Bild, das die Produktentwicklungsstrategie symbolisiert.

Creating a Product Development Strategy

Author: Simone Kohl

· 4 mins read

To develop new products, productivity matters a lot. To stay relevant, companies need to keep developing new products to provide the greatest value to the target audience.  Here we show you how you can create a product development strategy.

Companies need to understand what their customers need and want, which products are already on the market, and which are still needed. In doing so, it is important to stand out from the competition.  

To create a professional end product for these products, a product strategy is needed to develop new products. This strategy should be customer-oriented. When working on the product, the different stages should be taken into account to be able to ensure the marketability of the product.  

Also, if you want to know how to work more productive in a healthy work culture, check out our blogpost HERE.

Creating a Culture of Idea Sharing  

  • You should introduce a “product first” mentality in the company. It allows employees to contribute their ideas and thus further develop the product and move the process forward.  
  • This puts the focus in the company on innovations that improve the existing product or directly develop a new product. Idea sharing encourages every employee to generate ideas and it is not just up to the product manager to come up with new ideas. And this allows the company to focus on what is best for the product.  
  • Through this approach, the possibilities for a new product become endless.  
  • For everyone on the team to come up with the best ideas, the tools to do so must be provided. By this, we mean making relevant information available to everyone.  At the same time, it is also important to always push the idea generation and further development, for this it is sometimes necessary to make changes.
  • For example, you could give your employees access to different data and generate ideas based on the data in their dashboard.  

Stages of a Product Development Strategy

1. Idea Generation  

  • The first step for a product development strategy is idea generation. It consists of constantly finding new and feasible ways to develop a new product. The goal is to develop ideas that set the company apart from the competition. In this process, several versions can also emerge from one idea.  
  • To achieve this, various analyses can be performed. Examples are the internal and external SWOT analysis or different market trends. Other methods can be these: 
    • Dimensional analysis  
    • Listing all physical characteristics of an idea and ask questions
    • Scenario Analysis 
    • Identify market development to find out consumer needs  
    • Problem analysis  
    • User problems are found out and used as a basis for developing solutions  
    • Benefit structure analysis  
    • Benefits and features that users would like to have are identified and deficiencies in other similar products are identified 

2. Screening for a Product Development Strategy

  • Not all ideas are feasible in the end. In this step, you can screen the collected ideas and you can separate the ideas that are good and feasible from the less good and not feasible ones. Here, too, the individual factors of the company must be taken into account:  
    • Strengths and weaknesses of the company  
    • Customer needs  
    • Trends  
    • Competition  
  • So now you decided the ideas into categories to filter out the good ideas according to the factors. 

3. Concept Development and Testing  

  • The next step is concept development and testing. The ideas that you identified as good ones can you further developed into concepts. The concept contains a detailed plan of the idea, formulated in such a way that it can be understood by the consumer. For each idea, you can develop several versions of the concept, then the decision-maker can choose which one is most suitable for the target group. The selection must be based on quality, price, function, and ease of use.  
  • After you developed the concepts, you can test them. Different groups can test the product and give feedback. This helps to understand the needs even better and to optimize the concepts. After all, the goal of product development is to appeal to the user and for this, it is necessary to conduct various tests.  
  • But how can you carry out such a test?
  • A selected group is presented with the concepts in which the product is presented. This group can then ask the company questions about the product so that the company can better implement solutions. Questions to the test group could be about their wants and needs, whether they would buy the product, or what can be improved about the product.  

4. Marketing  

  • When you have decided on a concept, you can start with the marketing strategy. To do this, you have to analyze the methods of the product management team and marketing team. In this step, you can decide on the marketing mix and define further strategies. This includes, for example, the target market, profit targets, planned budgets, or further product targets. 

5. Product Development  

  • Once you determined the strategies, you can develope the product. This includes design, various tests, packaging, or product positioning.   
  • In this way, you can test the various strategies and you can determined whether the product works.

6. Test Marketing  

  • Here, you offer the finished product directly for sale and you can observe how the marketing strategy performs. Here, the focus is on realistic customer behavior and checking whether the concept works.  
  • Once you did that, you can launch the sale! Yay! 

Tips for a Product Development Strategy  

1. Social Listening  

  • To start, it makes sense that you gather conversations on social media and industry-relevant information. This will help you to find out the needs of the users and to come up with ideas for solutions more easily.  

2. Share User Feedback With the Whole Team  

  • Share the feedback with everyone in the team. No matter if engineer or manager. This way you can make the knowledge available to everyone. By involving team members, you can generate more new ideas that will improve the product and thus move the company forward.  

3. Bring Teams Together  

  • When multiple teams work together, new growth opportunities arise. Because then different areas work together and they can create new ideas.

Stay tuned!

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