Fantastic New Product Idea?


Things You Need to Know Before You Even Start

Let’s say you are an inventor or an entrepreneur and you have a fantastic idea for a new product or service. You are eager to bring it to the market. You are confident that this product is so great that the consumers would simply go crazy about it and you, as a pleasant consequence, quickly become a millionaire.
Or…you are a product manager and you have a great idea of a breakthrough proposition and you’re eager to get your corporate “moneybag” on board. 
Or, another scenario, you are a manufacturer and someone comes to you with an idea which looks pretty cool. you would like to get involved, you have a feeling that it could be a next big thing.
Now, here’s my advice – don’t jump on it straight away. Check the basics first. It will cost you little and can save you loads. 
If then, after you’ve done your exercise, you’re still sure you got a winner, go for it!
1. Why would the consumers love your product?
Simple question – why? Why the consumers would love your product as much as you love it? Would it be because the product is beautiful, useful, desirable, unique, and quirky? Does it solve a problem that has not been solved before? Do people need your product? Can they live without it? Do they want to live without it?
2. Is your product unique or somebody else has already launched something similar? 
Now, the fact that there is something similar out there does not necessary mean you should abandon your idea. On the contrary: it is great to have a competitor (I explained why in one of my previous articles – “Why it is good to have a competitor”) 

As long as you are one step ahead with your proposition, you are a winner. But the key here is to know who your competitor is and what are this other product’s strengths and weaknesses. 
3. Who is your customer? Who are you targeting?
This is a tricky question. If you are a start-up you often just want anybody or, even better, everybody to buy your product. Well, this will not happen. Moreover, if you do not know who you are targeting, the chance that anybody would buy your product gets even slimmer. 
You need to know who you are targeting because you need to know how to talk to your consumers. What language do they understand? What do they like? What do they watch? What car they drive and what’s their favourite holiday destination?
I am not saying here, you need to spend millions on consumer research and come up with detailed profiles of your “persona”. No. All you need is your idea of who they are. Who is your imaginative perfect consumer? Who is this someone who potentially gets as excited about your product as you do?
4. Who are you? 
Or – what does your brand stand for? Are you a mass-manufacturer, you deliver value for money or you are luxurious and sophisticated; or anything in between for that matter. What does your brand stand for? What are your brand’s values? Does your brand care about the others? Or it has more of a selfish nature?
Be careful and thoughtful here. Your brand and your product must get along really well. They should match. It is all about believing. If the consumers do not believe in your brand and your product; if they do not feel the match they will not buy it. The values of your brand must be represented by your product and your product must show the connection with your brand. 
Again, I am not referring to the multimillion brand equity studies here. All I am saying is you should figure out what your brand stands for and how it matches what you want to bring to the market. Your objective is a “full package” – values, usability, design, price that would work well together and would make your consumers believe you.
If you managed to find answers to these 4 basic questions and if you are happy with the answers – congratulations – you passed the very first test. 
You can move one step forward on your 100-steps successful product launch journey.

Aga Jagiello-Johnstone is an Owner of Loff Consulting, Strategic Product Management and Marketing for Small Businesses.
This article was first published at the on 09/11/2014