With 30,000 new consumer products created every year, it’s hard to imagine how you can find your own space in such a crowded market. There’s also a high percentage of failure for new products, but that’s because most companies lose focus on creating a minimum viable product. Using the right tools can help you create a strong MVP.
Throughout the cycle of research, development, and testing, lots of new ideas and approaches are introduced. This can create a rich environment for innovation and problem-solving. Unfortunately, this process can obfuscate the mission of creating the product you intended to create.
If you’re trying to ensure that you can release an MVP that you can learn from, make sure you’re using the right resources. To make sure you give customers what they need, try these 7 resources for product creation.
1. Business Model Canvas
If you lose sight of your business model, you lose sight of your intention for starting the process of product creation. Without knowing what your goals are, you can end up being pulled in a thousand different directions. You’ll release a product that is a jack of all trades and a master of none.
A business model canvas is a framework that can describe your business idea in a way that everyone can understand. If you’re struggling to describe what you want to do to investors or having to explain your business to a wide variety of audiences, this can streamline presentations.
In a simple and visual way, your business can be laid out on a page or a screen, answering all the basic questions in an efficient way. You might even find it can inspire new ideas.
2. Use Google Docs
Google docs are great through every step of the product creation cycle. You can create collaborative documents for different departments or clusters of workers and track what changes they’ve made. You can introduce a list of tasks and see as they’re completed, with space for any notes about improving the process.
Once your product is ready for testing, you can create free surveys asking your customers to give you feedback. You can create a document for the earliest users to describe their experiences and allow everyone a common space for adding comments.
Your minimum viable product needs to meet the needs of your users, so anyway that you can gather their thoughts, you’ll be moving closer to fulfilling their needs.
3. Create A Landing Page
Use a tool like landingi.com to create a free landing page so that you can share your story and engage with customers. If your product is downloadable, this can be a place to talk about what you aim to do with your product and provide links.
While you’re still in the product creation portion of your development cycle, you can build hype through a landing page. Create a call-to-action button asking users to engage and leave contact information.
If you’ve created a social media profile, this can be the place where you send potential clients or followers who are looking for more information. It allows you to keep from having to create all kinds of long complicated expository social media posts. Give the minimum on other profiles and redirect everyone to your landing page.
This will let you know what your clients expect from a product like yours.
4. Use Google Analytics
You can measure your demographics and engagement by following your clickthrough rate to your landing page. This will help you in the process of product creation by finding out what other products your customers like as well as a lot of other demographic information.
Google Analytics is a free tool that will tell you where people are getting to your landing page from and how often they come to your page.
You can measure the engagement of your call-to-action buttons and see how well outreach is working.
If you’ve just released a promotion to get people excited about your product creation process, see if it’s connected with people by watching your analytics. You can get a lot of marketing and user insight by looking at the vast amount of data that Google collects.
5. An Email Program
Whether you use MailChimp, Freshmail, or one of the many other email production tools online, email marketing is still a great way to connect with customers. This allows you to have direct contact with your customers and give them updates on the product development cycle.
If your brand finds itself lost between a few different paths to choose from, why not turn to an engaged audience to ask what they want. You might find you need to step back to an earlier concept because you skipped a feature that clients want from your new product.
6. Write A Blog
Writing a blog is a great way to invite your audience into the process of product creation. Let them know as you take on a new idea or a new approach and ask them to leave a comment.
You’ll know right away by the number of clicks, shares, and comments when you’ve hit gold. Your most engaged clients will be excited to see that a feature is almost ready. They’ll be critical or silent when they don’t care about a feature.
Even if you’re excited about something you’re working on, you need to ensure that your customers are excited about it too. If your engagement has spiked and gone, you might have skipped past the step of having a minimum viable product.
You could take a step back and release an earlier version and start getting the feedback you need from users now.
Product Creation Is All About Engagement
At the end of the day, without customers, your product is useless. People go about their lives using imperfect products for years because it’s easier than finding something new. With all of the ways that you can engage with customers now, there’s no excuse for releasing any new products that fail to meet a user’s needs.
If you’re looking at next steps in patenting and releasing your product, contact us for tips on how to get your product into the hands of users.