You can bet that your competitors are pulling out all the stops to get new products to market as fast as possible. Can you honestly say the same?
Reducing the time it takes to bring a new concept from idea to actuality requires no rocket science, or wizardry, or blind luck. All it takes is a cohesive strategy, the right partners in your corner, and the willingness to work harder than the competition.
Not sure where to start? Do these four things to reduce your time to market without compromising quality or hampering your rollout.
1.Iterate Your Designs (Practice Makes Perfect)
First things first: don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good. Product development is a fundamentally iterative process.
As you begin your go-to-market phase, line up two goals in your sights: your minimum viable product (MVP) and your minimum lovable product (MLP), defined by Laurence McCahill as “the version of a new product that brings back the maximum amount of love from your early tribe members with the least effort.”
You can’t reach your minimum lovable product without passing your minimum viable product along the way, so you don’t have to wait until you’ve achieved “the maximum amount of love” to begin selling. Just know that your work isn’t done until you’ve reached the MLP stage — and not even then.
2.Find a Reliable 3D Printing Partner
If your product has physical properties, you’ll need a reliable 3D printing partner to assist with modeling and prototyping — even if you plan to manufacture by other means once you’re ready for a full production run. Your partner needs to be a resource for questions about how long 3D printing takes, how to choose the right media and substrate for your design, and how to interpret CAD models during prototyping.
- Line Up Vendors Ahead of Time
Reach out to third-party vendors before you have a product in hand. If you’re primarily selling online, you won’t need to worry about reserving shelf space months in advance. For more scalable solutions, look to a third-party logistics partner or a plug-and-play option like Fulfillment by Amazon — whatever is necessary to reduce the mental energy and in-house resources you’ll need to devote to vendor relationship management.
4.Invest in a Robust In-House Sales Channel
Don’t neglect your in-house sales channels, either. If you have a brick-and-mortar location zoned for retail, consider a showroom that gives local customers a chance to examine your products up close. If you’re selling commodity items or simply don’t have the space for a physical shop, invest in a website e-commerce solution independent of the Amazons of the world.
Is Your Go-to-Market Strategy Firing on All Cylinders?
In an increasingly competitive, ever more globalized economy, you can’t afford to let your go-to-market strategy languish. You owe it to yourself to give each and every product concept a fighting chance to succeed, even against great odds.
These four go-to-market “to do’s” will certainly help kickstart your efforts, but they’re not all you need to do to stay one step ahead of the competition. Your team is counting on you to show them the way — and your customers are waiting for you to blow off their socks once more.