New product development (NPD) is a big event for a company. New products are introduced to meet the market demands for now or future trends. The failure of new product development may cause significant trauma to the company. The investment in the early stage can not be recovered, and what is worse, the company loses the best time to seize the market and put the enterprise in a more passive situation.
For new product development, it is necessary to pay attention to the NPD motivation, costs and risks. Before starting your new project, we suggest you consider the following 7 strategies in NPD.
Strategy #1: In-depth analysis
Product homogeneity is becoming a series problem in many industries nowadays. It would be frightening to develop a new product without market research beforehand. And a more in-depth analysis is necessary with the orientation of market and customers demands.
Before new product development, first to take a look at the market if there is a similar product already. If there is, take full research in their quality, appearance, packaging, function, taste and price. What are their characteristics and selling points? You may decide whether to make market segmentation, or you may want to offer upgraded and better products compared with theirs.
You also need to analyze the customers and find out the key motivation and demands of them. The customers may see the defects and disadvantage of the product. Then it is possible to work out the extended potential demands for the products.
You can develop the right corresponding product after understanding the customers’ demands. Any misunderstanding of what customers really like can cause failure in later marketing and promotion activities.
Strategy #2: Precise proposition
After an in-depth analysis, you need to determine a precise proposition for your new product. This is mainly about what levels are your customers and why they need to buy your product. What is the power of consumption of these customers and where is your product sold usually.
Secondly, customers may have extra functional or spiritual demands except for the fundamental usage of a product. For example, buying a lighter, the basic demand is to use it to ignite. The extra functional demand is a customer finds one product has extra functions not including its fundamental usage when these 2 products are at the same price. For a lighter, wind-proof is offered as an extra function for customers which has extra value than the ordinary ones.
Thirdly is the quality level demands. The customers’ social values and standards may influence their demands for products. Like some customers are environmentalists, they may pay attention to the fuel of the lighter. It does matter whether the lighter uses kerosene or liquefied gas for them.
The last is the spiritual demands. For many customers, the product they use can be a reflection of their ideas for life. Like a lighter, it has been more and more designed in the textures, tastes and profession to meet the spiritual demands of customers. ZIPPO is a classic case.
Strategy #3: Unique selling point
Where there is a business there is competition. People in any industry has competitors. It is best to highlight the individuality of your new product which makes a differentiation. Only differentiated products will get more attention and have unique selling points. Then your product is outstanding and separated from its similar products. It brings something new to your customers and they are willing to buy your products.
The essence of marketing is to distinguish and wall off the competitors. It is important to show differentiation in not only products but also services. The differentiation in service will make it difficult for your competitors to break the connection between you and your customers. If your competitor uses a low price strategy, you can deal with it by differentiated personal services to keep closer with the customers.
The packaging is a differentiated service for new product development. For example, is your packaging convenient to take with, open and use, etc. These small details can have an effect on your sales as well.
Strategy #4: Time frame
A good product deserves a great launch. Setting a time frame for your product development is very helpful to identify the objectives and deadlines for every developing stage. It is easy to see if you are doing under time control.
The time frame may include the decision points and assessed time periods in each stage of project management. The efficiency of your team influences if you can race against your competitors.
New product development can take several months or even years. It is possible you may come across some outcomes unexpected in the focus group, customer evaluation, difference in prototype and mold design. So sometimes it is necessary to modify and improve your time frame of product development.
Strategy #5: External evaluation and suggestions
Many product managers try to work on the product strategies all interiorly. They discuss with the boss and brainstorm with their product and marketing teams. They analyze market data. And they think hard just by themselves.
It is very important to look for the inspiration and ideas that are beyond the company. This is shown in 2 periods.
1). Initial design and prototypes
You may establish a focus group and show them your initial design of the product and see if they hope you to do something else. It is also workable to get feedback through some social media. You may go to the trade shows and get some inspirations from your competitors.
2). After a test in a small market
With your new product finally finished and produced, you may start by testing in a small market. Observe keenly the sales and get real feedback from your customers. Useful suggestions can help you improve the product before launching it into bigger and more markets.
Strategy #6: Design and manufacturing
After the market and product research, you may start to focus on the design and manufacturing of your own new product. Outsourcing for design and manufacturing is widely existing as a company always cannot do everything themselves, concerned in size or economy. There are 3 main ways of outsourcing we are discussing.
1). The first way is to hire a freelancer to work on your new product. It is possibly the cheapest way for product development so far. The engineer is some other countries like India charges much less than that in the United States, Europe and even most regions in Canada. However, you had better know technical knowledge so you can judge the value of how his work is. Or you may need to hire another engineer to evaluate it for you. And a freelancer is always busy handling several works at the same time. They are not your full-time engineer. The efficiency can be lower than what you expected.
2). The second way is to hire a design office. They are more efficient in design and are often very aesthetic that you can tell by their works ever done. It is more expensive than hiring a freelancer but it is usually safer for your project. A design office is a team that has existing procedures to work. But as they are not direct manufacturers, the cost for mass production is higher than manufacturers.
3). The third way is to work with manufacturers when you already have the design you want. The design may be done by your own company, a freelancer, or a design office. Then you go to the manufacturer and ask them to evaluate the design in the consideration of mass production.
There is a gap between a prototype and a well-molded product. Some structures work well in 3D printing prototype may not be capable to work out in a formal production mold. Some designers may not be aware of that so it is necessary to confirm the design with a real manufacturer. There could have some modifications before going to mass production.
We manufacturer for new product production will work on your project in procedures we always concentrate on.
More information: The Ultimate Guide: Purchase Your Injection Molds & Products in China
Strategy #7: Marketing
With the product proposition determined, it also requires to accomplish the competitors’ products, distribution channels and promotion plans.
The analysis of competitors’ products is not only about their prices, product performances, advantages and disadvantages that are also for promoter training, but also their marketing strategies, such as pricing style, target markets, promotional activities, etc. So you make differentiations or compare in the marketing plans of your own new product.
Distribution channels now are full of choices. Except for stores you can see on the streets, there are so many different kinds of e-commerce platforms you can choose. For example, the general marketplace, auction marketplace, social media, handmade and crafts marketplace, on-demand production marketplace, unique items marketplace, niche marketplace, etc. You can choose the platforms that are suitable for your own product.
Promotion plans can be referred to what your competitors did or the preference for different promotional gifts through customer research. In addition, if you want to launch a large scale promotional activity such as roadshows or online ceremony, you may work with professional companies to determine the specific promotion plan.
What’s more, influencer marketing is becoming fast-growing. They are well-known individuals on social media. You can work with them and promote your product to their followers. It might be a great way of marketing some kinds of products.
Developing a new product and bringing it to market is quite challenging. There are 7 strategies in this article, you may choose the proper strategies according to your developing experience, teamwork and financial conditions.
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