+86 13824370059 paulchim@ltproto.com

There are few better feelings than having an idea for a groundbreaking new product.

However, as every inventor will know, that initial ‘light bulb moment’ is the beginning of a much longer – and usually less straightforward – process. Once you’ve got your initial idea, you’ll need to research your market, define your audience, test your idea, build your product, and market it to the masses.

Luckily, new rapid prototyping, product development and on-demand manufacturers are making it easier to bring a new product to market than it ever has been before.

We know there’s a lot that goes into inventing and building a product from scratch (a lot more than we could cover in just one article!), but we want to provide you with a great place to start. Today, we’ll be breaking down the basics of bringing a new product to market, to help you get started with bringing your own idea to life.

Let’s start by breaking it down step by step:

How do you bring a new product to market?

1: Come up with a concept

In other words, have an idea! If you’re reading this article, you’re likely already well on your way, but at this stage, the idea doesn’t need to be fully formed – just a thought about how something can be improved, or how a new product might help make people’s lives a little easier.

You may find your best ideas come from addressing a personal dissatisfaction or frustration – something that you’ve noticed is missing in your day-to-day life.

2: Define and research your target market

No product is really worth anything unless it’s built with a specific group of customers in mind. To create a truly great product, you need to think hard about who you’re creating for – and what would be important to them.

Who is your ideal customer? What are their buying behaviors? Is your product seasonal, or do people typically buy it each and every month? The importance of scoping out your target market cannot be stressed enough, as it will determine your distribution plans, price structure, and other important factors.

3: Research, research, research – and test!

When it comes to product development, there can be no overstating the importance of validating and testing your product. Essentially, it’s critical to evaluate your idea as a viable business opportunity. This means understanding your product, your target market and your competition as best you can.

This is an ongoing process – which should happen even years after the product has launched – but at this stage, thorough research involves having conversations with industry experts and target consumers, finding out whether your idea is feasible, how it would work on a practical level, who would derive the most value from the product and what they would use it for.

In fact, The Lean Startup methodology has as a premise that every startup is a grand experiment that attempts to answer a question. The question is not “Can this product be built?” Instead, the questions are “Should this product be built?” and “Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?” This experiment is more than just a theoretical inquiry; it’s a first product – and that’s where prototyping comes in:

4: Create a prototype

As experts in on-demand manufacturing, we know we might be a little biased, but this is the fun bit! Prototypes are early samples, models, or releases of a product, and are built to test a concept or process – and check that it actually works.

What manufacturers can make STL prototypes?

Nowadays, creating high-quality prototypes for products has never been easier, as rapid prototyping techniques (such as 3D printing and CNC machining) allow you to create prototypes quickly to visually and functionally evaluate an engineering product design.

Rapid prototyping helps reduce product development time massively, is cost-effective (as it is an automated process) and is extremely precise. As rapid prototyping is an iterative process, it also allows customer requirements to be incorporated into designs cost-effectively further down the line, once your product is made.

5: Secure a patent

Now your product development has begun, it’s time to make sure your idea remains yours!

You can use a patent to protect your invention. It gives you the right to take legal action against anyone who makes, uses, sells or imports it without your permission. To be granted a patent, your product must be something that can be made or used, and must also be completely new.

To patent an idea, you apply to the UK Intellectual Property Office (formerly known as the Patent Office) by completing a patent application form and drafting the patent specification. You can find a more extensive guide to patenting your product here.

6: Decide how you want to bring your product to the marketplace

Now that you’ve tested some successful product prototypes and patented your product idea, you’ve got several options before you.

Do you want to sell your patent outright, or start your own company? Perhaps you want to outsource some aspects of your business, while still keeping full ownership of it (making you an ‘outsource entrepreneur’)? These are all completely valid options, and we recommend thinking very carefully about which path best suits you.

Once you’ve made a decision, voila! You’ve just brought your product idea to life, and you’re ready to start producing your products en masse. When thinking about how you want to bulk manufacture your products, we recommend choosing a reliable one stop shop for manufacturing, so that ensure the correct quality assurance procedures are in place, and save yourself a lot of time and money on the admin.

What can you benefit from one stop shop manufacturer?

What supplier is the best to this job for you with low cost, you may wonder. I will suggest you find the supplier can not only offer you manufacturing services but also product development service as well. Even though you don’t need design service, the engineers in the company can point out the problems in your design and give you some advice to modify.

At Liantuo, we pride ourselves on our commitment to providing the best quality assurance possible. We employ highly skilled engineers to triple-check all of your files and parts during the quoting process and on the factory floor, ensuring that you’re always happy with your results.