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How To Involve Your Customers In New Product Development

Introduction

What is the product development process? The product development process refers to a business’s steps to bring a product to market. It can be a completely new product, renewing an old product, or introducing an existing product to a new market. It involves concept development and testing, prototyping, costing, and commercializing the product by marketing it online and offline. It also includes identifying market needs, conceptualizing the product, building the product roadmap, launching the product, and collecting feedback. Companies can develop new product ideas by Brainstorming Customer Reviews, Examining their competitors’ Audience surveys, Social Media, B2B Wholesale Marketplace, Concept Testing, and Online consumer trend publications. They can involve early adopters and use their feedback to develop prototypes, products, and services.
  • early adopters are people who are willing to try new products or services
  • early adopters can help companies develop prototypes, products, and services
  • early adopters can help companies understand what customers want
  • early adopters can help companies understand how customers use products and services
  Why you should involve your customers in new product development Companies should view their new product releases as tools for their customers to improve their competitive performance. Thus, it is essential to understand customers’ markets, inform them about your product plans, and solicit their input into your development process. With a good understanding of their markets, you can align your objectives with your customers and develop products that are better suited to their needs.
  • customers can provide valuable input
  • customers can be involved in ideation, feedback, and testing
  • customers can help companies understand their needs
  • customers can help companies understand how they use their products
  • customers can help companies understand their pain points
The power of new product development lies in the potential for your business to meet customers’ needs more closely than the competition. Involving customers in the process is the key to developing a successful new product. In addition to facilitating a design that meets customers’ needs, this involvement also strengthens relationships with customers, increases their loyalty, and provides a mutually beneficial service.   Here are 5 ways to co-creating new products with your customers Co-creation is a process by which companies involve customers in designing new products. It’s more than just involving them in feedback and testing—it’s also about letting them get involved in ideation, helping companies understand their needs and how they use their products. Some businesses might be hesitant to do this at first, but it can be a precious resource for companies looking to improve their products.

1.    Create a process through which customers contribute ideas and input.

To involve customers in developing a new product, companies must create a process through which customers contribute ideas and input. Involving customers can be an effective way to demonstrate that the company values its customers’ input. Customers are not just a source of revenue; they are also a source of ideas. Customers are the experts in their own lives, industries, communities and families.

2.    Invite customers into the conversation about the future of your products

Your customers are the experts in their own lives and industries, communities, and families—basically, everything you could imagine (and some things you probably shouldn’t). They know what they want from your products because they use them daily. And if your organization is paying attention to trends in technology, social movements, or anything else that impacts customer needs and wants, then it makes sense for you to tap into this knowledge base by inviting customers into the conversation about the future of your products.

3.    Set the right online platform for co-creation

Establishing the right online platform for co-creation is essential to guide the conversation between the company and customers. A company’s website should be designed to facilitate co-creation. This means that it should be easy to navigate, use and update, monitor and evaluate. Once you’ve set up your site, you can begin encouraging customer involvement in the new product development process.

4.    Online surveys

One of the most effective ways for companies to get customer feedback is through online surveys. These surveys allow you to ask questions about specific aspects of your product or service, such as its design or packaging—and they let customers share their ideas with you in a structured way without having every customer write an essay!

5.    Online forums

Another good option is online forums where customers can discuss products or services purchased from your company (or other companies). This type of forum might include discussion threads on specific topics like “What do you like most about this product?” or “What do you think needs improvement?”   Conclusion Product development is the complete process of taking a product to market. It covers renewing an existing product and introducing an old product to a new market. If you do not include customers in your product development process, you’re likely missing out on valuable opinions and insights that could transform your offerings. If “giving up control” scares you, know there are many ways to involve customers, from customer-led to firm-led. Customer inclusion is about finding better solutions — that’s something every product developer should get behind.  

"Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

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