Tools and techniques for product creation today
Finding the word “innovative” on a company website or product description is hardly challenging. And we know why companies fall back on this word – it’s the easiest way to convey that you’re thinking differently, using advanced technologies and can meet the demands of today’s world.
But what do we mean when we talk about innovation in our processes for creating new products? On a more granular level, let’s consider why it’s so important to be innovative in product creation:
- Materials and constructions used to make products are crossing categories and becoming more advanced by the day, calling for a new and improved product creation processes.
- There is increasing pressure to reduce the calendar time and cost of the product creation process while continuing to uphold or elevate quality and performance.
- Overall requirements and customer expectations for product quality and performance are becoming more stringent and shared.
Now, let’s get specific about what innovative product creation looks like.
Be customer-focused in the development process
Sound like a no-brainer rather than innovation? We would argue that the more pressure companies face to make products faster, the more they can risk losing touch with what the customer really wants. Many companies lack an effective way to generate, collect, manage and apply customer feedback on their products, or don’t collect feedback early enough in the product creation process to impact outcomes. The innovative approach utilizes a product creation platform from the beginning to generate reliable, relevant and actionable feedback from real customer communities.
Don’t be afraid to reassess products based on customer feedback
One of the biggest benefits of getting customer feedback within the product creation process is understanding what works or doesn’t work before you go to market, and adjusting accordingly. Being unable or unwilling to make certain adjustments to the design that may ultimately drive your product’s success is akin to claiming you always know better than your customers – and that’s a dangerous assumption to make that can lead to costly returns or sluggish inventory. Leveraging the communities of end-users accessible on a product creation platform makes it easy to see and apply the feedback – from identifying critical issues, to simple, yet valuable “gut checks” – without feeling like you’re slowing down the process.
Utilize the right technologies
This is critical, and while every company has its own specific methodology for executing its product creation processes, today’s advanced landscape demands the use of purpose-built technologies that are designed specifically for the job. The MESH01 Platform helps streamline product creation from research and ideation all the way through product launch, generating and integrating real-time customer feedback when you need it to ensure the product you put to market is what your customers want.
Focus on all phases of the product creation process
It’s easy to neglect a particular phase, or phases, of the product creation process. A company may spend a lot of time on upfront research but struggle to properly test the physical product. Or, it may focus heavily on the product launch activities while rushing through concept testing and design. All phases of the product development process should be given the focus they require, and if you use a product creation platform, moving from phase to phase while bringing the value of each step from one phase to the next will be a natural and valuable progression and acceleration.
Engage other departments within, and utilize outside resources
To be most successful in your product creation efforts, the process can’t happen in a bubble. If customer feedback prompts a worthwhile change to the product, enabling the right departments to immediately be aware of the change and the rationale behind it is important for overall success. A product creation platform supports this vital interdepartmental connectivity, allowing the right individuals and teams visibility and the opportunity to contribute to product success.
Adopt a growth-minded approach throughout the process
Every company has opportunities for growth through activities like incorporating new technologies or expanding into adjacent markets, but these may be overlooked or only considered at the research and ideation phase. When companies adopt a growth mindset that consistently considers new value opportunities through the entire product creation process, they stand a better chance to drive real, significant growth for the long-term. A fast, powerful and adoptable product creation platform allows you visibility into opportunities through customer connectivity at every stage.
Improve your product creation processes, starting with a product creation platform
To infuse your product creation process with valuable customer feedback, from concept to launch, the right technology and communities are key.
Fast: Having timely access to valuable feedback, data and insights allows you to streamline your product creation process. The more actionable information you get at your fingertips, the more quickly and effectively you can evaluate and potentially apply it to each phase of your product creation process.
Intuitive: Complicated technology muddies the waters of what you’re trying to accomplish on fast timelines. Today, your technology should be easy to use and adopt for all relevant tasks.
Integrated: Your entire product team can have greater visibility into critical phases of the process from research and ideation through product launch. Companies can significantly increase the value of their products if they are able to support collaboration within each phase.
Connected: There’s no better way to test the success of your product than with its actual users. Work with communities of your target customers who provide fast feedback to help improve your product design. This kind of timely and relevant feedback will help you avoid going to market with a poor product, subsequently avoiding a high rate of returned or unsold product while bolstering loyalty.
“Innovative” rolls right off the tongue, but at the risk of sounding like everyone else, consider what makes your product creation process truly innovative. If you find you have gaps or opportunities, MESH01 is a perfect solution.