The New Product Factory
There are three tasks involved in launching a successful product.
- Finding an opportunity in the marketplace, and then creating a product to meet that opportunity. The well-conceived product meets a consumer desire or need and can be produced at a price that provides buyers with value. This is normally an entrepreneur’s strength.
- Manufacturing the product.Tooling, manufacturing fixtures, working capital, quality control, value engineering, product liability insurance, regulatory approvals and a host of other complicated concerns are the realm of the manufacturer.
- Marketing the product.Pricing, packaging, promotional allowances and connecting with major buyers are some of the simpler tasks of marketing. Understanding customer needs, positioning the product so it will sell, creating a memorable brand and product image, and finding customer hot buttons are some of the tactics marketers use to successfully introduce a product.
As you look at these three tasks, ask yourself: Does it make sense for entrepreneurs to try to do everything involved in bringing a product to market? I don’t think so. Each of the jobs of new product development, marketing and manufacturing requires in-depth expertise. Your goal as an entrepreneur is to learn to use other people so that both you and they make money. Once you do that, you’ll be able to devote your time to being creative and inventing new products.
Unfortunately, there is no single way to find partners. Each market and each product are different and require a particular approach; for each new endeavor, you will need to go to shows, make industry contacts and find just the right marketing and manufacturing partners. But once you become skilled at finding partners, you’ll only be limited by your creativity and your ability to come up with new ideas that the market wants.