All product development starts with gathering information. This can be tightly focused or expansive and everything in between. It depends on the type of product that is being developed. The research and insight process is about asking ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘who’, ‘why’ and ‘how’:
There are many research methods involved, including:
As more is learnt about the requirements for the product, it is distilled into a product specification. This will determine the new product’s feasibility, the customer’s demands and wishes for the product, the targets that need to be met and the product’s ‘core benefit’; the reason why it will be bought in preference to competing products.
The specification is not set in stone but should be as resolved as possible. The time and effort spent on this first step in the development process can be the most decisive factor in ensuring the product succeeds and is profitable.