Help topicsProduct Development

5 things to avoid when designing a new product…

By 3rd October 2011 February 19th, 2021 No Comments

‘I don’t need to do much research’

You could go on researching forever, and at some point you need to take action to move your project forward or put a line through it and move onto the next thing. But as a minimum you should be satisfied that there is a real market need for your product. What do total strangers think? How is the problem currently solved? How many people are experiencing the problem? Is my idea better or cheaper or faster than current solutions? How would I pitch this idea as really useful to a potential user in just a few sentences?

‘I need to file a patent right away’

We would advise people to explore the best method of protecting their product idea in parallel to discussing it with a professional designer under confidentiality. If they are good they will challenge your ideas, improve on them, and bring exciting new ideas to the table which can add commercial value to the product. When you have the best solution to the problem, you can protect it in the most suitable way. Patents, design rights, registered designs, registered trade names / logos and copyright are all to be considered. If you do this without optimising the design, you risk protecting an idea that isn’t as good as it might be, and allowing competitors to easily improve on your offering.

‘I know what I want, I don’t need to pay for professional designers’

As previously mentioned, a good designer should pay for themselves many times over when the product goes to market. How so? By optimising the product, reducing its build and set-up costs, making it more attractive to the end user, and therefore securing more sales.

‘I don’t need to spend money on prototyping’

Too often people see prototyping as an expense that they would prefer to avoid. In reality it is the best opportunity you will get to learn about, and improve your product prior to costly manufacturing set up and production runs.

A good designer will present a range of prototyping options which are most suitable to you at the time. Don’t spend thousands on vacuum castings just to see how big something looks on the desk, you can find that out with a block model made from foam board.

‘My product will be great, it will sell itself!’

People have lots of choice and limited budgets. They also tend towards the familiar, buying things that have suited their purposes previously. In order to sell your new product, you need to get it in front of potential buyers and very quickly communicate why they should choose your product over someone else’s. This often comes down to clearly demonstrated benefits to a business or end user, and an acceptable price.

An e-commerce website can be great, but how are you going to drive traffic to it?

Whatever route you choose, you will need to get the marketing message right, and make the buying process as hassle and risk free as possible.

If you aren’t a seasoned sales person, should someone else be doing it? You might want to consider selling or licensing your idea to an existing business with established routes to market.

Get in touch with 4D Products today if you want success in New Product Development.