Do you wonder how new product development can grow your business?
New products with unique and untried features can turn the ranking of products upside down in the market. Because people get bored by using the same product again and again and want to try new things.
New product development is an intimidating task, making the product manager’s role exciting and more important.
The new product development process can be complex because it requires long research to create hindrances in the market.
From this article, you will get a better understanding of product development stages with a detailed description.
- What is new product development?
- 7 stages of the new product development process
- Idea generation
- Idea screening
- Development and testing
- Marketing strategy development
- Product development and iteration
- Market testing
- Risks and rewards in new product development
What is new product development?
Before jumping into the process, it is better to clear the concept of NPD aka new product development, let’s discuss a bit about what it actually means by new product development?
In simple words, we can say as New product development is the idea of turning the idea into a working product. It is about analyzing the market, end users’ needs, the feasibility of ideas, and bringing ideas to life.
In contrast, product development is the term that revolves around the idea of improving the product or making the already existing product with some additional features. In comparison, new product development is the term that means to bring a new idea to life. It is about making a new product from scratch.
7 stages of the new product development process
New product development processes are determined according to the product. It should be adaptable according to the needs of different industries and products.
In every stage, you can witness the critical factor that is impacting the decision or process: and it is the customer. For a successful and profitable product launch, it is mandatory to focus on the target audience. Moreover, you must understand the end-users needs and who are your competitors are most important.
So, let’s go through the key stages of the new product development process. So you will have confidence in the process, and you will know about the required adaptations.
Idea generation is the primary stage of the product development process. It entails different methods to gather new ideas and suggestions. Whatever ideas you gather, they must be superior to already existing ones. The basic goal of this step is to gather many ideas that can set a foundation later.
It is not about gathering all worthy and proven ones. Idea generation is about generating unproven and raw ideas that will be filtered in the screening phase.
Focus on customers need
Thought off the problem is half solved problem. To generate an effective idea, it is mandatory to understand and figure out the problem customers are facing. But, how can you do it? Of course, by survey and using yourself. If you are facing a problem, others will be facing it too.
Beneficial for business
This second stage of the process revolved around picking the idea which has the potential for success. With the advice of people with knowledge and experience in the relevant industry, it will be more convenient to choose the idea. Probably it will have the highest chances of success.
Having proof of concept for the new product development process should be prioritized because it helps determine and analyze the feasibility of ideas. The idea with no feasibility has zero points of production.
Consulting the agile development team can be beneficial. Experts of the related team can help in understanding the technical side of the product. Strength, weakness, opportunities and threats analysis is also a good option while screening the ideas.
Development and testing
Before working on an idea, building a detailed version of the idea and customers’ needs are preferred, this third stage of the process is the first step toward the implementation of the idea. Through this stage, you can get insight and predict the upcoming hurdles in your approach.
Here are some concept development steps that make you one step close to success
Qualifying Gain/pain ratio
You are required to write a comprehensive overview of the product regarding the consumer’s perspective. It can be done by calculating the pain/gain ratio.
Pain and gain rating is the ratio of what benefits users will get and difficulties a consumer might face in understanding the product.
Having information about the already market player can help you develop your product one step ahead. When you understand the competitor, it becomes possible to interpret the features they lack. Moreover, you can understand at which point improvement is required.
Mention main product features
The stories of users you involve in a new product development process will boost or destroy your product. When you list the innovations you have added, it is essential to fill the competitors’ gap.
When you are clear about your concept, the next step is to present your plan to selected customers. These four critical aspects can test the concept
- Identification of focused group.
- Assessment of other alternatives.
- Development of a foolproof plan.
- Position of unique features of the product.
Marketing strategy development
To ensure the success of your product, you must develop a strong marketing strategy. The main component of building a marketing strategy includes decision-making about branding, advertisement, and launch. This is the fourth stage of the new product development process, which involves indenting and analyzing competition, budget, and financial strategy.
Every marketing strategy is supposed to fulfil the vision of the business. It will affect the way of business working. However, it should focus on how the product achieves the goal of the company. An effective marketing strategy should include
- Description of new product and offered services.
- Explain the role of the product in the market.
- Attributes of the targeted audience.
- Features of the product offered by the competitor.
- Identify how the market will react to the market plan.
Product development and iteration
It is the fifth stage and the first step towards the practical implementation of the idea. After successful drafting the idea, concept testing, and making a business and market plan, you are ready to start development
It focuses on UI designs for the product. It is later shared with company stakeholders. It helps in visualizing how the product will look.
Minimum usable product
After developing the prototype, the next step is to make the product in less quantity. The iteration of the product depends on the response by the end-users.
At this stage, as a product manager, your role is to make sure all team members are working correctly. It is the production going on according to strategy. Development is being done at the required pace. Moreover, is there any alteration or adoption required?
This is the sixth stage of the new product development process. This stage focuses on eliminating the uncertainty revolving around the success of a product. It is initially tested on the deployed member and judges the product based on the performance. If any complaints are received, the product manager notes and plans to resolve them before the final launch.
After alpha testing, the product moves to a targeted audience. They use the product and give their honest feedback. After receiving the feedbacks, the manager again moved back to the production department for the required fixture and final touching.
It is the final stage and most crucial time. It is the phase of hype or death. Most of the products do not make it to the launching phase. But, the products that have gone through all testing, extensive planning are ready to launch at the marketplace.
After planning for months or years, the struggle does not end here. After dealing with initial complaints, it is time to take a response from a large audience. If you get the expected response, then congratulations. But, if not, keep focused on the feedback and always be ready to improve. Success is possible with constant struggle.
Risks and rewards in new product development
Unfortunately, NDP stands in the category of the riskiest task. The failure rate is far higher than positive. Mostly, only one out of seven products make it to the development rate while the rest of the ideas die.
The reality is that even after passing through the development process and all tests, many products still result in epic failure.
It is where the new product development process comes in. It helps in making innovative, successful, and profitable products.
Companies that are customer-driven and invest in personnel and processes to generate new products are more likely to succeed. They focus on market needs, customers’ needs, and features those other products of the same category lack.
In every successful process, some essential factors must be focused on. In the optimal NDP process, systematic process and indulgence of experts of relevant fields to share and discuss ideas are essential.
Moreover, effective project management structure, teamwork, and continuous learning and adaptation to new or required changes are crucial.
The new product development process helps the product is going through a systematic process that ensures success. Moreover, it keeps the team members updated about what is coming next.
These seven stages of the development process act as a map to guide you to keep you on track.
In conclusion, developing a new product is a daunting task even when your company is fully stable. But, staying back with the ancient ideas will make you disappear from the market.
If you follow the proper procedure and pass all the testing phases successfully, success is higher.