Any new products are developed to satisfy some of the needs of the customer. All products are developed by keeping customer in first place. He is the one who is going to pay for all our efforts, when he is not satisfied then our product fails and all our efforts vanish in air. So to design any products, first we should hear from our customer on what he really wants. There are approximately eight stages involved in successful product design and Launch.
When we foresee a market opportunity for a new product requirements, we first need to understand the voice of the customer. What the customer exactly looking for in the final products and what application the finished product needs to satisfy. Once we frame a rough specification of customer needs, any product should pass through eight different stages for a successful launch. The eight stages are Idea Generation, Idea Screening, Concept development, Business Strategy development, Prototyping and Product testing, Market testing and Finally Launching or Introducing to mass market.
Each of the eight steps were explained below for your detailed understanding.
Idea Generation is purely a Brainstorming stage. With the given customer requirement’s a team will be formed that will come up with large number of ideas, some will be out of box and some would be of minor modifications of already existing similar products. Irrespective of manufacturing feasibility all the ideas should be listed down at this stage.
At this stage, the team will go through all Ideas generated before and narrow down on one idea that looks best in all aspects like manufacturability, aesthetically looking good, easy to operate or use and within cost that’s affordable by the customer.
At this stage, the selected idea is developed further in a presentable way, in a 3D Cad model or using a wood or 3D Printers, some shape will be building considering functions, manufacturing ability etc. In manufacturing industry, at this stage mostly the concept is developed using 3D Cad software’s like Solid works, Creo, Unigraphics etc… It will be used further for design reviews and iteration.
Business Strategy Development:
At this stage, the idea that we have developed will be put to discussion on the pricing, marketability, profit margin, total addressable market for the product, competition, and some important business decisions and strategies were made.
Prototyping & Product testing:
Once the idea looks need of the hour and the market is open for it. The very next stage is building working prototypes of the product and testing it internally and with target groups. The prototype will be tested for form, fit and functionality. The product will go multiple iterations and changes until it is ready for real user testing.
Once the product is found useful, reliable and affordable. Then a small number of products were made and is distributed in the market to find the actual testing and get customer feedback. Sometimes the market would react totally different then what we thought or assumed. Market testing will give initial feedback to correct it before taking it to the mass market.
Once the market testing looks positive, then the next stage is the detailed planning for marketing, distribution, service and arriving at the actual selling price that fit’s with customer’s budget and also would help the product to sustain in the market.
Once the idea passes every stage, the final stage is launching the products to the mass market. Normally product launching will be made in a way that reaches to maximum customers. Parallel commercials and ads will be launched to take the product to a wider customer.
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