You’ve got some great new product ideas but are jot sure if they are going to be profitable, so how do you test them?
Peers: Well, first of all ask around your family and friends and see as to whether they think it is a great idea whether they would buy it and how much they would be willing to pay for it. Now they are going to be polite to you so you should temper the results with this factor.
Competition: Have a good look around your competitors and see if they are doing anything that is similar to your proposed products. If not have a good think as to why not – could be they have tried it and found it not to be profitable.
Internet Search: Do some in depth internet searching to see if there is anything like your new product. You might also find case studies of what went right or wrong.
Forum Search: Search around some user forums and see the kind of things that people are searching for. Put down some feelers about your new product – be careful that you do not declare it until it is ready.
Magazines and Newspapers: Look through the trade and local magazines and newspapers to see if anything similar has been mentioned. Your local library has back copies.
Read Research: Read white papers and research papers on the area, ask some boffins if available.
Street Surveys: Set up some street surveys asking if the problem you are solving is a problem and what solutions they have found.
Focus Groups: Get them to discuss your ideas, review your prototypes and listen to their answers and discussions to make improvements to your products. You might even get some new ideas.
Ask Experts: Ask marketing experts, sales people etc. about your proposals.
Ask the Ad Agencies: If your company is large enough to potentially employ an ad agency, then put the advertising out to tender and listen to their ideas as they make the pitches. Once you have chosen your agency, they will come up with more ideas for you.
Ask Your Staff: Ask inside your company, particularly amongst those that are customer facing.
Key Customers: Ask you key customers what kind of problems they are trying to solve and tell them a bit about your solutions.
Test Runs: Undertake a few test runs with your proposed products before you fully commit yourself.
Remember if the results are not favourable, you can still make changes to your proposed product, or you will have enough information to set up some new products. Good luck.