10 Steps to Bring a Product to Market
Inventor Market Research
You need to conduct meaningful market research for your idea within your target market. Your results need to show how people compare your product to others, what price they think is fair, what product features they like, which they don’t and what features they think you should add to your idea. How you do this can vary tremendously but common forms of research are focus groups, surveys and interviews.
Create Something People Can Evaluate
Either create a brochure or a prototype of your product so people have something they can objectively evaluate.
If you create a brochure, you may need to hire a graphic designer or someone who can do technical drawings. You must make sure the brochure is attractively designed. People will be using your brochure to judge the merits of your product and if your brochure is low quality, people will probably think your product is low quality and you will not get the objective response required for meaningful market research.
Building a prototype is also an option. Again, if your prototype will be made out of plywood and duct tape, people probably won’t respond positively to your product. You may need to hire a prototype designer if you cannot create an attractive enough prototype.
Generally, creating a brochure is easier and more affordable and many inventors choose that route. For help designing a brochure, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices will vary depending on your needs.
Get an Estimate on How Much Your Product Will Cost to Manufacture
Ask an engineer or an industry insider if they can give you a rough estimate on how much your product will cost to manufacture. You can also look at products made of similar materials with a similar level of complexity and see what they sell for. Usually a product sells at four times its manufacturing cost. So if the product costs $19.95, the manufacturing costs are probably around $5.00.
Using your estimated manufacturing cost, estimate your retail price by multiplying your manufacturing costs by four.
Conduct Your Market Research
Create surveys, questionnaires or study groups to compare your product to other existing products. If you are using a brochure, make sure you obtain brochures of competing products so you are not comparing apples to oranges.
You do not want participants to know which product is yours since they will then soften any criticism to not hurt your feelings. You want them to objectively rank each product in the order in which they value each product, or in the order in which they are most likely to buy. You also want them to list strengths and weaknesses of each product.
After doing this, you should have an idea of what customers are willing to pay for your product. For instance, if they rank your product between a product that costs $24.95 and a product that costs $20.95, you can charge around $22.95 for your product. If this price is too low based upon your estimated manufacturing costs, you need to revise your product, either by adding value or by lowering your manufacturing costs.
Also after conducting this market research, you should have at least a few ideas on how to improve your product. Make these changes and repeat the market research until you are satisfied with your results. You will want your product to consistently be ranked as one of the participants’ top two choices.
Remember that whenever you change your product’s design, you will want to re-estimate your manufacturing costs.
Do You Need Help with this Step?
Check out the inventor stories on Bob Black and the Clean Shower for a great example of low cost market research that resulted in a $100 million per year product. Another article on test marketing is Kazi Ahmed and Diabetes Monitoring. Just enter the inventors name in the search box on OneStopInventioShop.net to get the article