Co-founder and co-owner of Advisory group.
Innovation is the main driver of economic and social progress. This is reported by the World Intellectual Property Organization Global Innovation Index 2022, the implementation of IT technologies is actively developing worldwide and the volume of investment in innovative projects is increasing. So now is the time to think about the next project that can take your business to the next level.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider these seven steps.
1. Assemble your project team.
For an innovative project you have to select employees who challenge the status quo, look at everything with a creative eye and constantly try something new.
A new project must hire a founder who will be the engine of the idea. This is the person who thinks steps ahead, motivates the team, generates ideas and maintains communication with contractors and manufacturers. Without this driver it is almost impossible to realize a really great project.
Strong co-executors are also important. The number of people involved and their positions may vary, but the team should include the following.
• A product manager who will be involved in testing hypotheses.
• A full-stack developer who is able to create the technical components and interface of the project.
• A product designer who understands the essence of the project well, so that he can translate this into a functional design.
2. Do market research and analysis.
The next step is to conduct market research. During this time, you can observe competitors, the current state of the market, and other data that may affect the success of a new product. Through market research you understand how to respond to what consumers are looking for and which market niches are not yet covered by a product or service. Remember, this is not a one-time process. For greater success, you need to analyze the market regularly.
Market research is also necessary to determine the target audience for your new product or service. This will help you identify the preferences of the general public as well as how they differ by gender, age group, geographic location, etc. This will give you insight into the buying behavior of the public and how you can serve them.
3. Find your innovative idea.
After you analyze the data and your audience, you can use it to find your next project by addressing an existing problem or creating something that fills a gap.
• Addressing market problems: A common product development methodology is based on the belief that a company’s primary resource is its customers. The more you communicate with them, the more you learn about their problems. By understanding their pain points, you can generate ideas for new solutions.
• Creating markets to fill a gap: Instead of searching for problems and their solutions, you can use your market research to find entire consumer populations that are not being served at all. This path was championed by the late Steve Jobs, who believed that people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.
Whichever path you choose, brainstorming can be an effective tool for finding ideas. If there are multiple ideas, discuss the benefits and challenges of each to determine which one has the best chance of success.
4. Collect direct feedback from your target audience.
At this stage, the main goal is to emphasize the value of the project to users. So it is important to get in touch with potential users to collect more specific data related to the project. For example, you can conduct an interview and ask questions to determine the following.
• What exactly does the target group want to see in the product/service?
• How are they solving these problems now?
• What do users like and dislike about existing products?
• What would they add or change to existing products?
The answers you receive are an indication of how well your offering meets the needs of the market, so be sure to properly analyze the feedback you receive.
5. Create a product prototype.
Use the test feedback to create a product prototype together with the product designers. Consider anything that your research and target audience have identified as key features or necessary elements. Once the prototype is complete, engage with the target audience again to see how the product meets their expectations. Keep iterating based on this product testing feedback until you have designed the best possible version of the product.
6. Prepare your marketing plan and product commercialization.
When your product is ready, it is necessary to create a marketing plan. The plan should focus on reaching your target audiences on the channels and media they prefer. Therefore, you must have multiple marketing strategies in play.
7. Launch your product.
Now it’s time for the final phase: the full launch. As your marketing plan takes effect, you can observe your audience’s reaction and collect useful data. This will help you determine how and when to scale the product in the future.
Innovation plays an important role in business and the most effective projects are those that use innovative thinking to make improvements to existing products, processes or systems. The key is knowing what steps to take to increase your chances of success.
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