What is Product Development?

Product development is the journey of bringing a new product to market. It includes all the stages that product managers and product development teams go through to get a new product idea to life, from ideation and research to concept development, prototyping, mass production, and market launch.

As organizations are striving to be more innovative and agile, product development has become a focus for business industry leaders. Many organizations use advanced approaches to take over market share and disrupt their respective industries.

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What is Product Development?

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How The Product Development Process Works in 7 Steps 

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How to Write an Effective Product Requirements Document

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What is a Great Product Development Strategy?

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What is a Great Product Strategy?

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How to Succeed with Remote Development

As a product manager, you might work at a product organization that works with remote teams. For example, I’ve worked with software development teams based out of India and China. On top of the typical challenges of product management, remote development poses its own unique set of challenges to navigate. Let’s talk through 1) why remote development can be beneficial, 2) what the challenges of remote development are, and 3)...
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Product Development Q&A and Best Practices

In the PMHQ Slack community, we regularly get thought-provoking questions that we feel should be explored in-depth and documented for future reference. We’re starting a new set of Q&A posts to dive into these kinds of questions, and enable everyone in the community to revisit the answers and contribute further! “How can I be well-organized on JIRA for multiple platform products? We have mobile, back-end, API, admin panel, etc., so...
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Product Strategies for Switching Costs

In our previous article, we discussed the three core categories of switching costs: financial, procedural, relational. How might we use switching costs to drive more value from our product? You have two core strategies available to you. Decrease the cost your customer must pay to switch to your product Increase the cost your customer must pay to switch to competitors After all, if you decrease the cost to switch to...
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Implementing New Technologies

In our last post, we discussed how to select new technologies for your tech stack. As a reminder, this decision is critical to the long-term health of both the product and the organization and usually appears at critical inflection points. So now that we’ve discussed how to select new technologies, in this post we’ll tackle implementing new technologies. Before we get started, I want to emphasize that the frameworks that...
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A Primer to Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)

There are quite a few agile development methodologies that lean companies use today. Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) is a popular one that I’ve had the most experience in, so I’d like to give a quick primer to what ATDD is, some of its benefits and drawbacks, and a simple test example. What is ATDD? ATDD is an agile development methodology that emphasizes close discussion and agreement among developers, product managers, and...

What are the Purposes of Product Development?

In today’s business climate, the ability to quickly bring new products to market has become a matter of survival for many companies. The pressure to innovate and stay ahead of the competition has led organizations to invest more heavily in new products. Here are some other key purposes of product development:

  • One of the goals of product development is to develop a premium-quality product. Customers expect high quality from the products they purchase. Companies must meet these expectations to retain the existing customers and attract new ones.
  • Another purpose of product development is to create unique products and offer a competitive advantage. It could be in the form of a new feature, a better design, or a lower price point.
  • It also aims to develop profitable products to generate revenue for the company.

What are Examples of Product Development?

Some common examples of product development are as follows:

Fashion

The fashion industry is a vast and competitive marketplace. Companies constantly strive to develop the latest trends and designs to keep their customers’ eyes on their products. Fashion designers and brands must respond quickly to consumer tastes and trends changes to succeed. It requires a well-oiled product development process that can bring new designs and products to market quickly and efficiently.

The modern product development process enables fashion and apparel designing companies to understand their consumers’ requirements and create the best products to meet their needs. In fashion, product development begins with designing the products. The design can be a sketch on paper or a three-dimensional (3D) model.

After the products are designed, they are sent to manufacturers who create prototypes. They manufacture a range of sizes to check the products’ fit, comfort, and look. These prototypes are then sent back to the designers for further evaluation. Once the designers are satisfied with the prototypes, they are sent to the production team for mass production.

Some fashion companies also enable their customers to participate in the product development process by giving them the opportunity to provide feedback on designs and prototypes. It helps the company create products that meet its target market’s specific needs and preferences. Some companies also use custom product development services to create unique products for their customers.

Digital Products

The digital industry is a rapidly transforming industry with fierce competition. To succeed, companies must develop and launch new products in a short time to keep up with the competition.

The product development process for digital products is similar to that of other industries. However, there are some unique challenges involved in developing digital products.

  • One of the biggest challenges is creating user-friendly products that offer a great user experience. Developers must create easy-to-use and visually appealing products to attract and retain users.
  • Technology is constantly evolving, and tech companies must launch new products to keep up with the latest trends. Keeping up with the latest technology trends is a challenge in itself.
  • Product developers must also ensure that their products are compatible with the latest devices and operating systems.
  • Companies must also focus on creating products that offer a competitive advantage. It could be in the form of a new feature, a better design, or a lower price point.

Companies employ advanced product development approaches and the latest tools to cope with these challenges. Advanced solutions enable companies to understand their target market and come up with the best products to meet their customers’ needs. The product development process also allows companies to develop a well-tested and bug-free product.

Cosmetics

Cosmetics and beauty products have been in use for centuries. Today, cosmetics are an essential part of many one’s beauty routines. The global cosmetics industry is booming, with new products launched daily. Cosmetics companies have begun to focus on developing beauty products from natural ingredients to appeal to health-conscious consumers.

The manufacturers work with a team of expert chemists who develop the formulas for the products. They ensure the products are safe for use and meet all regulatory requirements. The manufacturers have to undergo a lot of testing to check the stability of the product, its shelf life, and compatibility with other products. They must also check the product’s safety on different skin types to check any potential reaction.

After the regulatory authorities have approved the products, they are sent to the marketing team for launch. The marketing team decides on the product’s packaging, branding, and pricing. They also create marketing campaigns to promote the product.

Food and Beverages

The food and beverage industry is a diverse industry with products ranging from processed food to natural beverages. It is one of the ancient industries but still has a lot of innovations and transformations. If you want to start creating a new product in your restaurant, it’s easier than developing any other product. You can get the ingredients and start experimenting with recipes. If you already have a product, you can improve it by adding new flavors.

However, creating a new product in large quantities for selling in stores or supermarkets is a different story. You need access to the right ingredients, manufacturing process, machinery, preservation, and packaging.

A team of expert food technologists works on developing new recipes and improving existing ones. Once the products are ready, they are sent to a sensory panel for testing. The sensory panel provides feedback on the product’s appearance, taste, texture, and smell. It ensures that the products are safe for consumption and meet all the necessary regulatory requirements.

After the sensory panel approves the product, it is sent for packaging. Packaging is a vital part of the food and beverage industry. It helps preserve the product’s quality and keeps it fresh for an extended period. It also helps to attract customers and makes the product more appealing. Companies need to label all the ingredients on the packaging to aware consumers of any potential allergies.

After manufacturing and packaging, the product is ready to be launched in the market. The marketing team focuses on the branding and cost of the product. The team also creates a marketing strategy to promote the newly developed product.

What is the Product Development Process?

A new product development process consists of the following stages:

Defining Product Goals

Determining the goals and objectives for creating a successful product is imperative. The product goals align the product development team with the company’s objectives and help create a product that aligns with the company’s vision. Without clear goals, the product development process can become haphazard and lead to the development of a product that does not achieve its intended purpose.

Innovators and product managers contribute to defining smart goals. They ensure that the product objectives are achievable and measurable. They also consider the resources and time available for developing the product.

Conducting Market Research

Once a product manager has defined the product goals, the next step is understanding the target market’s needs. Market research enables developers to understand their targeted market and develop a product that meets their needs. It also provides insights into the target audience and their needs.

Here are some key aspects the product team should consider while conducting market research:

  • Who is the target audience for the product?
  • What are market demographics?
  • Where are your targeted customers located?
  • How many competitors are in the market?
  • What are the strengths and flaws of the competitor’s products?
  • What are the trends in the industry?
  • What is the growth potential of the market?

There are various methods of conducting market research. Some common methods include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires. Product developers can also use information such as industry reports and data from government agencies to understand the market. Based on the market research findings, a product manager can decide on the product’s features and its positioning in the market.

Idea Generation

Generating a new idea is a perplexing phase. It is a creative process that requires a lot of brainstorming and thinking outside the box. However, when it comes to product development, not all ideas are worth pursuing. The development team needs to filter ideas and select only the best ones for further development.

Many entrepreneurs are stuck with this stage because they don’t know how to create an inspiring product. Well, brainstorming is the key to generating new ideas. Product development teams search for the problem their targeted audience is facing and look for potential solutions. Following are some other popular and effective idea generation techniques. Let’s learn about them.

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a popular ideation technique that can be used for generating new ideas. This technique generates ideas by starting with a central topic and then branching out from it. This technique helps explore different ideas and expand them to come up with new and innovative solutions.

Collaborative Innovation

Collaborative innovation is another popular technique that helps in generating new ideas. In this technique, employees from different departments within an organization come together to brainstorm and come up with new ideas. This technique is effective as it helps get different perspectives on the same problem.

Blue-Sky Thinking

You should use blue-sky thinking if you want an entirely different product idea. In this technique, you let your imagination run wild and develop ideas that are not constrained by reality. Companies often use this technique to create game-changing products.

SCAMPER Technique

SCAMPER is another excellent tool to generate new ideas. Product development teams use this technique to modify or improve existing products. In this technique, the existing product is analyzed, and improvements are made. Product management and development teams substitute, combine, adapt, and modify the current product. Sometimes, they also put an existing product to a new use or eliminate or rearrange its components.

Idea Screening

The product design team creates numerous ideas; however, all of them are not feasible. So, they need to screen these ideas and choose the ones that have the potential to be developed further. For this purpose, you need to use some criteria. Here are some common criteria for screening ideas.

  • Is the idea feasible?
  • Does the idea address a real problem?
  • Does the idea have any unique selling points?
  • Does the targeted market need that product?
  • Can your team implement the idea within the given timeframe?
  • Does the idea fit with your business goals?

Based on these criteria, you can screen the product ideas and choose the ones that have the potential to be developed further. After screening the ideas, product management teams conduct concept testing and feasibility study. Concept testing ensures that the product idea is clear and concise. In this test, product management team potential customers are asked about their opinion on the product. This feedback is then used to improve the product concept.

Business Analysis

Once the product development team creates a product idea, product management teams conduct business analysis to predict the success of a product. Business analysis ensures that the product is aligned with the company’s values and objectives. It also ensures that the product positively impacts the company’s bottom line. While conducting business analysis, analytics focus on the following aspects:

  • They estimate the product price to ensure that it is profitable.
  • They predict the sales volume depending on the market requirements and trends.
  • They also forecast the product life cycle to ensure that it will generate revenue for a sufficient period.
  • They also assess the risks involved in developing and launching the product.

After conducting business analysis, product teams know about the product’s potential success. It helps them in making informed decisions about the product development process.

Developing a Product Roadmap

Once the product idea is finalized, it is time to develop a product roadmap. A product roadmap is a document that outlines the timeline for developing and launching the product. It also outlines the features that product teams need to include in the product and the resources they need for its development.

The product roadmap keeps everyone aware of the upcoming tasks and milestones. A product manager doesn’t need professional skills to create a roadmap. They can create one by using paper and pencil. However, if you are looking for a more professional approach, you can use software tools like ProductPlan and Roadmunk. You can also hire a professional illustrator to create a visually appealing roadmap.

Prototyping

The prototyping phase is a long and complicated process that involves a lot of trial and error. Creating a product prototype requires time, effort, and resources. It is a minimum viable product the development team creates to test the feasibility of the product idea. It helps get feedback from potential customers and make necessary changes to the product before its launch.

Product teams develop various prototypes depending on the product they are developing. Some common types of prototypes are:

  • A paper prototype is the quickest and most straightforward type of prototype to develop. It is a sketch of the product developed using paper and pencil.
  • The visual prototype is developed to get feedback on the product’s visual design. It represents the appearance of a product but does not show its functionality.
  • Functional prototypes represent the appearance as well as the functionality of a product. It is developed using various software tools and programming languages.

Test Marketing

After developing the product prototype, it is time to test the product in the market. Test marketing helps understand the customer’s reaction to the product and make necessary changes before mass production. The test marketing is conducted in a particular demographic area to get accurate results.

Following are some commonly used market tests to ensure the success of a product:

  • A/B testing is a type of test marketing in which two versions of a product are launched in the market, and customers are asked to choose their preferred version. It evaluates the customers’ response to the products and helps in making necessary changes to the product.
  • Multivariate testing involves launching multiple versions of a product in the market and testing which version is most preferred by the customers.
  • Incremental testing is a type of test marketing that analyzes the impact of a variation in the prototype on the customers. It helps in making small changes to the product before its launch.

Commercialization

This product development phase involves making the product available for sale in the market. It includes activities like mass production, packaging, marketing, sales, and other factors necessary for the product’s commercial success. The commercialization process starts once the product is launched in the market.

For commercialization, product development and marketing teams work together to ensure that the product is available for sale in all the channels where the customers are present. They create marketing campaigns and promotional activities to generate demand for the product. They also leverage insta stories, paid promotions, and other digital marketing strategies to reach out to potential customers. Sales plans are another effective way to commercialize a product. The sales team creates a plan that includes the targets and strategies for achieving them.

Evaluating Marketing Performance

Product development doesn’t end up after the launch of the product. The process continues even after commercialization. Marketing and sales teams work together to monitor the product’s performance in the market. They track sales, customer feedback, and other data to understand how the product performs. Based on this analysis, they make necessary changes to the product and marketing mix to improve its performance.

What are the Benefits of Product Development?

Benefits of product development include:

Improved Product Quality

Product development helps improve the quality of the product by getting customer feedback and making necessary changes to the product before its launch. The product development team sets targets for product improvement and works towards achieving them.

Minimizing Product Price

Pricing significantly affects the commercial success of a product. The product development team works with the marketing and sales team to understand the customer’s willingness to pay for the product. They use this information to set the right price for the product. They also strive to reduce the production cost to make the product more affordable for the customers.

Better Customer Satisfaction

The product development team focuses on the customers’ needs and works toward creating a product that meets their expectations. The team communicates with the customers throughout the product development process to get their feedback and make necessary changes to the product to improve customer satisfaction.

Increased Sales and Market Share

Product development helps create a product that is more likely to succeed in the market. By focusing on the customers’ needs and making necessary changes to the product, the product development team increases the chances of the product’s success. It leads to increased sales and market share for the product.

Recognizing the Risks

During the product development process, managers and development teams research to identify the market requirements and customers’ needs. They also identify the risks associated with the product. It helps them to take necessary measures to mitigate the risks and make the product more successful.

Conclusion

The survival of companies in the competitive market depends on their ability to develop unique products that appeal to the customers. Product development enables them to launch new products and upgrade existing ones to meet the customers’ changing needs. It also helps promote the product and make it available to customers.

If your company wants to develop a dedicated product that enables you to get most of your market share, implement the product development process. You can employ various advanced tools to automate different steps of the product development process. So hurry up and start developing a stunning product with product development.

FAQs

What is meant by product development?

Product development is a set of processes and activities an organization uses to develop new products or improve existing ones. It enables managers to understand the customers’ needs and develop products they need.

What is an example of product development?

Various industries employ product development to develop new products or improve existing ones. The software development industry is a common example where the product development process is employed to launch new software applications or digital products. Software companies use product development to understand the customers’ needs and develop software to assist their targeted audience.

What are the seven steps of product development?

Seven steps of product development involve:

  • Idea generation
  • Market research
  • Developing product roadmap
  • Prototyping
  • Sourcing
  • Pricing
  • Commercialization