Before development, while a new product is still just a concept, a process known as product discovery helps put details down on paper that dictate whether it will ultimately succeed or fail.
Product discovery drills into conceptualized products and unearths their best and worst characteristics, bringing to light their aptitude (or inaptitude) for actual development and release. Product discovery is essential to the development process in the same way a map is essential to ships lost at sea.
Below, you’ll find five key benefits of product discovery that can make a real difference in how your launch performs at market. With these in mind, you can guide your own product discovery efforts with confidence.
1. Establishing a target audience
A key tenet of every product discovery session is defining and learning about your intended customer base.
Often, the management in charge of overseeing the development of new products can accidentally gloss over this crucial step by making the wrong assumptions. Approaching product development from a position of untested guesses can hurt later results tremendously. Until you receive useful feedback directly from your target audience, there’s a good chance you don’t fully understand them or their needs yet. Putting in the effort at the outset to learn more about them can help guide your development decisions away from dead ends.
2. Reducing production costs
One of the largest risks to a new product’s development is its overall cost. Without profits, time and resources poured into product development are little more than sunk costs. Reducing these initial costs early on can help to keep your business from overextending itself before your product can even be sold. Bad ideas are a waste of both budget and opportunity if they cause an otherwise viable product idea to flop among consumers.
Focusing on features that are actually in demand among your target demographic can whittle away development expenses quite effectively. You can do this early on if you’ve devoted ample time to product discovery. During product discovery sessions, your team can classify features by their importance to the overall mission of the product itself, leaving less important additions for later and throwing out ideas that don’t mesh at all.
3. Increasing product value
The value your product offers consumers depends largely on its ability to satisfy their needs. Knowing what your target customer truly needs from a product like the one you intend to develop makes it much easier to develop a compelling value proposition from the start.
Although management may mention their favorite features for inclusion in your next software development project, these are not necessarily the same features your end users will be looking for. Leveraging product discovery helps ensure you are developing a product that has value for the people you intend to sell to—not just those involved in the development process.
4. Highlighting and eliminating risks
Numerous forms of product-related risk can discourage management from sticking with risky new product development plans. Product discovery places strong emphasis on revealing risks your team may not have taken into consideration well before development begins. These risks could include any of the following:
- Missed deadlines and delayed launches
- Low demand for proposed product features
- Price wars with competitors resulting from a new product launch
These types of risks are potentially deadly to any new product initiative, no matter what size the parent company may be. Letting expectant users down with late releases, unwanted features, and more can cause them to turn away from your company for good. By assessing your product concept in detail before jumping into the development process, you can rule out risky moves before they’re made.
5. Speeding up development
Getting products to market quickly is essential for companies looking to capitalize on market trends as they emerge. However, product development can often stretch beyond deadlines as unforeseen feature inclusions and design pivots slow progress to a standstill.
False turns and time wasted building out features that your customers have no interest in are usually avoidable with proper planning. Exceeding customer expectations and outpacing your competition with speedier development times is possible if you take advantage of product discovery early on in the development process.
Bolstering efficiency through product discovery
Product discovery centers on enhancing efficiency in the development process. By leveraging product discovery, you can quickly focus on product ideas with the highest likelihood of succeeding at market.
At VeryCreatives, we strive to produce profitable results for businesses looking to launch their next big product. VeryCreatives partners with brands to help them build the perfect solutions to their users’ problems, assisting in the product discovery stage of development and beyond. To learn how our digital product agency can help your business gain a competitive edge in the development of its next product, schedule a call today.