How To Take A Product From Idea To Merchandise

Any product that you have ever bought; in fact, any product you have ever heard of began its life as an idea someone had. Cell phones, DVD players, the list goes on and on: all of these things began as an idea. Some of the giants of industry today got their start by coming up with an idea and selling that idea before it ever even found life as a product. That idea rattling around somewhere in the back of your mind just may make you rich someday! How? Read on!

Create a product

There’s more than one way to create a product. You can bring your own original idea for a product to life, improve on a product which already exists or find a market niche which is unserved because of the absence of an as yet nonexistent product. You can meet a preexisting need, or create a new one.

Design your product

Getting things down on paper will help you plan out your product. You can get a better idea of how things might go in the real world than if the product remains solely in your mind. Think about these things: What is your product? What will your product look like (design is a vital part of marketing any new product, after all). Will it be designed in such a way that it will be competitive with what is already on the market?

The importance of design cannot be stated enough. Just think of the iPod (or for that matter, any Macintosh product). Its design has undoubtedly brought in as many consumers as functionality. Design is about more than just looks though. For instance, Steve Jobs worked against the idea of having a fan as a component of the latest generation of iMacs. There was a lot of engineering involved, but the end result was a computer which manages heat more effectively and quietly.

Research the market

It’s great to have a product – but if you don’t have anyone to buy it, what use is your new product? You have to figure out who may be interested in your new product. Is there a market for it? will you have to do a lot of convincing to get people interested in your product, or will it fill a demand which already exists?

If you’re not yet sure what your product is going to be, do some market research into your target industry and look for needs that are going unfulfilled.

Selling the product

To sell anything, you’re going to need a marketing strategy in place. There is much more to this than simply shoving your product in the proverbial face of the public. Think about your product and how it can compete with similar offerings.

Decide on your product sales route

How and where will you try to sell your product? This is going to affect almost every aspect of it: production, price and so one. Will you be selling your product in stores, over the web or both? Will you be selling directly to retailers or using an affiliate marketing program as your sales strategy? Will you pricing reflect the commissions you must pay to affiliates if you opt for that route? Will you offer bulk discounts? Most importantly, will the method of selling you choose be able to sustain your business venture?

Set your pricing

Pricing is extremely important; you want to be able to cover costs of production, marketing and the like yet still make a profit – all while remaining competitive in the marketplace. This is something of a balancing act and should be undertaken carefully.

Pricing should be a part of your sales strategy. Put a reasonable markup on your product after making sure to cover all of the overhead expenses. You must make your pricing attractive to consumers, but not so cheap as to indicate that it is not worth paying a reasonable price for.

Supply and demand

A standby of economics, supply and demand is in play in the creation and marketing of any product. You can only sell a product as long as you can produce it after all. Is there sufficient supply of the needed materials to produce your product and where will they come from? Do you need to create a demand for your new product, or does one already exist?

Keep in mind any changes in the market that may be coming. For instance, say you are selling a product which is an accessory for another product. Let’s take a cellphone as our example. What happens if the model of cellphone you manufacture a case for goes out of production? This could really cause you some trouble. Anticipating these kinds of changes can keep you afloat.

Your competitors

Always be aware of who your competition is and what they are doing. You can learn from how they behave in the market and you may be able to find a way to improve on how they do business to your own benefit.

Promoting your product

Once your product is ready to make its entry into the market, you’re going to have to promote it. How will you advertise your new product? Where and to whom will you target your advertising? Is a website sufficient to promote your new product or are more old fashioned methods called for? You will do well to continually evaluate and retool your marketing efforts to remain on top of market trends.