Creating a product can be an incredible experience, but it can also be nerve-wracking. After the months – maybe years – of work you have put in, what happens if the market just doesn’t take to your ideas? It happens to the vast majority of new businesses, too – they end up with no sales, and either go back to the drawing board or call time on their entrepreneurial careers.
But there is an easy solution if you are prepared to give it a little time and hold off from launching your product too soon. Yes, it’s important to get an idea out there, but it’s just as vital to ensuring that the market wants it and will respond in the right way. And the way to do it is testing. Here are some simple and smart ideas you should be using to test your products before making the final tweaks that will ensure its success.
Give it to friends and family
Passing your product around to friends and relatives is a no-brainer for startups who don’t have much of a marketing budget. Let the have a play with your product, and ask them to be brutally honest – some family members and friends may overlook some glaring errors just because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. However, it’s also important to ask your friends and family to pass on the product, too – to people who you don’t know so well. Doing this will give you a decent spread of individuals and should inform you of your product’s potential.
Set up a focus group
Next, try focus groups, which can be a good idea as it is bringing people in who have no relationship with you or anyone you know. It’s also a good chance to have an excellent look at the intricacies of the product. What works and what doesn’t? What could be improved – and how – and what features should be ditched? You can hire agencies to help you set up focus groups, or try setting your own up. All you need is a space in your local library, and a few tempting offers to make sure people turn up – some freebies, perhaps, or even a small cash payment.
Hold an event
Events are a great way to drum up interest for both your company and your product idea. As long as you promote it well, both on social media and in the local press, there is no reason why you can’t set up a few popup shops over a period of time, or hold an event at a local function room. Again, give people a reason to come and make them feel like they are doing something special. You might want to hire some guest speakers, too, or lay on some catering options.
Find brand ambassadors
Finally, see if you can attract people who are interested in your product, and get them to act as a brand ambassador for you. For example, maybe you can target an authority blogger in your industry. You can send them your product, and ask them to test it. If they like it, they could well be persuaded to talk about it on their blog, reaching a huge audience. Of course, this only tests the concept of your product, but it’s an excellent way to gauge reaction.