Bang Design

A 7-step guide to creating Physical Products

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Product development is the complete process of bringing a new product to market, from the initial idea to a successful launch. The process remains constant whether you are an inventor or a startup or a manufacturer.
Most product development or New Product Initiatives (NPI) start off as a response to a problem for which the market has no ready solution. Other efforts find their root in adapting or extending the capabilities of an existing product to suit an unmet need.

It’s the journey that transforms an idea into a physical product that addresses a market need or solves a specific problem. Like most journeys, this too has its set of unknowns which can potentially derail your efforts.

Fortunately, we have a ready reckoner guide that can help you find your bearings along the way.

Market Research

Before diving headlong into creating your dream product, it’s crucial to understand the market. This involves analyzing customer needs, current market trends, and potential competitors. Analyzing customer needs through user research is an often underrated tool. It helps unearth needs that the customers have but cannot articulate.

You can carry out market research through a variety of methods:

1. Use an AI tool to ask relevant questions that find whether the need exists or whether some product is fulfilling it wholly or in parts.

2. Run online surveys using Google or Microsoft forms

3. Conduct focus groups using an agency or in your social circle.

4. Attend startup events to see how others have validated their idea.

Ideation

Once you have your need locked down through research or from the conviction of your pain, it’s time to ideate and solve that problem. In this phase, it is important to defer judgment while coming up with diverse ideas to solve the problem. Focus on quantity first, quality later.
For an individual inventor or a solopreneur, your best tools to ideate are Mind Mapping, SCAMPER and Triz. You can use them to either build on a market need or even enhance an idea that you had to solve your pain point. For startups, you can add brainstorming sessions to the above list.
You can even use Alex Osterwalder’s online Business Canvas mapping tool to test out the business model you intend to build around your product.

Concept Validation

Use this phase to separate the wheat from the chaff. In phase 1, you spoke with people, ran surveys to determine whether the problem existed and if it was big enough to justify the need for a product.
In this phase, you go back to the same people with your ideas and ask them to rate which has the best chance of success. Most people cannot visualize their ideal solution. So avoid text and create visuals or physical prototypes of what you think solves the problem the best.
Be dispassionate about your ideas in this phase. Follow the traders’ axiom: “ The Market knows the best” and cull all those that do not fit.

Design and Development

You now have an idea validated by your target audience. But it’s far from market-ready. To get a product to the market, you need to design it to be appealing engineer it to perform safely and manufacture it economically.
You can choose to do this yourself using online CAD tools such as Fusion 360 or Onshape. For a professional-looking product, you need a designer to make it appealing and an engineer to develop it for safety, reliability and affordability. Better still, you can engage with a full-fledged design and development consultancy to deliver the goods.

Testing and Iteration

Before you hit volumes, it’s essential to create prototypes that can be tested time and again. Prototypes serve multiple functions:

1. Look and feel models: Start off with these and test the reaction of your audience. They can help you course correct early on and save up to 70% of down-the-line costs.

2. Assembly Validation: In case you’re making a consumer appliance or a gadget, you need to validate whether all the parts fit together and can be assembled at speed.

3. Functional Testing: Get prototypes made using a professional set-up to test the user’s reactions to how they work.

4. Certification: Use prototypes made using the final manufacturing processes and work with labs to get them certified.

5. Evangelize: Use prototype samples on crowdfunding platforms or with influencers to generate demand for your product.

Production Planning

Find reliable suppliers and manufacturers who align with your quality standards and budget. Negotiate contracts, establish robust quality control measures, and set up efficient production processes.
You can look up sources such as Alibaba to find the ideal partner for your product. Or better still engage with the design and development consultancy to come up with alternatives that you can choose from. Did you know that a well-informed design consultancy can save on developing and manufacturing costs by leveraging existing platforms that ODMs have?

Launch and Marketing

Product Launch is the most exciting part of your journey. It’s the moment you show your baby to the world. Based upon your need, you can choose to:

1. Soft Launch: Show it to a bigger business such as a retailer or MLM business to test the market with a smaller audience.

2. Staged Launch: You launch it at events in shops or only on invite-only platforms to gradually introduce your product. This allows you to course correct and build anticipation.

3. All In You can blitz through ads or even hit shows like Shark Tank for maximum impact. A word of caution: There’s no going back if you have decided to go all in.

Finally, it’s time to attract the buyers. You start with online and offline campaigns, press releases, content marketing and graduate to influencer marketing. It’s important to understand your customer acquisition costs or CAC as they can make or break your product’s profitability. As a rule of thumb, unless you’re backed by deep pockets try to develop products with a higher Average Selling Price (ASP) to ensure that your CAC doesn’t impact your margins.
Raising funds is a critical step in product development for 90% of startups die because they run out of money. Start off with selling your idea as if you own the world and convince suppliers to work with you on credit. Here’s where your or your team’s social credibility kicks in. If you have a team, try and get a co-founder who’s sold in volumes in the past.
Fundraising by itself serves as a validation of your idea, the very fact that someone is willing to part with their money for nothing more than a promise you made. You can raise funds from friends and family, incubators, angel investors and venture capitalists. The latter look for crowdfunding success as a metric before opening up their purse strings.

Summing Up

The product development journey passes through these seven stages: market research, ideation, concept validation, design and development, testing, production and launch.
Bringing your product idea to life is an exciting journey, but it can also be challenging. With Bang Design, you have in your corner, a team with over 800+ projects and 25 years of experience working with startups and Fortune 500 majors.
We work with our clients and all stakeholders to create high-quality products with rapid turnaround times and within budget. Something that has helped our clients win awards, get recognition at the highest level and boost their top lines.

About us

Let Bang Design be your partner in transforming your product dream into a reality

With over 25 years of experience, Bang Design is your one-stop shop for bringing your consumer product ideas to life. We cater to startups, inventors, and small manufacturers, guiding your product journey from initial concept all the way to store shelves. We prioritize high-quality, cost-effective, and timely execution, and our proven track record boasts over 800+ projects completed, even for some of the top 100 companies.
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