Having a good idea does not guarantee success. There are many aspects of a product that need to be taken into consideration, which is something that the investors on the popular television show Shark Tank know a thing or two about. The following is a Shark Tank-inspired guide that will help you on your journey.
“Don’t you dare undermine the power of your own instinct.” — Barbara Corcoran
One of the most important things to remember is to follow your instincts, but there must be room to breathe. This means that before settling on one idea, have multiple. In fact, go wild with ideas! Then, weed out the ones that do not seem like they will work, will cost too much money, or which represent a higher risk. You should also try to create and choose ideas that aren’t terribly popular. By that, however, I mean that you choose the ones that aren’t already out there. This way, your competition will be limited.
“Everyone has an idea, but it’s taking those first steps toward turning that idea into a reality that are always the toughest.” — Daymond John
Product idea testing is the next step that needs to be taken. This is a ruthless step that might eliminate ideas, even beloved ideas, but it needs to happen. It is important to do market research at this point to ensure that your product idea fulfills a need, or if a need can be created. Products that are similar to thousands of others already out there need to stand out or be replaced with something that can really make a difference and cause people to want it because they can’t just go and get it somewhere else or get it cheaper from a competitor. You should also know that if you come up with an idea and get it produced and on the market before anyone else has the chance to jump on it you’ll have an advantage in the marketplace. People will know you first and foremost for your product.
“If you start a business and you take out a loan, you’re a moron.” — Mark Cuban
Make sure that the product or business will not force anyone in the company to fall into debt. In essence, products that force businesses to go in debt are risky, and this is a risk that most startup companies cannot afford to take. Take this limitation as an opportunity to be creative with your funding. One idea is to use Kickstarter or another online source to put your product out there and gain revenue without having to go into debt.
“The thing about branding is it isn’t etched in stone. A brand is a mark or an image or a perception we stamp on a product, a concept or an ideal, but it doesn’t last forever. Like anything else, it needs to be nurtured and reinforced, or it will start to fade.” — Daymond John
Branding is the next thing to think about when the product has been found. Do not make the mistake of thinking that branding is just slapping on the company’s seal without putting much thought into it. The brand needs to be cultivated, meaning that the brand and the product should complement one another, as if they were meant to be together. If your product is a new type of soda, for example, then you’re going to want to use screen printing. As Schilling Graphics suggests, you can use it to put the branding on a glass bottle to make it look unique—which is definitely something that will help market the product when it’s in the stores.
When thinking about the labeling and overall branding of your product, you need to make sure that it doesn’t look like any other similar product out there. With soda, for instance, some companies have made sure to change up the look of the bottle to make it look attractive and catch the eye of those walking down the grocery store aisles. Overall, the moral of the story is this: Stand out and be different!