At IdeaPros, we have pinpointed the most effective and economical way to get from an idea to market-ready product. We give you a roadmap to keep you on track. For entrepreneurs interested in the steps necessary to develop a new product or app, this is a must-read.
These steps below, paired with our startup checklist will help you navigate the road to launching your product as quickly as possible.
SPECIAL GUEST: Jessica Peak, Director of Project Management at IdeaPros, along with her fulfillment team, is responsible for taking an idea and turning it into something that the target market drool over. We had the pleasure of interviewing her and Fred Cary on our weekly Facebook LIVE.
1. Investigatory Phase – Identify what makes you stand out in the marketplace.
Write the “UPS”
One of the first things we create for our partners is the UPS (Unique Positioning Statement). The UPS is similar to a 30-second elevator pitch and it identifies what the product is. It is designed to succinctly capture the essence of your product or app and how it works.
Do Market Research
In-depth market research will help you uncover how to create a product that your potential consumers really want. It’s a fact-finding mission based on your researched assumptions. A research report is a really good indication of your marketplace and will show you the competitive landscape, what consumers want, and how you need to position yourself.
Conduct Consumer Surveys
These strategically worded questionnaires are literally the backbone of a successful product. There is nothing more valuable than to understand an idea’s weaknesses and strengths as well as get a pulse for the “desire” that exists for your solution. The consumer surveys ask your suspected target market what they feel, need, and think. This analysis helps us determine whether we can march forward the way we are or we have to make changes in order to create a product that consumers will crave.
“Fred says this often… There’s no such thing as a bad survey.” – Jessica Peak, Director of Project Management
2. Business Development Phase – How You Can Be Different? 22.00%
Name Your Product
Now it’s time to name the company and the product in a way that positions you well in the market. The goal will always be to stand out from your competition and their products. Brainstorm a 5-6 business names list and then choose the most evocative, thought-provoking, and memorable one. A typical mistake first-time entrepreneur or even fifth-time entrepreneurs make is to choose a name that explains what a product IS. Going with an evocative and unusual name, instead of a self-explanatory one is critical to creating a memorable brand.
“You want to create your imagery and your special little place in the business world.” – Fred Cary, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of IdeaPros
Create the Branding
Once you have a name, you can start creating the logo, make sure the colors and the imagery are consistent with what you want to portray as a company.
3. Product Development Phase – Choose Your Features Wisely
Decide the Product Features
In all of these phases, we are checking back on previously completed stages to make sure that we are still on track. We do this to verify that we have the consumer’s desires at the core of our product. Remember… what they really want, they will buy.
Here are some of our tasks during the product feature phase:
- Double check that the UPS still clearly communicates the needs of consumers
- Ensure the market research findings are incorporated in as features for the product
- Investigate what the competitors are doing
- Try to get a good price estimate on the product before handing it off to the engineering team
Get a Prototype
At IdeaPros, we usually get 4 different conceptual sketches from our engineers. Then we go back and forth process with our partners until we decide on one design. The design will then go into a CAD drawing (computer-aided design) to create a 3D rendering.
NOTE: Being wise about your features in this phase is crucial. What features do people want in your product? Check your market survey and make sure that you add features that you know people require. Be careful not to overdo the extra features as it will impact your timeline and your budget.
“We make our engineering team think, and they think hard. Sometimes they come back with facts that we don’t like: this is not manufacturable the way it is or this thing is going to cost three times more designing it… or it’s not even patentable.” – Fred Cary, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of IdeaPros
4. Marketing Phase – Get Ready to Face the World
Market Your Product
After you have created a product and done all the work in the previous steps here, you are ready to move on to strategic marketing. This phase involves understanding the competitive landscape you are in and strategically planning your marketing communications. You want to make sure that everything from the website to the message on social media is in-line, following the brand colors, and the imagery you’ve defined earlier.
Check out 101 Foolproof Marketing Strategies for great ideas to market your product.
Spread the Word on Launchpad: Our Pre-Sales Platform
At IdeaPros, we rely on our marketing team to guide us through the process from concept to hard launch by gaining the pre-orders on our LaunchPad. We use IdeaProsLaunchpad.com as a final incubator where we invite everyday consumers to tell us what they think about the products and apps. If the feedback is good and there are pre-orders, we know we have passed that final measure of validation. If we don’t get the feedback we expect we will go back to the drawing board and postpone the hard launch until we have what people want.
“When we have tens of thousands of people screaming at us that’s when we say you can buy it now and we finally launch.” – Fred Cary, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of IdeaPros
How Does IdeaPros Make This Creative Journey Smoother?
For entrepreneurs who want to try it on their own, we prepared a checklist that covers all these phases – you can find on our website. Save it and go through all the items like an interactive checklist. If you don’t feel comfortable doing all this on your own, let us know, and we will gladly help!
IdeaPros is a Super Venture Partner™ who has the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest in their idea. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.