Creating New Products: A Guide (From Concept to Market)

creating new products

When you learn about the beginnings of other successful companies, the product development process (Creating New Products) can seem somewhat enigmatic. In addition, the path from idea to finished product rarely follows a straight line.

While others are developed to fill in the gaps left by the existing items, some products are formed because there are no comparable alternatives on the market. When the owners of Einstein Box, for instance, could not locate the ideal educational toys for their children, they decided to do market research and put together a box of age-appropriate toys for children from one to twelve.

When her daughter brought some semi-permanent tattoos home, for instance, Tina Roth-Eisenberg saw there was a need for them and rallied her network of colleagues and designers to launch Tattly.

These uplifting tales don’t, on their own, offer a step-by-step guide for product development, but the parallels they share highlight some of the routine actions founders take before launching a company and distributing a finished product.

An explanation of the product development process

The product development process outlines the actions a product owner should take before launching a new product or updating the functionality of an existing product. It includes all of the necessary phases, including determining the product-market fit, defining the best course of action for producing and releasing the product, as well as its costing and go-to-market strategy.

In order to guarantee a start-to-finish for product development, selecting the appropriate process flow is essential. The two frameworks for developing products that are most widely used are:

  1. Design Thinking Approach: Using this approach, you first identify potential solutions for the user group by studying the users and their problems. Making a prototype and putting the answer to the test in the marketplace to see whether the market is a fit is how this framework is finished.
  2. This more widely accepted method, known as the new product development framework, starts with your product ideas and lets you test them out on the market to see if they fit. A prototype is constructed after it has been validated, your complete production and post-production are planned, and costing is done before actual development.

Why do companies require a methodology for product development?

You can test a new product’s marketability and customer utility with the aid of a product development process. Here are some ways why a clearly defined product development process might be beneficial to you:

  1. Include useful features
  2. higher standard
  3. More control over the development of your idea
  4. Significantly lower the cost

1. Include useful features

It enables you to incorporate the features the client wants, giving them more for their money. When you test the idea, you’ll be able to identify the functionality or feature that will draw users to the end product. You can plan the product more effectively as a result of this.

2. higher standard

During the planning phase, you will plan everything from the raw materials to the product’s attributes. You are also determining whether the product is marketable, and you will test your prototype to wrap up the process. By doing this, you can be sure that the product you promote is both accessible and of excellent quality.

3. More control over the development of your idea

Before developing the idea, this method enables you to test the idea with the intended audience and collect their comments. It also provides you with accurate information regarding whether or not the product is accepted and reveals the audience’s pulse.

4. Significantly lower the cost

With a well-thought-out strategy, you may streamline the product development procedures, lower the material costs, and guarantee that the product will be released with the key features. The product’s price can then be decreased as a result.

The framework for the new product development process is described

Developing a new product concept from scratch and bringing it to market is part of the foundation for the new product development process. Though the procedure varies depending on the business, it may generally be divided into six stages: ideation, research, planning, prototype, sourcing, and costing.

The academic paper titled “A framework for successful new product development,” published by Nadia Bhuiyan is one example of how this six-step framework is widely used in the product development sector and how it has been referenced in several studies and academic papers. In order to successfully introduce a new product to the market, the paper’s goal was to suggest a development framework. It suggested as well that pertinent metrics be added to track and measure the effectiveness of the framework.

You may be aware of the difficulties involved in creating a product from scratch if you are a participant in the process. These six steps are meant to streamline the procedure and aid product creators in bringing to market a cutting-edge and practical product.

1. Conceptualization

Many ambitious business owners become stuck during the ideation stage, frequently because they are hoping for an epiphanic moment that will reveal the ideal product they should market. Building something essentially “new” might be creatively gratifying, but many of the best ideas come from improving an old product.

This stage can benefit from the SCAMPER model. By posing inquiries about current items, you can generate product ideas more quickly. The prompt represented by each letter is:

  • Substitute (e.g. fur in faux fur)
  • Combine (e.g. a phone case and a battery pack)
  • Adapt (e.g. a bra with front clasps for nursing)
  • Modify (e.g. an electric toothbrush with a sleeker design)
  • Put to another use (e.g. memory foam dog beds)
  • Eliminate (e.g. the middleman to sell sunglasses and pass the savings on to consumers)
  • Reverse/Rearrange (e.g. a duffle bag so that it doesn’t wrinkle your suits)

By posing these queries, you can generate fresh interpretations of current concepts or even modify them to fit a different target market or issue.

We have created a list of resources for developing your own product ideas in case you’re still searching for your “aha!” moment. Assisting you to develop new items for your target market as a whole, also entails researching internet marketplaces and reinventing previous trends.

You could generate a tonne of alternatives when using the SCAMPER approach to brainstorm your ideas. Not every proposal, nevertheless, may merit in-depth investigation. Create a list of requirements or a set of criteria to assist you to assess whether a given proposal merits further consideration while keeping in mind your business objectives.

You might, for instance, embrace a suggestion that financially works and addresses a pressing issue for your target demographic. A suggestion that seems implausible or far-fetched should be rejected, though. A product that already exists can, for instance, be very similar to your product idea. Even though the notion is very important to your heart, in such situations you must behave impartially and flatly reject it.

2. In-depth 

You could be tempted to rush into production with your product idea in mind, but if you don’t first validate your concept, that move could end up being a mistake. Check for the product-market fit at this stage, when you have extensively researched the market for your idea.

By validating your product, you may avoid wasting time, money, and effort on unprofitable ideas and make sure you’re producing something that people will buy. There are various methods you can use to verify your product ideas, such as:

  • discussing your plan with friends and relatives
  • sending an online poll to gather feedback
  • launching a crowdfunding project
  • requesting comments on online forums like Reddit
  • Google Trends is used to study internet demand.
  • launching a “coming soon” website to assess interest through pre-orders or email opt-ins

Prior to deciding how to proceed with idea validation, it’s critical to acquire input on whether a sizable, objective audience would purchase your offering. Although you can’t classify someone as a client until money exchanges hands, you should be careful not to overvalue input from those who “absolutely would buy” if you were to produce your hypothetical goods.

Inevitably, competition analysis will be a part of validation research. There are probably already competitors present if your idea or sector has the potential to become successful.

You can learn how to generate leads and close deals by visiting the websites of your rivals and joining their email lists. Additionally, finding out what your competitors’ customers enjoy and dislike about them will help you define your competitive edge and uncover any gaps in the market.

You will be able to determine the market demand for your product using the data gathered from conducting product validation and market research. Additionally, it will assist you in better planning by enabling you to determine the degree of market competition.

3. Preparation

Before you start building your prototype, it’s crucial to make a plan because product development can quickly get complicated.

Without a clear vision for your product’s appearance and functionality when you eventually approach manufacturers or begin looking for materials, it is simple to become disoriented in the next steps.

A hand-drawn sketch of what your finished project will look like is the ideal place to start when planning. Labels describing the different features and functions should be as detailed as feasible in the sketch.

  • Zippers (big and little) (large and small)
  • A silver clasp
  • Leather wristbands
  • pouch for safety
  • Embellished label
  • inside satchel

Before you proceed to the sourcing and price stages, you should also take into account the packaging, labeling, and general quality of your supplies. These will influence how you sell your product to your target market, so it’s crucial to take these features of your product into account throughout the planning stage as well.

  • Is the product suitable for everyday usage or only for special occasions?
  • Will it make use of high-end materials or take a sustainable stance?
  • Is it filling in the holes left by an existing product or addressing an unmet need?
  • Which success do metrics apply to this product?

The solutions will not only help you with the planning of the product development journey but will also aid in future product positioning.

4. prototype

The creation of a finished product to serve as a sample for mass manufacturing is the aim of the prototype phase throughout the product development process.

It’s rare that you would create your finished product in just one go; instead, prototyping typically entails testing out multiple iterations of your product, gradually removing choices, and making adjustments until you are happy with a final prototype.

The kind of product you are designing will have a big impact on how you prototype. Products you can prototype on your own, such food recipes and cosmetics, are the cheapest and most straightforward options. If you’re fortunate enough to have training in these fields, you may also use this DIY prototyping approach to other verticals like fashion, pottery, design, and so on.

To prototype their product, however, business owners most frequently cooperate with a third party. Working with a nearby seamstress, cobbler, or pattern maker for clothing and accessories, shoes, or other items is typical in the fashion and apparel sector (for clothing). If you Google local services in the industry, you can typically find these services online.

5. Sourcing

Once you’re happy with your product prototype, it’s time to start assembling the supplies and lining up the collaborators required for manufacturing. It’s often referred to as “creating your supply chain” because it involves identifying the suppliers, tasks, and assets required to produce a good and deliver it to consumers.

You will primarily be looking for manufacturing-related services at this phase, but you may also take into account storage, shipping, and warehousing while making your decisions.

The value of diversifying your supply chain is a concept that is emphasized throughout Phil Knight’s memoir Shoe Dog. Phil Knight is the creator of Nike. You’ll be able to compare prices by locating various manufacturers and suppliers of the various materials you’ll require. Additionally, it will guarantee that you have a ready list of substitute sources to use for material sourcing in the event that any supply-side concerns arise from current suppliers or manufacturers.

It also has the added advantage of providing a fallback plan in case one of your manufacturers or suppliers doesn’t pan out. To protect your business in the long run, it’s crucial to source from a variety of sources.

There are several resources available, both offline and online, for finding vendors. Even if it might seem dated, many business owners decide to go to sourcing-specific trade fairs.

6. Paying 

You should have a better understanding of how much it will cost to build your product after completing your research, planning, prototyping, and sourcing. The process of costing is adding up your cost of goods sold (COGS) in order to establish a retail price and gross margin. This information has been obtained thus far in a variety of ways.

Make a spreadsheet to start, then add a line item for each extra cost. Expenses for all of your raw supplies, factory setup, production, and transportation should be included. Given that these costs might significantly affect your COGS depending on where you are creating the goods, it is crucial to account for shipping, import fees, and other tariffs you will have to pay to get your finished product into the customer’s hands.

You might include different columns for each line item that compares the cost if you were successful in obtaining numerous quotations from various manufacturers or materials throughout the sourcing phase. Making a second copy of the spreadsheet gives you the option of contrasting domestic and international production.


To determine your prospective gross margin, or profit, on each unit sold, you must first determine your total cost of goods sold (COGS). From there, you may determine the retail price for your product and deduct the COGS from it.

Your MVP (Minimum Viable Product), which you can introduce to the market after completing the six stages, is ready. To join the market, set the product’s pricing, and establish the necessary infrastructure for its sale, a clear strategy must be in place.

The following queries can assist you in determining the appropriate price, an effective selling approach, and several product launch options.

  • What distinguishes your offering as a unique value proposition?
  • What positioning have you given your product? Is it intended for a niche market or for a larger audience?
  • What marketing plan have you developed for the product? Do you want to promote cross-selling or introduce product bundles?
  • Where will the product be sold? Using both offline and online modes, or only offline mode? Your plan must accurately identify the distribution route and the associated setup expenses.

The collaborative effort that goes into developing new products

  1. People from many teams connect to brainstorm, plan, and carry out the product development process, which is very collaborative.
  2. The important players on a product development team are listed below, even if their titles may fluctuate between various organizations:
  3. Product managers are senior members of the team who are essential to the entire process from beginning to end. They are important decision-makers who pinpoint the market potential for products, establish the product’s vision, and give the entire process structure.
  4. Design team: The product’s success depends on the UI and UX design. Designers are essential throughout the prototyping phase. They make sure the product adheres to the most recent market trends while offering potential clients the greatest comfort and value.
  5. Engineering team: They grow the prototype into a finished, usable product using their expertise in mass production. Their knowledge enables them to choose the best approach, procedures, and technology (in the case of a digital product) to create it.
  6. Marketing: This group is in charge of gauging the product’s market and kicking off launch preparations.
  7. Sales: This group typically takes part in post-release events. Their responsibility is to make sure the product is effectively promoted to the appropriate target market. The sales team is responsible for working directly with customers and is crucial in obtaining real-time feedback from them.

The creation of products for well-known industries

The product development process will naturally differ depending on the business, so let’s take a quick look at what you would need to take into account across three of the biggest and most well-established industries: fashion and apparel, beauty and cosmetics, and food and beverage.

Because there are so many well-documented case studies that might serve as inspiration, these three industries have relatively simple paths to product creation.

Fashion and Clothing

Traditionally, product development in the fashion industry starts with a hand-drawn sketch, or its digital equivalent using a tool like Adobe Photoshop Sketch or Adobe Illustrator.

Then a pattern maker or seamstress turns the sketch into a sample. A size set is developed during the prototyping stage, which entails a variety of samples with various measurements for each size you wish to sell. It is produced once the size set has been decided upon.

Some fashion and apparel companies opt to generate their items using print-on-demand at the beginning rather than making the product themselves. You can upload designs to a third-party app that links your store with a warehouse and a screen-printing facility using print-on-demand.

cosmetics and beauty

Due to the growing popularity of health and self-care practices, a broad variety of items are available in the beauty and cosmetics sector. Many beauty firms are putting an emphasis on all-natural components and sustainability in everything from skincare to bath products to makeup, which makes it simpler to create your own product prototypes using commonplace items.

The practice of identifying an existing product or manufacturer, then packaging and branding the goods they already produce, is known as “white labeling” and is also quite common in the beauty and cosmetics sector.

Drinks and Food

Food and beverage goods are among the simplest to begin creating for a modest investment, all from the convenience of your own home. We learned how to modify the original brownies with additional ingredients to make them more delectable from The Brownie Stories.

There was an increasing demand on the market to provide something specifically for vegans as more individuals embraced the lifestyle. The recent vegan converts were meat eaters. In order to appeal to the rising market of meat eaters who have become vegans, Imagine Meats has created packaged food that tastes like meat but is entirely plant-based.

What products are you bringing to the market?

Inadequate ideation and market research may result in a product that is not appropriate for your target market if you jump right into creating a prototype and rushing the product launch. It would result in an unneeded loss of resources and damage to your budget in the long run.

The above-mentioned product development process is a general framework that may be used by practically every sector. The approach provides a strong foundation to start your product development journey and breaks down the first intimidating task of turning a concept into reality into manageable steps.

However, not only from industry to industry but also from business to business, the precise nature, scope, and applicability of each stage may differ. That is merely evident. Therefore, do not be hesitant to alter your product development process if you believe that eliminating or lowering some stages will bring value. Do it now!

Product development may be demanding and draining, particularly for new product developers. If you’re having trouble making sense of it all, keep in mind that every product that came before yours had to navigate similar difficulties.

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