Product development is one of the most important areas for a business to succeed. Innovation and research are the driving forces of the company growth. However, the process of developing new products can often be a tricky one. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the product being developed will have sufficient demand in the market and eventually turn out to be a success. Professionals involved in the area of product development often fall for sins, which can hamper the entire process. So here is a look at the 7 deadly sins of new product development.
Generalization of new products is a good thing since it helps define the product segment. At the same time, overgeneralization can prove to be the major downfall for any new product. Overgeneralisation is the failure to see minor differences in demand. Every market has different segments, and these need to be catered to differently. Every new product that is being developed needs to be different from the existing ones on offer as this is the very essence of innovation. Product differentiation is very important in order to ensure that it succeeds in the market. To do this, all product developers need to avoid overgeneralization.
Not Being Realistic
While it is always a good thing to be highly ambitious when designing a new product, it is also the key to understand that being realistic is vital. The design and testing phases of a new product are the keys in this case. When the developer is looking to design the product, he/she should keep in mind the practical uses of the product. Quite often, the developers misjudge the practical utility of a product, which then turns out to be a failure. In order to avoid this, it is really important to be realistic and make sure that the product is actually useful. Being realistic is also important in terms of the cost factor. Often, new product developers ignore the cost aspect, and this can prove to be fatal later on. Thus, a cost-benefit analysis needs to be conducted very early on in the development phase.
Failure to Prioritise
Prioritization is a key component when it comes to developing a new product. There is a need to understand the dynamics of the market. The developer needs to take a call regarding the features of the product. It needs to be analyzed that which features will prove more beneficial and these should be prioritized. This is especially true in the case of product designs where you have a choice of including one of two or more features. It is critical that the developer prioritizes features, which are the most beneficial to the target market and then develops the product accordingly. For the purpose of prioritizing, there are a number of techniques which can be used. A few examples of these include Value vs. Complexity quadrant and the Weighted Scoring method.
Misalignment can prove to be a major weakness of a new product being developed. It can occur due to several reasons. Firstly, if the teams working on product development are not well aligned with the actual purpose of the product, it can prove to be a major hurdle. Further, several product development teams can depend upon each other for different components of the product. And if these teams are not on the same page, it can result in a gravely flawed product being developed. Hence, any organization which is developing new products needs to vary of misalignment.
Gaining a competitive advantage and then sustaining it, in the long run, can be a difficult task. This is primarily dependent on the strategy behind the development of a product. Another sin of new product development is to have a hollow strategy. It is critical to have a robust and well-defined strategy in place, which can help the product gain a competitive advantage. Often, there is little differentiation between products, and in these cases, it is the strategy that can prove to be the deciding factor for a product. Three questions need to be answered:
- Where is the product headed?
- How will it get there?
- Why will it be a success to get there?
If these have been addressed, the strategy is more than likely to succeed.
When you look at it at first glance, being solution centric appears to be a great thing. After all, the world needs more great solutions which can simplify day to day life. However, being too solution focused can also prove to be your downfall. The real value behind a solution always lies in the problem that it manages to address. Hence, it is equally important to focus on the problem as well. Often, after looking at a problem from different viewpoints, there can be an even better idea which is generated. This could actually mean the development of an even more useful product. This is especially true in industries where products are mostly similar, and there is not much differentiation. By looking at the problem as well as the potential solutions, any product developer can ensure that the product turns out to be a long-term success in the market.
Making assumptions about a new product can prove to be another major sin. This is because any new product needs to have a demand for it. If it does not, then the developing company needs to create the demand first. And this demand can only be created if the reasoning behind the product development is justified. For this to materialize, it is important not to make any assumption about the product. Assumptions can be about a wide variety of characteristics – right from the utility of a product to the time frame needed to garner substantial market share. Thus, it is critical for developers to make rational and logical decisions while developing new products and not make any vague assumptions.
Anna Clarke is the owner of an online writing company 15 Writers. She is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in freelancing, academic dissertation writing consulting, specializing in Business, Economics, Finance, Marketing, and Management.