Inventory Based Businesses and Product Development Strategies

Table of Contents

Any time you create a new product, you need a product development strategy that will help you bring your new product to your target market and ensure that you have the right inventory on hand to help you manage your product. With the right, most effective product development strategy, you can do a better job of establishing your new product’s place in the market and managing your ongoing inventory needs. 

As an inventory-based business, do you have an effective product development strategy? Look at these key elements that you may need to include.

1. Identify new pain points for your customers (or a new way to solve existing problems more effectively)

The most effective products are designed to solve critical problems for your customers. The better you know your target market, the better you can shape your products to ensure that they meet the specific needs of your customers. 

Listen to your target market. Thanks to the advent of social media, social listening is easier than ever. Through social listening and social selling, you can develop a better idea of exactly what your customers are looking for and how your products might be able to help solve those problems. Ask:

  • What problems do your customers have? 
  • What do customers talk or ask about the most often?
  • What are the deficits in your existing products? Is there something that your products are not able to accomplish, but that customers repeatlyed ask for or clearly want?

The better you know your target market, and the more interaction you have with them, the better you can identify the challenges they may face.

2. Develop a product concept that will solve those pain points

You need an effective product concept that will convenience or solve pain points for your customers. Can you help save your customers time? Decrease their costs? Fix a problem that comes up for them on a regular basis? Your goal, with a new product, is to create something your customers need. 

It might be a new fashion design. It might be a piece of equipment that will help solve problems in the workplace. It might be a great new piece of technology that can help streamline business operations. Whatever you’re considering, keep your customers’ needs at the forefront so that you can deliver an effective product that fits their needs.

3. Ask for feedback regarding your concept

Go back to your market to discuss your new concept. Lay out your idea for people who are likely to be able to use that product, then ask for feedback. You may want to know:

  • Who would purchase that product?
  • Does the product solve a problem for users, based on feedback from your target audience?
  • Are there additional features or options that users would look for in the product?

Having a vibrant social media community or thriving product testers can go a long way toward helping you develop a better understanding of how your product concepts will perform in your market, since you’ll be dealing with people who fit your target profile and will help you create better products. 

4. Start developing the product

You may want to create a prototype for testing or put out samples of the product for your target market before you start creating bulk quantities. Creating a prototype is a great way to test your product and make sure that it actually fits your goals and solves the problems it is intended to solve. With your prototype, you can iron out initial problems before the product ever goes to the market.

5. Test the product

Send out the product to a select few members of your target audience and invite them to help evaluate the product. Encourage them to provide valuable feedback about how the product functions in a real-world setting. At this stage, you can still make essential changes to the product that may improve its benefit for your customers. As you asses the product, make sure you ask your users how the product is really functioning in a real-world environment. Make sure you consider:

  • Does the product serve the target function?
  • Is there anything that the product is missing?
  • Would your test market buy the product again, or will they continue to use it in the future?
  • Is there anything that would make the product better?

Comprehensive testing can give you a better feel for how functional your product really is and what benefits it will actually take to your target market.

6. Start building inventory

Once you have made any necessary alterations to the product, you can start building your inventory and release the product to your target market. Take a look at how similar products have performed in the past by analyzing your current inventory and sales. Consider the product’s performance with your test audience and how you expect it to perform in the future. Make sure you have a solid supply chain in place that will allow you to keep inventory rolling in, especially if you expect a popular release and the continued need for future inventory. 

7. Market and launch your product

Your product launch is an incredibly important part of the product development process. The early days of that product launch can have a huge impact on how your product performs over time. With effective marketing, you can often launch your product to a wider audience and ensure its success. Pay attention to your ongoing stock and inventory to determine whether you need to continue to produce more of the product, if you need to move some of the product to other locations, or if you may need to decrease production because demand is lower than anticipated.

Are you ready to launch a new product?

If you’re planning a new product launch, keeping track of the inventory will help ensure that you can get your product where it needs, when it needs to be there. Contact us to learn more about our inventory management solutions and how they can help with your product launch.

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