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‘Ideas are bulletproof.’- Alan Moore
In the time where innovations in the tech field are happening rapidly, having a unique idea is an asset. This is because the digital disruption will only happen only when the thought of new product development is out-of-the-box. An untried product idea takes meticulous thinking and analysing process as businesses need to keenly understand the user problems.
See, the process of New Product development can take place in any genre. Be it Uber, Trello, Skype, Zoom, etc. All these companies have identified one unique problem of their targeted audience and made a product that solves the problem. Moreover, it is also necessary for software product development companies to hold the attention of their customers in the beginning only. This is necessary as the attention span of the customers is lower and they have plenty of options in everything.
Therefore, here we will understand the basics of the New Product Development process. In addition, we will see the different stages involved in the New Product Development process.
So without further ado, let us get started!
What do you mean by New Product Development (NPD)?
In simple words, the process of taking a product from conception to market is known as New Product Development process. The main purpose of the process is to grab the market opportunity by solving the problems of the customers. A systematic NPD is necessary as it converts a raw idea into a workable software product.
The idea for the New Product Development process might originate from anywhere. It can be in a workspace or lab or can come from analysing customer requirements as well.
IT business owners should understand that NPD involves more uncertainty as compared to software development lifecycle. As it involves working on an entirely new idea, it needs a proper work process at every stage of the product development.
Different stages of New Product Development process
There are six different stages of the New Product Development Process (NPD). It involves:
· Inception of the idea
· Concept development
· Developing a market strategy
· In Depth and detailed design
· Market commercialization
Let us now understand all the above-mentioned important stages of NPD in detail. Because following these stages will ensure a smooth New Product Development process without hiccups.
Inception of the idea
Idea generation is the first step of NPD and it is important as everything depends on the credibility of the idea. Thus, it is necessary to completely brainstorm the idea of the new products before putting them into practice. Often in this stage, the process of idea screening also takes place.
In idea screening, the team involved analyses the idea from all possible angles to ensure it is foolproof. Moreover, this is the stage where the target market and audience related to the product is decided. Therefore, as an IT business owner, you cannot go wrong in the ideation stage. Thus, it is essential to conduct the business analysis, risk research and market research thoroughly in this initial stage only.
Concept development is also known as ‘scoping’ as here the final definition of the product is decided. Moreover, as a CTO, it is essential for you to make sure that your team understands customer requirements here only.
In addition, the design team is assembled in this stage and a detailed assessment of the market is created. With the design team, the concept design begins here as the team can visualize the potential end product. Thus, once the potential end product is visualized, it becomes easier for the company to convey it to their customers.
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Developing a market strategy
Now once a company can visualize the end result of their NPD process, it is time to develop a marketing strategy. Here, the market manager will define the USPs and key points of the new product. Moreover, they also explore different areas where the product can widen its horizon in the future.
This stage is important in the New Product Development process as if things are not streamlined, it will increase the ‘time of market’ of the product. And we cannot lay more emphasis on the importance of time, especially in the modern-day business world.
Moreover, business houses here can employ McCarthy’s 4Ps of marketing:
In Depth and detailed design
Here the main focus is on the product design. Moreover, the team involved should also make sure that the refinement of the prototype is also done here. In parallel, the marketing and sales department began to create a launch platform to support the product.
In the stage of detailed design, the alpha-test of the prototype takes place. Moreover, the team here works with the customers in iterative fashion and takes the feedback to revamp the prototype.
Validation or testing means to ensure the quality of the product prototype and see if it works according to plan. Testing also means to validate the product in front of the customers and check the viability of the financial model.
Everything that is learned from the development phase of the NPD will be scrutinized in this stage. The marketing strategy is also tested in the ‘real world’ conditions here before getting finalized. Moreover, as an IT business owner, understand that this is the last stage to make the product ‘market ready’. In addition, the final test marketing is also performed during this stage to validate the overall market plan.
This is the final stage of the New Product Development (NPD) process. Here the team involved finalizes everything that is needed for the product to be launched in the market. With that they also begin the process of manufacturing and also setting up a customer support department.
Business owners should understand that market commercialization is an umbrella term and has varied strategies. It includes:
· Customer Support
All the above-mentioned stages are necessary to make the product market ready.
The benefits of New Product Development are immense. It ensures faster time to market, negates the opportunity cost, reduces technical debts, etc. Thus, businesses should understand that NPD is all about converting ideas into workable products. But, the thumb rule in NPD is to focus on innovating and delivering quality products.