9-step NPD process – Explained!

Welcome to Attest Explains! In this series we explore the wonderful world of market research, to help you better understand it, use it and ultimately grow your business as a result of it.

What is new product development?

Put simply, new product development, sometimes called NPD, is the process businesses go through to bring a new or updated product or feature to market. The most successful product launches are the ones that incorporate the needs of customers from the start. 

Always-on, iterative consumer research – what we do here at Attest – is super useful for this. 

What are the different stages of the new product development process?

At Attest we talk about the nine step NPD process. Don’t worry – we won’t bamboozle you with too much detail about each step right now! But here’s a quick rundown to give you an idea of what your NPD process might look like.

Step one: discovery

You’ll want to start your NPD process by figuring out what problems you’re trying to solve. You might have a hunch about what your customers want, or perhaps you’re starting from scratch. 

Either way, this is the stage in which you’ll discover what’s next on your product horizon. 

Step two: idea generation and evaluation

Having done your discovery work, you should have a much clearer picture of where any gaps in the market are. With this knowledge you can start coming up with new ideas and see how they compare with others.

Step three: concept testing

Now it’s time to get your ideas in front of some actual consumers. 

By testing your concepts with real people, you’ll find out which ones will be worth pursuing, and which to abandon. 

Don’t worry if your preferred concept ends up getting the boot – that’s why you do testing: to find out which products will resonate with your audience.

Step four: market analysis

Once you know which of your concepts is popular with consumers, you should find out how successful it’s likely to be in the market. 

Here you’ll analyse similar products and find out the potential size of your market. Combining market analysis along with your concept testing data should tell you which demographics show the highest purchase intent for your product. 

Step five: product prototyping and testing

Now you’re down to the one product you’re going to develop and market, it’s time to work out the details; what will it look like? What features will it have? How will it function? 

These are some of the questions you should be able to answer at the end of your prototyping and testing stage.

Step six: positioning and packaging testing

Having a useful and appealing product is only half the battle – now you must work out how you’re going to present it to the world. This includes positioning, messaging and packaging, if it’s needed, and consumer research plays an important role in this.

Step seven: commercialisation

This is when you’ll push your product into production, using all of the insights you’ve learned up to this point. You’ll source suppliers, lock in distribution models, and balance the overall budget for your product development. 

Step eight: product launch

This is what you’ve been building up to! 

This is when you launch your fantastic new product to the market. You can also take this opportunity to pat yourself on the back. 

Step nine: track success

The hard work doesn’t end when your product’s out in the market. You’ll want to find out how customers are reacting to your product, from purchase numbers to satisfaction data. 

This is another perfect point to run some awesome consumer research!

As with all forms of consumer research, new product development research may not always give you the answers you expected, but it’ll always shed new light on your product or service offering and what potential customers want from you.

Start your new product development today

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Marcus Evans

Senior Content Marketing Manager 

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