An ability to develop new products [or services] can help to breathe new life into a business. It also has the potential of being the final nail in the coffin of a business if the product development process is not handled correctly.
The primary advantage of product development is that it can help a brand and business stay relevant with its consumer base. By continually striving to solve new problems that consumers face, an organization is continually creating the chance to create revenues.
The primary disadvantage of product development is that changing consumer preferences can cause a valuable product to actually be seen as worthless. An organization can even begin to develop a product that is seen as valuable, but have it become worthless before they can bring it to market. Here are some more of the pros and cons of product development to think about.
What Are the Pros of Product Development?
1. It creates a culture of innovation.
New ideas help to create new products. New products help to create new revenues. New revenues can be used to encourage new ideas. This is the culture of innovation. Each steps supports the next step so that a greater market share can be captured by a brand and business.
2. It helps to drive a higher value proposition.
When product development is centered on meeting the needs of a consumer, then it creates a higher value proposition for the core demographics of a brand and business. Higher value propositions create more repeat buyers and positive word-of-mouth marketing, which can lead to higher revenues.
3. It can grow a professional network.
Innovative product development will attract people from within the industry of a brand and business because they are seen as a “cutting edge” organization. People want to be connected to innovators and experts. This means the B2B and B2C networks for an organization focused on positive product development will always have a chance to grow.
4. Consumers will be anxious to test new products.
Remember the lines of people who were anxious to receive the latest model of the iPhone? That is the attitude consumers have when a brand and business has a reputation of positive product development. They will be willing to test new products, be first in line to purchase them, and support your efforts because your focus on innovation becomes their focus on innovation.
What Are the Cons of Product Development?
1. It can be easy to set unrealistic expectations for a product.
Without quality benchmarks in place, the product development process can create unrealistic future expectations for a brand and business. Just because a prototype works as intended does not mean that it can provide an expected value. There must be a consistent performance in meeting consumer value expectations and accurate benchmarks must be set to make this happen.
2. Products can fail unexpectedly.
Even with thousands of hours of testing, it is possible for a product to fail unexpectedly. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery issues and subsequent recall are example of this. If a product doesn’t perform as expected in the general market, then the anticipated profits can become large unanticipated expenses in a very short period of time.
3. External sources can change procedures, which can alter your product development.
There are a number of external sources which are involved in the product development process, but fall outside of the direct sphere of influence for a brand and business. Shipping vendors may change delivery dates. Off-shore manufacturers might change procedures. Manufacturing materials may decline in quality. These all can affect the final product under development.
4. Product testing can result in a failed idea.
A brand and business can put a lot of time and effort into the product development process, only to see an idea fail when tested within a market. There will always be a risk with product development because the costs of a failed idea must be absorbed. If the hopes for new revenues rely on one product in development, then this puts the organization at risk for failure instead of experiencing a product failure.
The pros and cons of product development show that this process can be risky, but it also provides a brand and business with the opportunity to experience greater success. When approached in a methodical way, the innovative outcomes are often worth the risk of future failure.
How have you approached product development in the past? What were some of the advantages or disadvantages you noticed from that process?