The world is full of people coming up with unique ideas every day, and we see them all the time: virtual reality, cloud services, and smartphones. But most ideas stay just that. Most don’t get off the ground. Sometimes it’s due to motivation, but an idea fails to launch most of the time because someone doesn’t understand what it takes to develop an idea into something tangible.
The process isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Even the most talented business people and innovators such as Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson employ an army of people who help them develop their ideas into shippable products.
And here is a quick overview of how they do it.
Concept and Actualisation
A concept is generally thought of as an idea. But it is more than that. When it comes to a product or service, your concept defines your initial idea. For example, you may come up with an idea for a temperature-controlled baby bottle. That’s a great idea. But it doesn’t explain anything.
Therefore, you develop the concept:
- Calculate costs
- List and contact potential investors
- Appeal to key demographics (new parents)
- Research IP, copyright and patents
- Highlight key features
These are all critical criteria that you must thoughtfully manage during the concept phase of your product development. Yet, you then need to develop your concept into a prototype. And the first step to that is to design.
As highlighted in your concept, key features need to be addressed. A reputable product design company is highly beneficial for releasing a great idea and notion into fruition. Working directly with you, specialist teams can design, prototype and manufacture your product to your specifications.
The best innovative product in the world is useless if nobody knows it exists. This is where marketing comes in. Following your excellent concept development and professionally designed and manufactured, you need to move your stock. To do this, a solid marketing infrastructure must be in place so that retailers and individuals alike can make orders for you to fulfil. Thus begins your actual production.
But marketing is an industry unto itself, and unless you are incredibly talented, you will have trouble launching a product. Fortunately, the world is full of marketing experts, and one of the most exciting subsets is digital marketing. As you might have guessed, digital marketing focuses efforts on internet-based sales. Some examples include:
- Email marketing
- Social media campaigns
- Website and blog design and development
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Digital advertising (banners, ads, etc.)
- Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns
- Influencer marketing
- Mobile optimisation
In a world of digital information and excessive internet use, this type of marketing outperforms traditional and established methods. So much so that over 90% of businesses include digital marketing techniques as part of their overall strategy, and 58% use digital marketing alone.
Traditional methods include TV, radio and newspaper/magazine advertising. These ads have their place, but they are usually expensive, where some digital marketing methods cost almost nothing.
With a solid marketing plan in place, you need to bring your product to market. The process is complex, with multiple layers. However, it is known by its umbrella term as commercialisation. At its core, commercialisation aims to get a product from A to B. A being manufacture, B being the end-user. But there are many steps in the process, such as:
- Marketing (which has been covered)
- Order fulfilment
- Order reception
And the cycle continues based upon orders and your ability to fulfil those orders. Each step in the process is dependent on the previous step. For example, it is not advisable to manufacture products without a demand. This will cost money and could end up becoming deadstock. Or there’s no point in marketing a product you are unable to fulfil.
Of course, this is a blanket view of commercialisation, and each step also has sub-processes that are complex in terms of logistics.