into the product concept finalized. The prototype of the product is developed and tests are performed to check its viability and performance. Based on the results, it’s decided whether to undertake large scale production or not.
Stage 5: Commercialization
In this stage, large scale production begins and business starts the promotion campaign for their new product launch. They finalize their product pricing and select the distribution channels to deliver products in the market.
Why Product Development Is Important?
Product development is the life-blood of businesses. It helps them to provide more useful, viable products to their consumers and retain their high market share.
Today, companies around the world invest billions of dollars in developing new products to keep themselves competitive in the fast-paced global market. Not only product development has become important for businesses but it has also turned into a necessity to survive in the industry.
Here are a few major reasons why product development is important.
It Provides Value for Customers
The most important reason for product development is to provide value to your consumers. Without this, there is no reason for them to buy a product that you manufacture.
Catering to the increasing demand for innovation and new technology is what keeps companies growing. If companies do not a new product to sell, they lose their market share and ultimately die. They need to provide value in their products to avoid losing ground in the market and stop competitors from getting ahead of them.
It Offers Growth Opportunities
New products are every company’s lifeline. The new products are developed by businesses of all sizes for their company to expand and develop. New products aid longevity in the business by giving its customers new value that generates additional revenues.
For several years, many of the consumer products have been at an incremental improvement level, with few new features integrated into them. This has allowed manufacturers to easily offer value their customers are looking for, and in return increase their product sales and experience business growth.
It Can Grow a Professional Network
Innovative product development can certainly get the attention of businesses operating within the industry because they are seen as a “cutting edge” organization. Forward thinking companies always want to connect with others companies that are innovators and experts. This means B2B networks for a company focused on practical product development will always a chance to grow.
In addition, such companies tend to have a better professional relationship with their vendors. By providing innovative products in the market, these companies help merchants make higher sales and increase profitability.
It Promotes Society Betterment
There are several instances that new products have helped in society improvement. The technology incorporated in new products has been proved to be beneficial for society in many forms.
For instance, innovative testing kits and machinery in the medical industry save hundreds of lives every year. They offer people a chance to live a healthy life and help them keep away from getting into complicated medical conditions. Though they don’t offer the consumer swift satisfaction, they save lives and therefore improve society.
How Product Development Skills Can Be Improved?
Product development skills can’t be improved following a straightforward strategy. It requires businesses to come up with solid and smart product development ideas as well as a team that can bring those ideas to life.
If you want to improve your product development skills, some of these suggestions may help:
Brainstorm with a Purpose
You already know that brainstorming can help you come up with a good idea, but figuring out how to do it can definitely save you a lot of time.
One way of brainstorming with a purpose is trying to come up with value-driven statement that would help you come with innovative ideas for your new product development.
Hire a Consultant
You can find many innovative specialty firms that work with companies to develop new products.
These companies aim to do anything from market research to the development of spaces to hold focus consumer groups and help businesses make use of the information to develop new products.
One of such firms in Calgary Alberta is PinterEC – They focus their product development services on three specific types of technology that include:
- Embedded Systems
- Radio Frequency or Wireless Devices
- Artificial Intelligence
Include Outside Voices
Whether or not you want to take the services of a consultant, it remains crucial to look for inspiration and ideas beyond your company.
Taking a look at suggestions from people outside your business is important since it can help you understand your product development from a new perspective, also getting aware of the different challenges that might be involved.