Incredible ideas will always stand you in good stead in business. But it’s often not enough to be a creative genius. After all, you want to get your inventions and innovations onto the shelves and into people’s baskets. If you have an idea for a product or you’re ready to start work on a prototype here are some essential steps to take.
Sizing up the competition
This is one of the most important things you can do when you’re trying to take a product to market. Before you launch anything, you need to know what’s already out there, and what kind of demand there is for products like yours. There are lots of ways you can do this. Start with a basic online search. Using a search engine, have a look around at what’s already on the shelves. Note down brand names, distributors and price points. At this stage, it’s also worth looking into similar products. When you find stockists and suppliers, jot down the details. When your innovation is ready, you can contact these companies and see if they’re interested in what you’ve got to offer. Don’t devote all your time to online research. Get out into the streets and shopping centers, and talk to consumers. Have a look at items that are similar to your prototype. What does the packaging look like? How is the range presented in a shop? It’s also advisable to visit some exhibitions and trade shows. All the information you gather from competitor and market research can really help you streamline your ideas.
Image Source – Pixabay
Considering your buyer
If you’ve worked on a product for months or years, you’re probably fairly taken with it. But you have to remember that you’re not the buyer. Ultimately, to make any business a success, you need to make sales. When you’re developing your product and working on branding and marketing, always keep your customer in mind. Who is your product aimed at? How can you solve the kinds of problems potential buyers have or provide something that matches their interests or hobbies? Use market research and profiling tools to analyze the marketplace, and create an accurate idea of what you’re aiming to do.
Once you’ve finished designing a product, think about the packaging and branding. This is a really important stage, and it could make or break your business. The way your range is presented should appeal to the buyers you’re trying to target. There’s no point in putting a product designed for young women in masculine packaging, for example. Or aiming to break the high-end market with a box that looks and feels cheap. If you’re not a branding or design expert, it pays to get people who are on board. Many of us make purchases based on first impressions and what we like when we stand in front of the shelves. Branding is also essential for giving your firm an identity. Your logo and tagline should provide consumers with information about what you’re offering them. Effective branding can propel you to the big time. If you don’t get it right, you may find that you can’t compete with rivals.
Image Source – TheBlueDiamondGallery.com
Working out your finances
To compete with others and entice buyers, your pricing has to be on point. If you’re charging too much, buyers may be put off. If your price is too low, people might not think that they’re getting a quality product and favor other brands. You may think that you need to work out your costs before you set an RRP. However, this is not always a good idea. It can make you pitch too high. Your market research and continued competitor analysis should give you an idea of the right retail price. If you’re dealing with buyers from large firms or you’re negotiating trade deals, have your figures pinned down. Don’t go into a pitch with a rough idea. Go with concrete numbers, and make sure you know the unit price for orders of different sizes. If you go in a little higher, you can always negotiate. If you go too low, the buyer will snap your hand off, but you won’t be getting the margin you wanted.
Image Source – Pixabay
Getting your product out there
You’ve sorted out manufacturing processes, and decided on packaging and pricing. Now, it’s time to get your product out there and start sealing some deals. How do you do this? Well, there are multiple ways. At this stage, it’s a good idea to get marketing experts involved and work on a strategy to spread the news.
If you’ve got a product ready to sell, apply to trade shows and get in touch with suppliers. Try and set up meetings with buyers of stores and chains that may be interested in your product. Tailor your search to suit the range. There’s no point in trying to pitch a new toy for dogs to buyers from an outdoor clothing retailer, for example.
Image Source – Wikimedia
Many consumers now prefer to purchase products online. Try and get your website up and running as early in the process as possible. Online shopping offers buyers greater convenience. Having a website also enables you to provide potential customers with more information about your business. When you’ve got a website, make sure people know how to get to it. This is where your marketing strategy comes into play. Take advantage of expert knowledge of link building, content marketing, SEO and social media to drive sales. Billions of people use Facebook, for example. Setting up a page, investing in advertising and linking to your site could help to generate interest and create leads instantly. SEO and SEM are essential if you’re trying to make a splash online. You want your website to appear at the top of the page when people conduct Internet searches. If you’re on page 5 of the search results, nobody is going to see you.
Once you’re up and running, you can add features to your site and social media accounts like testimonials and reviews. This encourages interaction, and it will also enable you to gather and use feedback.
Image Source – Flickr
Bringing a product to market is no mean feat. There are lots of different steps and processes involved. You need to make ideas a reality and then make sure that people are going to buy what you’ve created. Having a good idea is essential. But you also need to make sure that you present and market your product in the right way. Good luck!