Product development is a critical task for all businesses,
big or small.
This process requires precious resources such as time, money
To be successful in the marketplace your product development
endeavor must avoid these top 10 mistakes.
Product Not Useful:
Any product you develop must be useful to the end user.
There is no point in developing a product that the
customer will not buy.
Donít develop a product that is good for the
engineer, Sales team, or anyone else.
Do it for the customer.
The product must solve a problem for the end user
that they want to be solved.
This makes the product useful.
There are many examples of failed products.
here to see some of them.
Too Difficult to Figure Out:
If you make a product that is too difficult for the end user
to figure out how to use it youíre likely to see many
returns for which your small business will have to bear the
cost. As a
result your prodct will develop a bad reputation and word
will spread quickly.
Negative news travels quickly.
It wonít take long before you see a decline in the
sale of the product.
Simple is always the best policy.
Make a product easy for the end user to figure out
and use and they will use it.
Donít assume that the end user will find it easy to
use just because you find it easy to use.
Not Accurately Assessing the
In order to build a product that your customers want you
have to figure out what their real desires are.
People not only want their problems solved, but they
want it solve a certain way.
You have to develop a product that solve the problem
for the customers in they way that they want it solved.
You have to conduct market research that includes the
use of focus groups to assess what people are looking for.
Learn more about
validating the product idea.
Relying on Someone Else to Find the
When youíre developing a product you canít rely on someone
else (such as the customer, retailer, distributor, sales
team, etc.) to discover the mistakes.
You have to identify and resolve any and all issues
with the product before it goes to market.
Everyone, including the customer, retailer,
distributor, etc. expects a product that lives up to
Product defects will result in a high rate of return and
negatively impact the profits and reputation of your small
Failure to Adapt:
Developing a product is a learning process.
You start out with a list of raw materials, a concept
of the steps involved in assembling the product, and an idea
of what the final product should look like.
A learning process takes place as you start to
assemble the product.
You can discover that other raw materials are needed,
a different way of assembling the product has to be adopted,
and the final product may have to look and function
You must be willing to adapt to new information and develop
a product that meet the needs of your customers and grow the
Confusing the Customer with the
For every product you develop you have to ask yourself: who
will use this product?.
Who will buy this product.
The answer to these questions are critical to your
If youíre developing a product for children under the
age of 18 it means that their parents will likely be the
ones that will be doing the purchasing.
Hence you have to develop a product that is not only
appealing to the child but also to the parent.
If youíre developing a product that another
organization will purchase for their personnel to use it
means that you have to convince the purchasing agent to
convince their decision maker to athorize the purchase of
Rush to Finish:
Product development is often driven by a strict timeline
because you have limited resources and you want to get a
product to market quickly so that you can start generating
revenues for the business.
This rush to market can result in developing a
product that is not ready for the end user.
Rushing can lead to shortcuts, misrepresentation of
the product, a product that is of poor quality, a product
Afraid of Failure:
Donítí be afraid to fail.
Failure is where you learn what works and what does
not work. If
youíre not willing to try new things youíre not going to
fail and learn from those failures.
Using A Complex Manufacturing
When you develop a new product you have to consider how easy
it would be to mass produce.
The more complex the manufacturing process the more
costly it will be to manufacture.
A high manufacturing cost will result in you having
to price the prodict at a high cost so that you can recoop
the manufacturing cost and make a profit.
This coulc result in a product that is too highly
priced for your intended customers.
10. Canít Meet Regulatory Requirements:
If youíre going to develop a new product you have to
consider whether or not that product will require regulatory
approval before it can be sold in retail stores.
Agencies such as the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC),
Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
etc. have requirements that have to be met for products that
fall under their jurisdictions.