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New Product Development Checklist: 11 Simple Steps.

new product development checklist

When you use this new product development checklist creating a product that will be accepted in the market this checklist will become essential.

This can be very overwhelming for any business owner and could be worse for a startup. 

Consequently, many businesses have failed at this point building the wrong products.

A major mistake many businesses make is focusing on sending out products based on the entrepreneur’s feelings. 

The result is a large volume of products no one wants or is buying. Thus, start-ups are encouraged to be innovative. 

But to develop a product that would be properly accepted in the market requires several things. 

We will go through all you need to know about the new product development process as well as how to give you a new product development checklist to help your development journey. 

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What is New Product Development?

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A new product development is the process involvs in creating and marketing a product or service from the conception of the idea until it ultimately reaches the market. 

This is often creating an entirely new product to meet an existing need.

A company could decide to replace a product or redesign it so it can perform multiple functions or introduce an existing product into a new market. 

With this, the company can enter new markets with the needed product. 

This also works for product rebranding and can significantly improve the company’s image and relationships with the market.

As a part of staying relevant, a company must design products that meet the changing customer needs and trends.

 When a gap is noticed, the product development process covers the ideation process through the creation to achieve a product or service that fills this void. Some people consider it a form of innovation since new ideas are brought into the market. 

This is quite different from product line extension. In product line extension, the company sells the same product with little alteration to satisfy customers within the same market with slightly different needs. 

For instance, Coca-Cola decided to sell diet coke to its customers who want something with lower-calorie content; that is just an extension of their products.

New Product Development Process

With the markets seeming almost saturated, it always seems as though start-ups do not always get a chance. 

Neither does the economy have a preference for newcomers. For a start-up, no doubt innovation is important for them to break out, be relevant and to even make profits. 

In creating new products or to improve your current stand, creating a list of things to be done makes the product development process easier.

Processes included in developing a new product include;

Ideation

Ideas are everything. The ideation stage is the first point in developing a new product. 

This involves coming up with the right product or service idea to meet the market need and forms the foundation of the new product development process. 

Many entrepreneurs get stuck at this stage because many seek the “Aha” moment when the idea for the perfect product would strike. 

This is not always so nor does it mean that all the ideas sourced at this point are perfect. 

The ideation stage involves sourcing every idea available and sifting them down to a workable one. For most businesses, identifying ideas is the toughest hurdle. 

However, one good place to start is to review the needs of the customers. There are several ways, a business could come up with new ideas such as;

  • Brainstorming: a team could hold brainstorming sessions to decide on what new product or service is to be added. Building solutions for the challenges facing the business itself are good starting points for ideas.
  • Questions could be asked to get an in-depth understanding of the needs of the customers or the void in the market.

With a number of possible problems, these can be sorted based on how pressing they appear with a list of possible solutions to them. It is not strange to end up with numerous solutions. 

These solutions are then pooled together and screened to arrive at the one with a higher potential for success. 

Research

Armed with a potential idea, it’s best to research to see how acceptable it is in the market before moving forward with the idea. 

After all, you do not want to end up with a product no one is willing to pay for. 

There are several ways to get product validation. For one, you could get information from family and friends or those really close to you. 

By speaking with them, you would be able to decipher what needs they would want a solution for or for what products they would want an alternative. 

Apart from those close to you, you could hear suggestions from strangers or send out surveys and requests to feel the perception of the market. 

At this stage, you would be able to answer questions like if your proposed suggestion or solution meets the needs of the people. Or whether or not it is what the customer even wants. 

Also, you need an understanding of the industry. Adding a research page would give you an idea of what the market already looks like as well as the number and behavior of competitors. 

No matter the market or the idea you are bringing on board, it cannot be denied that there is someone else providing a similar product or a substitute. 

Your research helps you identify gaps in your competition that you can use to your advantage.

Planning

No one can deny that you would need money to launch the new product. 

Thus, the third step is focused on building a business plan that incorporates all that is needed for developing and marketing the product. 

Your business plan would include everything about the cost at each stage of product development as well as those needed for marketing.

Business plans are no doubt vital especially for start-ups. If you need to get investors or partners to join in pushing your vision or support for your product, your business plan would come in handy. 

The whole document often covers two main sections; development and marketing.

For the development stage, you want to clearly describe your product, the purpose it would serve, and most importantly, the cost at this stage. 

For the marketing stage, your market, your pricing model, your distributors, your sales strategy, and the channels in the sales funnel should be clearly drawn. 

Determining the amount you would spend at each stage can be obtained from the results of your research. 

While you may not have an exact amount, you would be able to draw up a hypothetical amount from the research conducted. 

Notwithstanding, your business plan should be written clearly to help investors to read it easily and understand it.

Prototyping

You would need a prototype to help bring your ideas into real-life for those you are pitching to and your team members. 

At this stage, your product becomes tangible and can be used to prove your hypotheses. Your prototypes could be the physical product or a digital visualization of what it looks like. 

For many businesses, a well-done prototype is usually sent to the manufacturer when the products are to be made in bulk amounts. 

Thus, an effort is made to ensure the details and specifications are to be as close to the idea as possible and effective as well.

Benefits of developing a prototype

  • Prototypes are tangible and can be shown to investors especially when funds for the products are to be raised. 
  • They could be used for making ads or other marketing purposes. 
  • They also help you remove risks or errors in the products since it is cheaper to remove errors or mistakes in a prototype than in a whole batch of products.
  • They can be used to test the market to access the acceptability from customers as well as implement any suggestions they may have.
  • Using prototypes, it becomes easy to correctly estimate the cost of each product and for the batch.
  • For products requiring certification or regulatory approvals, your prototype could be used 

When making digital mock-ups, it is important to ensure that it is photogenic enough. You do not want to lose your investors and customers with a shabbily done prototype. 

Feel free to also share it with others to see, use and help you critique and offer suggestions.

Funding

With a well-drawn prototype, you need the funds so the next thing to do is to source ways to pay for the production and the marketing. 

At this stage, the product is well underway, although not completed yet. Notwithstanding, there are about three ways of sourcing funds many businesses employ.

  • Bootstrapping: 

Depending on the size of the project you want to embark on, you could source the funds from those around you. By using the money you already own, or simply requesting support from family and friends, you should be able to get the needed amount. 

Getting funds in form of non-profit grants, from community organizations, or micro-loans are also grouped here. Often, this is done when the amount you need is not very large; usually in the range of five figures. 

  • Crowdfunding: 

This is another common option business owners, especially start-ups, look at when raising funds for their businesses. Crowdfunding involves seeking money from a wider audience who looks at it as a form of micro-investments. 

Instead of creating a sales pitch for a particular investor, you create one to appeal to your prospective customers. If they like it, they contribute to reaching the estimated amount needed.

Many businesses seeking larger sums within the range of six- digits use this method. Crowdfunding has a time limit so everything you do would be within that time-space.

It also has the advantage of allowing you to glean the attitude of real-life people toward your product. This is valuable in helping you define where you stand with the prospective customers making it possible to make adjustments to the prototypes.

  • Investors: 

For more elaborate products, many start-ups seek to get professional investors. This requires having a well-crafted pitch for your investors who may be venture capitalists or angel investors. 

Usually, the investors own a part of your business or profit from the product for the amount they are offering. No one parts lightly with their money so you would have to do all to win the trust of your investors through an impeccable product.

If you want to cut through the noise and succeed faster this new product development will do just that

HEED this advice…

I am confident fewer people would fail if they just did this one thing…

As you go through this new product development checklist it is super important you understand one thing.

Your values… 

Yeah really, what’s important to you. Especially if you are starting a startup.

What’s your truth. If you don’t have clarity on this you are more than likely building your product for the wrong reasons.

This will cause you to not provide the quality of service you could and make working don’t the product more agony than having a blast solving problems

Take a free Meyers Briggs test and look up values for your type.

For example, I am an ENTP I value innovation, competence, and truth. That’s why I have devoted a large portion of my life to iKooru. I LOVE IT. I love serving you and helping you innovate.

Innovate is the keyword. Innovation is an invention in action. It’s bringing a product to market and innovating to find the perfect product-market fit. But if your not serving the right market for you, chances are you will take mediocre action and get mediocre results.

Skip this step at your own risk.

Design and Production

With your prototype, knowledge, and the funds, you could begin production. 

However, before you begin production ensure you have good designers to help bring out the perfect design in line with the specifications you have given. 

For production, select a competent manufacturer with trained workers that would deliver error-free work. It is also wise to test the products the last time before deployment.

Check to ensure the designs, animations, and colors are in line with the brand identity. Remember to emphasize those things that make your product different from your competition. 

Also, for products that should carry a certification number, labels, warnings, regulations, or expiry date, remember to include those as well.

It is also necessary to consider demand when manufacturing so there is no shortage or surplus.

Commercialization

Now, it is time to let the world see your product. Introducing it in a way it is readily acceptable in the market is the last task of your new product development process. Many start-ups have great products but fail at the marketing stage.

 First, you have to develop a marketing strategy and a right pricing strategy to allow a seamless entrance into the market.

For a start-up, you may not have an elaborate marketing team to help create expensive ads. 

You could create a pre-product launch email to your subscribers to create an awareness of the launch date of your product. Similarly, you could send out another email on the launch date to remind them.

Feel free to use all your social media accounts to spread the word about your product or to run campaigns. 

You could also use promotional and sales materials or feature your product in gift guides; if it fits. It is also common to find start-ups make use of affiliate marketing to create awareness for their products. This is often through partnerships with influencers.

Lastly, people are bound to subscribe to products referred to them by people they can trust. Feel free to ask for reviews and referrals from your customers. 

It is also essential to have an enlightened customer service team to help customers understand the new product and use them well.

Benefits of using a product development checklist

Although it might seem an extra task creating a product development checklist has several benefits for businesses such as;

  • Break goals into manageable tasks: a checklist helps you to break your goals into manageable and doable tasks. The whole product development process could appear daunting if what to do is not properly drawn out and in the right order. It becomes easier to break down big jobs into doable tasks to which deadlines could be attached.
  • Seeing the big picture and the smaller details: using a checklist, you can see the whole goal you want to achieve in the development process as well as the goal for your product. Identifying the purpose of the product, each step and the little things to be done in achieving those becomes easy to see and so.
  • Makes delegation easy: with the whole process broken into sizable tasks, it becomes easy to delegate tasks to individuals on the team. This way, tasks are handled better and quickly. With tasks delegated, monitoring the performance of each team member as well as the progress of the whole process is possible.

Catering for mistakes and eventualities: if there is a flaw or mistake in the process, a checklist helps you identify the point of the error. This way, provisions for mistakes are done and errors once identified can be promptly arrested.

Conclusion

Coming up with the perfect idea to break even in a market can be stressful. 

Notwithstanding, innovation remains very important for businesses, especially start-ups, to meet the changing needs of customers. 

Because there are many things to be done, it is important to develop a checklist to aid your new product development process.

For any start-up, the steps given here make entering a new market easy. 

By applying the seven processes of ideation, research, planning, prototyping, funding, design, and commercialization, you can easily create a successful product.

FAQs

What is the difference between product development and product management?

Product management is focused on creating the vision and guidelines for a new product.

On the other hand product development is concerned with how to create and build the right product to meet the market needs.

What should be included in product development?

Product development covers everything around building a new product for a specific market.

It usually includes all the steps involved from brainstorming ideas through the development of the product till the product enters the market.

What are the 7 stages in the new product development process?

Ideation: sourcing for and creating the needed idea.

Research: to understand the needs of the customer, the market trend, and your competitors.

Planning: creating a business plan for an elaborate understanding of your product.

Prototyping: creating a visual representation of the product.

Funding: sourcing for the finance to run the production and marketing processes.

Design and production: designing the actual product from the prototype and manufacturing process.

Commercialization: entering into the market and processes around marketing and ads.

He has a value assessment you can take here

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Table Of Contents: 

1.  What Is New Product Development?

2. New Product Development Process

3. Design And Production

4. Commercialization

5. Checklist & Benefits

Conclusions

FAQ’s