This is a contributor’s blogpost …
To keep your business fresh and exciting for your customers, you will occasionally need to rejig the products that you offer. That doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your most popular ones – that will probably anger your loyal customer base! Instead, you simply need to phase out any items that aren’t selling quite as well as you would like them to and replace them with something new. New products will grab your customers attention, and they will be very tempted to buy it to test it out. If it goes down well, then you will see your sales stay up for quite some time. You might even be able to increase your customer base with the right product!
If there is one thing that you need to make sure when you start to develop a new product, it’s that it needs to be just right. You should develop an item that appeals to your current customers as well as any new ones. Not only that, though, but it also needs to fit in with your company’s niche and sector. Plus, you should also take some budget constraints into consideration. In fact, there are a lot of considerations that you need to make when you take your new product on the journey from concept to sales. Here is a quick roundup of the main ones.
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Work With Market Research
Once you have an idea of the kind of product you want to bring to the market, it’s crucial to carry out some market research. This will give you an idea of how the new product will fit into the current market and whether it is something that people will actually want or need to buy. The best way to carry out market research is with a focus group. This is when you get some of your customers together to show them the new product, or tell them your idea, and ask them about their views and opinions on it. You should try and get feedback on the usability of the product, whether it is something that people will buy, and if they believe that your ballpark price seems reasonable. If the feedback you get is largely negative, it’s worth returning to the drawing board and coming up with a new angle for your product, or a completely new product altogether.
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Experiment With A Prototype
Once you are happy with a concept and idea for your new product, it’s a good idea to create a prototype. This is basically a test run to make sure that your idea actually works in its proposed physical form. You don’t have to create your exact finished product when you make a prototype, as that could work out expensive. In fact, you don’t even have to go to a manufacturer to produce your prototype. If you find a CO2 laser cutter for sale and some other relevant equipment, you might be able to craft your own prototype. And that will keep your production costs significantly low, which will eventually increase your profit margins.
What Are Your Competitors Doing?
You should also take a look at all of your competitors when you are in the stages of creating a brand new product. Any new product that you do bring out onto the market needs to be uniquely placed and inhabit its very own niche. If your competitors have products that are slightly similar, you might find that your sales aren’t quite as strong as you might have anticipated. So, it really is worth reviewing everything that your closest competitors offer the public. If there are some comparisons to be made between their selection and your new product, it could be worth going back to the design stage and seeing where you can make some changes to your item. Taking a look at your competitors’ products will also give you an idea of the kind of price you will be able to charge once you do launch your new product on the market.
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Be Careful With Pricing
Next, you need to consider the price that your product will go on the market at. Remember that this needs to be affordable so that your customers will actually buy the item, but at the same time, the price needs to be high enough so you can cover all of your product costs and make a nice little profit. Speaking to your accountant should help you with this as he or she will have a good idea of how much money you need to make to hit a profit. It’s also necessary to liaise with the managers from your various departments, such as design, marketing, and manufacturing, as they will all have a good idea of how they adapted to their budgets during the creation of the product. Using their input, you can get a good overall idea of how much was spent on bringing this new item into existence.
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Consider Different Marketing Strategies
It’s not just the product itself that you need to seriously consider. You should also take some time to work closely with your marketing department to come up with a few potential marketing strategies and campaigns. There’s no point just working on one campaign, as you never know if it will fail or not until you get some public perspective on it. So, have two or three possibilities up your sleeve, and take them to a focus group. Then you can get some opinions from members of the general public. They will be able to tell you what they like about each campaign and what they don’t think worked so well. This gives you the chance to choose the campaign that has the best effect on the public, and their opinions give you some feedback that can help you tweak and improve it.
There are quite a few different considerations you will need to make regarding a new product, as you can see from above. And they all matter, so don’t skip any!