When you offer something, whether it be a product or a service, to the public, it’s important that you properly develop whatever it is you’re offering. This doesn’t just mean the actual concept and design (although, obviously, making sure that you properly design your product is extremely important), but it also includes managing the image and the branding of the product or service. And that shouldn’t end at the launch date, it should continue.
However, for a lot of small businesses, especially smaller ones, such things are well outside the realm of their budget, and outside their realm of expertise. Nevermind all the work and expense that goes into the analysis of a product and how it will be received, and getting a big enough sample size for those analyses for it to hold some sort of validity (you can’t take a test sample of forty people in your local area and pretend that it’s something that can be extrapolated to the rest of the nation. It’s just not realistic), and then all the market testing. Then you have to consider that there are a lot of steps to bringing a new product (or service) to market.
The first step, if a name had to be applied to it, is inception (no, not the movie. That movie was awful), the origination of the idea. For outside product development companies, this is when they’re going to be working hard to figure out the ins and outs of your business, ensuring that they know what you do and how you do it, and working with you to figure out deadlines for various portions of the product development process. If you’ve hired a product development company to help you with marketing, this is around the time they start creating a website and inventing a digital footprint out in the vast internet for your company.
The second step is commonly referred to as ‘creation’. In this step, your product development company is going to be deciding on an artistic direction for your product while you, hopefully, should be in the process of solidifying the design of your product (or service) and the way it’ll be offered to the clients. You’ll also be beginning to craft the brand that you’ll be presenting to them once the product is properly launched.
Thirdly, we come to the construction step. While you’re hard at work, slowly manufacturing your first run of the product you’re going to be offering, or constructing the needed framework in order to be able to offer the service you’ll be offering to the masses, the professional product development company you’ve hired will be busy crafting your marketing approaches, website, and any other advertising that you’ll be doing pre-launch. Hard deadlines will be set, and will be met, especially if you’ve hired a company you can trust to do what you’re paying them to do.
Fourth, we come to execution, although it’s sometimes known as launch. Professional product development companies live for this day, the day that the product launches and their marketing plans show their effectiveness (or, if you hired the wrong company, their lack thereof). Another important portion of this step is making sure, after the product launch and the website launch, that you sit down, both internally and with your product development firm, and you look at what went well and what didn’t, and resolve any issues so the next product launch goes much more smoothly (or, if things went terribly, you may want to start shopping for a better company to work for, and my condolences to you if you’ve had this experience).
Now, at this point, a lot of people stop paying attention, move on to new projects and never look back, and that’s to their own detriment, because there is an important fifth stage. That stage is evolution, and not only does it mean that the product itself needs to evolve with the times and with new technologies that may come out, but the support of that product must evolve as well. You need to be up to date with the way that you’re advertising the product, as well as making sure that your website reflects the product as it currently exists. This is time-consuming, and it isn’t a short-term project; if you think about it, as long as your product exists, it’ll have an image and a brand that will need to be professionally maintained.
So, if you’re new to the world of business, look for a professional product development company you trust, and hire them to help you maintain the marketing image of your products. You’ll be glad you did when it pays off in increased sales.