SupportBiz lists the steps a firm should ideally take for efficient product development.
It is essential to collect information about what type of product would be most liked by your prospective customers, before you start product development. This information can be obtained by surveying prospective customers, from social media, from market research firms and from your employees who regularly interact with customers. Once you have this information on hand, brainstorm with a group of your employees for ideas regarding the kind of new product that you should develop.
Evaluate each of the ideas generated during the brainstorming session, and list down their merits and demerits. Narrow down the list to a few most reasonable and best ideas, and pass them on to the decision makers in your firm.
Get feedback from potential customers on which product idea/s appeals the most to them. Ask your partners and employees to list the ideas which seem the best to them. Based on this feedback, shortlist the ideas that you can work on.
Undertake an analysis of the shortlisted product ideas from a business perspective. Find out what demand exists for the products and the revenue that you expect to generate through it in the initial few years after production. Determine the type of competition that exists for the shortlisted products. Estimate the cost of production, and the amount of profit that you can make if you produce each shortlisted product. This will help you narrow down your list to one or two most profitable and best accepted products.
At this stage, develop prototypes of the chosen product/s, and offer them to key customers, partners and employees. Ask them to test the prototype and share their experiences with you.
If required, make changes to the product prototypes, based on the feedback received from your key customers, partners or employees. You should then develop a few samples of the product/s, and offer it to some of your distributors for a market testing basis. Study the feedback received from the customers to the samples carefully.
The market testing will give you an idea of whether you should go ahead with a full-fledged product launch or not. Before you launch your product in the market, undertake a marketing campaign to make prospective customers aware of it and to generate interest in it.