A big part of running a business is generating new content, new products, and finding new customers. But, how do you know that your new product idea is actually something that your customers want? How do you make a product that sells rather than wastes time and money?
We’ve all been there. Trust me. I’ve had my fair share of “brilliant ideas” that didn’t pan out. Thankfully, as I’ve gained more experience under my belt, I’ve become better equipped to make better decisions about how to spend my time.
Here’s a few of the top things I’ve learned about product development throughout my years as a business owner:
Research and research some more.
The harsh reality is that just because you like the new design doesn’t necessarily mean that your customers will like it and vice versa. Research trends in your target market so that you have a clear idea of what your customer is buying.
Does your ideal customer also shop at Target? If yes, then you would want to browse Target’s website and see what’s trending. This doesn’t mean just look at the actual product. Pay attention to the product colors, patterns, textures, etc. Those are the attributes that are important when you are creating your next product line. For example, you may notice that the trending products have a lot of gold metallic, geometric patterns, or cashmere fabrics. Take note of those things and get creative about how you can use those things to generate excitement in your business.
Ask your audience.
I tend to get pushback for this recommendation because it can be awkward to ask customers for help, but it’s actually very helpful. Most of the time, they are happy to tell you what they would like to see you make. So, when all else fails, ask your audience what they would like to see in your shop. If you have an email list, you can send this as a survey question with a small discount code to encourage participation. You can also post a question on social media. Don’t feel like you have to make everything that your customers say in response. You may get a few oddball answers. The answers just serve as a guideline. Stick to things that make sense for your brand.
Look at your previous custom order requests.
Say you’ve researched trends, you’ve asked your audience, and you still aren’t certain… what do you do next? Look at your custom your custom order requests. Custom order requests provide great insight to what your customers feel like is missing from your shop. What makes it even better is that the person requesting the custom order is someone from your target audience. Take some time to look at any custom orders or custom order requests and determine if they are a good fit for your brand.
While making new products for your shop is important, it must be done in a deliberate way. As shop owners, we want to make sure that our time and money is spent wisely. Risks come with the territory, but want them to be calculated risks. By spending extra time to research our decisions, we are more likely to create successful products that our customers will love.