Validation is the key to preventing a product being a total flop.
Product validation is where a product is tested and researched in both it's functionality and market reception. I've come across many businesses that are just starting out with a great idea that they truly believe in, only to later to find out that their product wasn't exactly what the market wanted. Some of those entrepreneurs have been smart enough to listen to the market and ensure that their product is what changes to suit the market needs. Others are stuck in a never ending spiral of 'if I build it they will come'. I'm afraid that the market no longer works like that.
To be sure that your product succeeds, market testing is a vital part of the product's development. You need to know what your customers expect of a product in your field, what part of your product stands out from the crowd and what it is your product could improve upon to meet the market's needs. Sometimes, it means starting again, and that's OK. better that than having spent thousands of dollars taking a product to market, only to find that it's not wanted or needed.
Here are some great ways to validate your product:
- Ask your customers - They are the best recourse you have when making sure your product will sell. After all, they are the ones who will be buying it. You can use tools like SurveyMonkey to get some questionnaires out there or go to shopping centres/markets and have people hold and feel your product for even better feedback.
- Do physical tests - If your product needs to achieve a certain outcome for it to be valid, then some physical tests are a must. This is great for you so that you know it works but even better for the customer to know that it has been tested before. It builds brand trust and loyalty, meaning they are more willing to purchase.
- Crowdfunding - getting customers to 'put their money where their mouth is' is a great way to prove your product's market value. Crowdfunding helps you score pre-sales before you've even gone into manufacture (it is very important to have accurate costs before you embark on the crowdfunding journey to prevent a shortfall of cash in the long run)
Using all 3 of these validation tools will help you get the best results and ensure that you make the most of your new product venture.