Having a business idea can be incredibly exciting. It might be that a spark hits you one day while driving home from work, or you’ve slowly been developing product prototypes since a young age, something that started as a game and now might represent a viable business idea.
It can be very tricky, however, to take that idea from an initial design phase to something that people can buy. In this article we take a look at how you can go about turning a product design into reality, to help any budding inventors and entrepreneurs hit the ground running.
We also want to say a big thanks to the Mercator team for providing their insights!
Is your design unique?
The first thing to check is if your product already exists. If it, or something similar, does exist, you’ll want to check that your product design isn’t protected by an existing patent. If it is, that could mark a significant roadblock in the process of bringing it to reality.
Even if the design isn’t patented, if another company is already successfully selling a similar product and your design doesn’t have a clear and marketable advantage, it could be hard to get a position in the market.
Protect your intellectual property
If your design is unique and not currently protected by a patent, then you yourself need to protect your product design.
Make sure that everyone who’s brought into the process early on signs a confidentiality agreement, stopping them from taking the idea elsewhere and selling it to a competitor. Once the design is in its final form, you’ll want to patent it, creating forms of evidence along the design process documenting and proving exactly when you came up with the idea.
Market research should have been carried out before you started on your product design journey, but once you have a product that you think is viable, it’s time to carry out more research. While you might think your product design is perfect, it’s far more important that consumers also feel that way.
Conduct qualitative and quantitative market research to see if people would buy your product, and see if there are any ways you can tweak it to make it more appealing. There likely will, and you’ll need to see how easy it is to apply these changes.
Mass production and marketing
While your product might be easy to make in small quantities, to sell it you’ll need an efficient and effective way of scaling production. This will likely mean consulting with various manufacturers, getting them to make prototypes and seeing if those initial creations are up to scratch.
Once you’ve found somewhere that can mass produce your product at an acceptable price, you’re ready to go. To make sure that people know about your product, you’ll need to market it effectively, and create a brand that represents the ideology behind your product.
It might sound like a complex process, but if carried out correctly, turning your product design from idea to reality can be the journey of a lifetime.