When it comes to launching a new product, “failing to plan” essentially equates to “planning to fail.”

Product Development Mistakes to Avoid

Excellent planning is the key to success when it comes to new product development, which includes knowing how to avoid common product development mistakes. However, with the right foresight and strategy, you can avoid these common product development pitfalls.

Putting customer needs over product requirements

Product development teams will often look to the customer to define the product — what it does, what features it has, etc. However, many customers often don’t know what they want, and this type of customer-centric approach rarely produces truly innovative products that meet the needs of wide market segments. This is because it is often difficult for customers to articulate what they want without seeing a prototype or version of the product, and because customers often don’t know what is possible. It is your job to understand your target market and the needs of that target market. You then need to establish a set of product requirements and communicate to the target market how those requirements will make their lives easier, better, and more convenient. In other words, tell the customer what the product will do for them.

Thinking your needs are the same as the target customer’s needs

The product development team and the target customer are not necessarily the same person. They may very well not have the same needs, wants, and preferences. Always design with the customers’ preferences in mind, not yours. Of course, this requires a detailed understanding of your target market, so if you haven’t done any market research, now is the time to start!

Failing to take into account the business risks of a new product

While it’s true that new products can generate new revenue streams and boost your company’s bottom line, no new product comes without risk. In order to understand these risks, you need to undertake a detailed analysis of your target market. Who is your target consumer? What competitors do you have? Are there similar products out there that meet the same consumer need? You will also need to do an internal assessment of your company and brand. Do you have the resources required to undertake the development and production of a new product? What kind of capital would the venture require? Do you have funds? This type of analysis will provide you with insight into the risks associated with the new product. Every new product development project has some degree of risk involved. You just need to be aware of them.

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.