When designing, developing and refining a product into a saleable end product, attention must be paid to its competitiveness among other corresponding products, in addition to considering the product features.
A clear distinguishing factor must be found for the product for it to take its place in the market and the day-to-day lives of consumers. However, as product development conducted in a company is aimed at generating profit, the design work must actively focus on the opportunities for commercial success, in addition to forging the ideal product.
The process must lead to a feature that generates added value and allows the product to beat competing products in a comparison. The added value can be based on a more affordable price, better quality or usability, a particular physical attribute (size, weight, colour, diversity, etc.), ecological sustainability, or a more appealing visual appearance.
In order for the product to create a niche for itself among other similar products, the product development must examine the competing products and the market situation in the intended competitive environment of the product. Commissioning or ordering competitor analyses or market surveys will pay itself back quite easily, but free information sources are also available. For example, the free databases or advisory services provided by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) can be used as the basis for competitor analyses.
Surveys and analyses as the basis for product development
Competitor analyses can be used to examine the market positions, product profiles and product strategies of competitors and find the company’s own strategic place among them.
A survey of prior art, in turn, can be utilised to map out existing and patented technical solutions pertaining to the field of the product development project on a global scale. The survey provides information on the prevalent and latest technology in the field as well as any possible technical problems that have been encountered in addition to various ways of resolving them. Technological analysis or monitoring can uncover the current trends in patenting and patented solutions, the operators in the field, the strongest countries in terms of research and market potential, along with information concerning new patent applications in the field.
Market surveys can produce important information on the purchasing behaviour of customer segments or market areas for the purpose of finding the suitable success factors for a product. Particularly when aiming for the international market, the preliminary surveys must provide information on the target country’s market situation in various segments and geographical areas.
Using expert services can help to shed light on a complex market situation and its development in a variety of fields and operating areas.
Selecting the target country