A good product idea
A good product idea is current, needed, easy to understand, and can be feasibly implemented. In addition to the characteristics of the product, examine the background factors affecting the product's development. You can use the help of outside experts in your evaluation. If the idea proves to be a good one, you can develop it into a product innovation - a new product or service.
Although your company can improve the characteristics of a product in product development, the basics need to be in order already at the idea stage. Study your idea thoroughly to determine if it is worth implementing.
When evaluating the feasibility of an idea, start by studying the needs of your customer. A good product fits in well with prevailing trends and attitudes. Your customers see it as fresh and attractive. A good product is technically functional. Evaluate how the situation might change in the time leading up to the launch of the product.
The aim of a good idea is a usable product. If your product is not convincing you might have difficulties in getting customers, collaborative partners, or resellers interested in it. Therefore, it is a good idea already in the early stages of development work to think about a sales pitch for the product.
The result of a good product idea is a product that can be duplicated. Your business generally must be capable of manufacturing its product in large consignments as a mass product. No matter how promising your idea may be, it cannot be turned into a commercial product if you cannot find a functioning method to produce it.
Consider the costs as well. If the costs of manufacturing, marketing, selling, and distributing your product exceed what your customers are willing to pay, your product idea is not a good one. You should also get a good sales margin from selling your product.
A service product is a non-material product, which means that its content may be harder to visualise than that of a material product. Keep in mind that business activities often involve a combination of the two.
A good service idea is one in which enables you to turn the service that comes as a result into something concrete and visible for the customer. You can make your idea more concrete by adding a product, such as equipment needed in a gym class, to the service. Your service idea also needs to be sufficiently simple for the customers to understand what they are getting from the service.
A good service offers an experience or added value that a customer is ready to pay for. The product is also easy to tailor to different target groups. Keep in mind that a service can be more difficult to deliver to a customer than a material product.
A good idea leads to a product that can be duplicated. A good service idea is one in which the skills required by the service can be easily transferred from one person to another.
In addition, a service linked with a good idea is one for which there is a genuine need and demand. Producing the service must also be economically viable.
Not all of the product ideas that come up in your business are necessarily worth developing. Keep in mind that a product or service will not be successful just because it is new.
An idea can be a bad one if
- the manufacture of the product or providing the service would be likely to be too expensive
- no need exists for the product or service
- it is difficult to find a sensible sales or distribution channel for the product or service
- the product or service has changed so little that customers will not recognise its novelty value or if it does not differ from other products on the market
- someone else has already secured a similar product or service and you are unable to develop the idea into a product without violating the intellectual property rights of another business.
Keep in mind that product development always requires resources. Advancing a bad idea causes unnecessary work at the very least, and sometimes even additional expenses.
The path that leads an idea to become a commercial product is often long and requires economic input on the part of your business. That is why it is important to evaluate the feasibility of the idea from many different angles already in the early stages.
With the help of trademark and patent databases, for example, you can find out what kind of product development is going on in your field. This will allow you to avoid duplicated product development, identify good product development targets, and direct your own product development to suit your own overall situation.
In the early stages of product development, it is also a good idea to make systematic preliminary analyses. For example, you can examine possible restrictions set by legislation, the partnership network required for the production and sales, as well as the environmental impact of the product.
You can also commission a market study to analyse the activities and products of your competitors. With the help of the studies you can also investigate what kinds of customer groups your product or service might appeal to. In addition, you can anticipate the rate of growth of the market.
Market studies also make it possible for you to examine the competitive situation regionally. For example you can examine where there might be demand for goods or services that match your idea.
The evaluation of the feasibility of an idea usually begins with input from the company's own personnel. However, the services of an outside expert are also usually needed.
You can get evaluation assistance from your municipal business services or the development companies in your region. Depending on your situation, you can also approach Business Finland, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, or an ELY Centre to discuss issues that you may be having with the development of your product. When you apply for public support for product development you will also get feedback for your idea and its feasibility within your own business.
You may consider using an outside consultant for the evaluation of your idea. The consultant can help in clarifying the market situation, for example. However, remember to protect the confidentiality of your idea.
It is a good idea to seek information on product development and innovation for the long term. Keep track of the communications of, for example, the ELY centres, Team Finland, Business Finland, the Foundation for Finnish Inventions and VTT. Join national development programmes, take part in development events in your field, and network yourself.
Improving a product is part of a company's normal development activities. However, if something has been invented in your business that clearly differs from anything that has come before, there is reason to consider if it might qualify as an innovation.
A product innovation is a new, significantly improved, or modified product or service that is launched onto the market by your business. This means that it clearly differs in its characteristics from products or services that your company has previously produced. A product can contain improvements in technical performance, components, materials, software, or user comfort.
The road from an idea to the launch of a product innovation is fairly long and often expensive. Before your company starts to invest its resources into the development of a product or service, you need to study thoroughly if your initial idea contains enough possibilities to become a successful product. In the early stages your company also needs to ascertain if someone else has had a similar idea and has patented or otherwise protected an invention based on the idea.