What does it take to start a successful product line? Believe it or not the answer is simple: Spending time in the discovery process.
When people have an idea for a new product or line the first thing I encourage my clients to spend time in the discovery process. When a brand owner does his or her research on the market, and study not only their competitors but also their potential customers, they will be confident that they are delivering a product that is sure to be successful!
What is the discovery process? The discovery process is just that, discovering the markets and evaluating the market looking for people to do several key indicators:
1. Competition. How much competition is in your category? If there is a ton, such as in a weight loss category take note, if there is a few that can be good and if there is none, well we will discuss feasibility in the next point. A lot of competition is good, that means that poeple are making money in that category. A few indicates either a niche market and/or a a new emerging market and no competitions says either you are first to market and/or their is no demand.
While evaluating the competition, I want you to notice:
1. The top 5 players
2. Their packaging
3. Their market position and product offer.
Write all of that information down, it will be useful soon.
Once you’ve completed a brief market analysis the next important step is to:
2. Regulations. This is crucial – hold your idea up to regulations. Where does your product line come into the government guidelines?
It’s also worth noting if it’s a personal skin care product. Don’t think that there are not regulations on claims. There are for sure. And ignorance has no place in the eyes of the FDA. It’s your responsibility to make sure that your product, product labeling and product claims are in line with government regulations.
3. Manufacturer. Alright, let’s pretend everything’s a go.
Now you get on the phone and start making some calls. Manufacturers are notoriously bad at returning phone calls. But be persistent! What you want to find out is:
1. Minimum order
2. All the costs involved
3. Lead times
4. Payment terms
With this information. Let’s go back to step 1 of assessing your competitors. Where do your numbers fall in line with their retail numbers? Then either decide to move forward or jump ship.
The discovery process of a evaluating a new product should take no longer than 2 months. And that’s the beginning phase of evaluating launching a successful product line.