Identifying Winning Products
A guide to identifying and developing great products successfully.
There are three critical problems that confront anyone trying to undertake product development:
1. Identifying a winning product before you have made it.
2. Finding the ingredients for success.
3. Getting your team seamlessly integrated.
Product development should be something your whole business is involved with, not just the R&D team.
Creating a structure that enables you to deliver a unified product that is cohesive in the way it is developed, manufactured, and communicated will end up winning for both yourself, your team, and those who use your products.
This resource sets out a practical approach to identifying and developing winning products and how you can focus on your team to get the best end result. Our approach has been developed from 15 years of successful experiences across a wide range of industries.
Developing products is hard
The market and context of your product are constantly changing and evolving. You are competing against skilled people who are trying to solve the same problem as you and are likely to have more resources than you, but there is hope.
The right idea?
No amount of hard work can make up for pursuing the wrong idea. Having an idea with a strong point of difference that tackles a real problem or opportunity, and which can be easily understood by others makes, it a lot easier downstream. Choosing well what to invest yourself and your resources into are your most important decision.
More does not mean better
Small, agile teams have been proven to be able to succeed where many large teams have bailed. They achieve this by thinking differently and approaching problems in new ways. They are better at adapting to change quickly.
Research is not negotiable
Research is simultaneously your tool for risk management and for deriving insight. It will build a better platform of understanding that will drive the creation of new ideas and insights. A lack of research can take you in the wrong direction that, at an early stage, can be fatal.
Product integrity is paramount
Your product reflects your company, your staff, your attitude, and your brand. Creative, original work validates products with integrity, will underpin your company values and will help build sustainable success.
New is not always better
Being new is not what matters the most. Sometimes clever, well-resolved use of existing technology or ideas can yield surprising results.
Don’t expect a welcome mat
Changing the rules or disrupting a market can force a change in people’s behaviour that requires education. You can easily find yourself falling outside of or in between existing standards and regulations. Larger companies may take time to understand what you are bringing to market and may be resistant to change.
Perseverance and self-belief
Perseverance and self-belief are important traits to have in order to overcome the many challenges you will face when successfully commercialising your products and business.
The recipe for success
Success is driven by three key factors. Using recipes as analogy, we can look at how these things affect what we do.
Raw Materials – Your Resources
If you make an omelette with free range, freshly laid eggs, or you can use 20-day old supermarket eggs. You will get a very different result — and flavour.
Your raw materials are your resources. Making sure you have the right resources to deliver what you want is essential. This starts by clearly understanding what type of people you need and taking a practical and careful approach to the solution.
Process – Your Structure
Pumpkin soup is a simple, well-loved dish in winter. You can make it simply by boiling pumpkin in water, which is fine. However, if you chop the pumpkin up and roast it and then boil it in chicken stock, it will create a richer and more complex flavour.
How you choose to undertake your work, the framework, process, and sequence will have a bearing on the outcome. Structure is not about gaining control but having the right approach and doing things at the right time.
Timing – Your Decisions
Cooking a well-aged steak at the right temperature for three minutes each side delivers a very different result the same steak cooked for 10 minutes each side.
Timing is vital to being successful. When executing your designs, you need to consider the timeline in which everything needs to be completed. This can take practice, but, like a perfectly cooked steak, you will soon know your favourite way to serve the dish.