Developing your big idea into an actual, functioning product can take time and some mess-ups to get the final result. However, there are some mistakes you can avoid when working your way through the product development process. Take time to consider everything about your product from what your customers want and like to the features and benefits your product provides.

Boost your chances of success in developing a new product by avoiding these four common product development mistakes:

1. Confusing customer requirements with product requirements

Product development teams will often seek input from customers throughout the product development process, asking the customer to help define the product that will be built. That is a good thing, as you want to have a thorough understanding of customers’ wants, needs, and preferences when designing a new product. However, what customers say they require in a product should always be taken with a grain of salt.

To be blunt, customers very often don’t know what they actually want in a product and don’t understand what is possible. Therefore, you never want to confuse your customer requirements with product requirements. It is your job as a product developer to understand the needs of your market and how your product will help meet those needs, a.k.a. your product requirements.

2. Confusing innovation with value

It is critical to have a clear understanding of the difference between innovation and value. What is innovation? Innovation is about using technology to solve a problem. What is value? Value is about producing something that makes a consumer’s life better, easier, or more efficient by solving a problem. The bottom line is not all problems are worth solving. You need to identify a valuable opportunity for product development.

3. Confusing your preferences with customer preferences

Product development teams are often tempted to design with their own preferences in mind, projecting their own wants and needs onto the consumer, which is a mistake. Your preferences are irrelevant and if you want to sell your product, the preferences of the target consumer are what matters. Because you love the color blue isn’t a reason solely to manufacture your product in the color blue, especially if your target market is teenage girls. Remember, you need to be able to differentiate between you as a developer and your target market.

4. Confusing features with benefits

Oftentimes, the developers become so engrossed in the development process that they are constantly adding features to improve the product, without a clear idea of how these features actually add tangible benefits to the product. The takeaway? Never add a feature to your product without a clear idea of how it will benefit the overall product, adding value and improving functionality.

Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with strengths in software development, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial design. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.