OK, so you have a brilliant idea. What are the next steps to making it a product?
HIT THE COMPUTER
Search all the different keyword phrases that might be associated with the product. See if you can find anything like it out there. Many people never even do the initial research on their ideas before pitching it to a manufacturing or distribution company. The last thing you want is to set up a meeting, pitch your idea, have someone walk to the computer, and find it with an easy search.
Investigate a variety of stores to see if you can find it. Don’t just look in one type of store and consider that you’re done. I have an idea for gardeners. I’ve shopped Lowes, Home Depot, Mennards, and every garden store that I can find. I’m always looking for it and have for years. Granted it exists, but not in the form that would work for my idea.
THUMB THROUGH THEM
Check out as many magazines, industry publications and newsletters as you can to see you can find it. If you’re not a traveler, ask someone who is to bring you a Sky Mall magazine. If that doesn’t have it, it probably doesn’t exist.
IT’S NOWHERE TO BE FOUND – GREAT
FILLING THE NEED
Ask yourself and be very clear on these questions. What need does this product address? What problem does it solve? Products that solve intense needs are generally more successful. If it offers a multitude of solutions. that’s even better.
This question might seem strange but it’s extremely important. Are people aware that they have a need for your product? They might truly have a need but unless they perceive that have the need, it might be tough to convince them.
Know exactly who the market is for this new item. The more clear you are on the “who” the easier it will be to get interest in your idea. Include the demographics and psychographics of your audience in your analysis. A complete picture is always good.
GETTING IT TOGETHER
Shop the materials that would be needed to create your product. This will give you an opportunity to really think it through. This is one of the areas that I am having a problem with. I’m heading off to a specialty store to check for the best solution for my product, this weekend.
SKETCH IT OUT
A sketch is key for this exercise. It will help get all the component ideas in one place and force you to really think it through. I’m no artist but I’ve started on my sketch and it’s not looking bad. So grab a pad, some pencils (with erasers) and have a go. Even if you plan to use a professional artists, which I may end up doing, you still want to give them something to start with.
I’ll talk about the pitch process on Thursday. For right now, you have plenty of work to keep you busy.
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