It can be challenging to bring a product to the market. Entrepreneurs often fail to plan and prepare for the challenges of bringing a product to market.
Here are six things entrepreneurs do before jumping into product launches.
1. Market research
The first step to launching a product is to research the market. This involves researching your market and potential customers. It consists in analyzing the market’s needs, market size, and competition. This information can be obtained by using market research tools or conducting your research through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews.
You use email and phone surveys to get feedback from potential customers on your product concept that you find out what the potential customers would like to buy, their budget, and the key features. “One hundred conversations with potential customers is a good goal, but not less than 20. You might consider offering an incentive such as a gift certificate drawing to help you get responses.
2. Demonstrate proof of concept
It is crucial to validate your idea or concept before it becomes a reality. You must prove that the market is ready for your product and that it can generate a return. This requires gathering data such as customer feedback and competitor research. It also involves preparing financial projections and financial statements.
This stage of the process requires significant effort and time. “In addition to creating a proof concept, collecting feedback will allow you to refine and improve your product offering. It can even help you pivot to a better product idea.” This is not a step that you want to skip.
3. The right factory
Your product’s success depends on the factory that manufactures it. Cost is an important criterion. You will need to decide whether overseas or domestic manufacturing is the right choice for your product.
The U.S. production offers “benefits” such as lower minimums and faster turnaround times. They also have the potential to appeal more to value-based buyers. An overseas output is a good option if your product falls within a price range or if most factories producing your item are not located in your country. Because there are so few factories that make footwear, it can be tough to have footwear in the U.S.
The next step is to locate reliable sourcing databases to find factory partners. “When looking for partners, be sure to pay attention to three main factors: minimum order quantity and experience in your product type, as well as the ability to visit the factory.”
When choosing a factory to manufacture your product, it is important to consider ethical concerns. You want the factory that produces your product to reflect your company values.
4. Your brand identity will be unique.
Creating a compelling brand experience can be just as important as creating a great product. Consumers are increasingly aware and exposed to many brands every day. You can set yourself aside by creating a unique and engaging identity.
Cone Communications found that 87% of consumers will only buy products based on their brand values, according to a 2017 study. Cone Communications also found that 78% want companies to address critical social issues. But consumers can spot fake brands. It doesn’t suffice to build a brand around the latest trends. People want to feel connected to authentic brands.
This leaves little money for essential things like logo design and persuasive copywriting. “Depending on your needs and the vendors that you work with, I recommend allocating between $5,000 and $15,000 for graphic design, messaging help, and web designing. While you can spend more on these services, this price range will get you some great creatives.
5. Iterative marketing is a good idea.
As consumers embrace companies with unique brand identities and are open to engaging in marketing activities beyond traditional campaigns, so too are they. Iterative Marketing is about starting a conversation.
“the most successful people we work with understand iterative advertising.” They don’t try too many things at once or invest all their money in a massive marketing campaign. Instead, they begin with a single channel and tweak their approach before moving to the next. You can rank your marketing options according to what you are most skilled at and where customers spend their time. Start by going one at a time and testing your efforts. Sometimes a marketing strategy fails to get traction. If this happens, don’t worry. Today’s world offers many opportunities to find customers.
This model is data-driven. It’s persona-centric. Companies can quickly redirect their efforts when they aren’t working.
6. Choose the proper sales channels
You have huge options when it comes to choosing the sales channels for your product. There are several choices, including personal selling and sales outsourcing. If the pandemic taught entrepreneurs anything, it is the value of having multiple channels. Software recommendation platform GetApp reported that 92% percent of small businesses in the U.S. switched between March 2020 and June 2020. The report shows that 58% hit online delivery channels for small businesses.
Entrepreneurs and inventors strive for innovation. It’s thrilling to think about the possibilities and to bring your brilliant ideas to reality. While the journey to launch a product can seem long and complex, it can be fun and profitable with some planning and foresight.