WHERE SHOULD INSIGHT SIT IN THE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS?

By: Emma Muckersie

You’re in charge of launching a new product. You’ve ploughed time, money, effort, energy into it. But 3 months down the line, your product just isn’t selling.

Sounds like a familiar story? Well you’re not alone. According to innovation guru Clayton Christian, 95% of new products fail. Why?

New products fail for 3 fundamental reasons:

  • They don’t meet a customer need
  • They’re simply not usable
  • The marketing and comms don’t resonate with consumers

So why does this happen? And how can you avoid these 3 pitfalls?

We often find product managers come to us as product development is coming to a close. They want to validate an idea that’s been months in the making. Or the product’s ready to go, but they’ve only thought to test the marketing. But by this time, it’s too late. If it doesn’t get the go ahead from consumers, you’ve thrown your money and time down the drain.

Insight shouldn’t be an afterthought

Insight should be the starting point for your product development. Why?

Insight is crucial for spotting opportunities. And by insight we don’t just mean asking people what they want to see next from your brand in a focus group. If you do that, you’re only going to develop faster horses. We mean rich insight that reveals unmet needs – the things that people couldn’t just tell you off the bat. And with new methodologies like passive observation, we’re able to find these areas for innovation by identifying what people actually need based on their current behaviour, rather than what they say they want to see.

Building products that address real consumer needs is crucial to their future success. It goes without saying that if you’re solving a problem that no one has, your product will be doomed to failure from the get-go. But in the excitement of coming up with new ideas, this is often quickly forgotten!

This is only the start – use an agile approach to get further, faster

Placing insight at the start of the product development process will stand you in good stead. But don’t think that means your work is done. Research should be used throughout the product development process to test your execution of the concept with consumers at every step – from the testing the appeal of the initial concept to user experience testing to evaluating the comms and marketing. An agile approach that focuses on gathering feedback and using this to move you forward at speed will get you further, faster. And by listening to consumers at every step, you’ll be left with a product you know they’ll love.

To find out our approach to developing future-ready products, services and strategies faster, get in touch.