How to assess if your product idea is really viable

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

Coming up with a new idea for a product can make you feel great. But that feeling can easily deflate if you discover that your product probably isn’t viable. Before you get too excited and then have the wind taken out of your sails, it’s always best to be sure your idea is actually a good one before you do anything. It will save you a lot of money, even if you do have to invest some time into researching your idea. So where do you start if you currently have an idea, but you need to check that your idea could actually become a product that sells?

Carry out market research

Clearly, to understand whether you have a good idea for a product, you need to do some research. That should involve both researching what the market already looks like, and any competitors you may have, as well as your potential target market. There are all kinds of surveys and research methods you can use, including MaxDiff analysis and conjoint analysis. You might want to collect both quantitative and qualitative data so that you can get a full understanding. Using research software can help you to manage the whole process.

Make sure you have a clear value proposition

Every product needs a clear value proposition that helps it to stand out from other products that already exist. You might have a product idea, but it’s important to refine it so that it offers something new. What is your product going to do that helps to differentiate it from your competitors? Communicating with your target customers can help you to determine how you can meet any needs that might not currently be met. Pay attention to the things that they think are missing from current products or the people who manufacture or sell them.

Come up with a minimum viable product

A minimum viable product (MVP) helps you to define a product that has the core features that matter most to your customers. Before creating the product, you can start by coming up with some features that your customers will see as essential. This can help you to discover whether your current product idea is missing something that your customers would really like to see, or whether there are any features that your customers don’t gain much benefit from. You will be able to refine your product idea so it’s ready for a prototype.

Create a prototype

Before starting a manufacturing line, it’s obviously smart to create a prototype. A prototype will allow you to test your product properly, ensure it works well, and check that your target customers are happy with it too. Your prototype doesn’t need to be the fully developed version of your product just yet. A prototype of your MVP still allows you to test the core features so that you have enough information to continue refining your product.

What seems like a good idea for a product can quickly seem like a mistake if you don’t develop it in the right way. Make sure you take the right steps to assess your idea.

Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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