So you have a great idea for the next great product. Excellent. You’re already ahead of people out there without ideas. Before you start building your product though, it’s helpful to find out if anyone will buy your product first. To do so, see if you can find the answers to the following questions.
1. What does your product do?
The good news is that you have a few choices here. But make sure you know the answer.
- Does it solve a real problem that people are having?
- Does it entertain people?
- Does it make people feel better?
- Does it make people laugh?
2. Is your product better than competing ones out there?
What would make someone choose your product over competing ones? Possibilities here include:
- Is it cheaper?
- Is it faster?
- Does it have more features?
- Is it simpler or easier to use?
- Is it more convenient?
- Is it more fun to use?
3. Is this a product that people will pay for?
Here’s where it gets tricky. There is a lot of content out there, and a lot of it is available for free. This might be ok for you, if you’re adopting a freemium strategy. It might not be so good if there is nothing in there that anyone would pay for.
If you don’t have the answer to this question, it might be worth doing some market research first. Even if you think you know the answer to this question, it might still be worth it to do some market research to confirm the validity of your product. You can start by answering the following questions.
- Who is my target audience? Where can I find them? If you have a very specific target consumer, then try looking for forums where this type of consumer is likely to be. Make contact with them to see what issues they are having, whether your product addresses these issues, and whether they would be willing to pay for it.
- What complaints do users of competing products have? Again, look for forums on competing sites, or comments on company blogs. Talk to users of competing products and see what complaints they have. Does your product address any of these issues?
If you can’t find the answers you want, then take out a Google or Facebook ad or two that advertises your product. Have it lead to a website that allows the user to leave their email address. If people click on your ad and leave their email address, then get in touch with them to see if they would be interested in your product. If nobody clicks on your ad, then you know you may be barking up the wrong tree.
You can also learn a lot from talking to real people – friends, family, neighbors etc. See if you can sell the concept of your product to them, and whether it is something they would purchase. You may be surprised by the answers you get.
By asking the above questions, and going through this process, you will know whether your product or idea has merit or not. If it turns out it doesn’t, you just saved yourself a lot of time and money. If it ends up reconfirming what you already know, then use that to motivate you and give you confidence in pursuing the next step.