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brand development specialists

The purpose of this phase in concept development is to do a little homework on the great ideas you have. Not too much time is spent here though; it should take no longer than one month. Besides being an initial investigation on the merits of your project, this phase really acts as a reality-check before you commit any serious effort. In it, we perform three preliminary assessments followed by a concept review session.

Market Assessment
The goal of this market study is to investigate the commercial prospects of your product idea. Your objectives should be to quickly: Assess the market attractiveness and its potential by looking at its size, distribution channels, patterns of growth or decline, and identifying fads versus trends. Estimate the products possible acceptance and level of appeal based on customer needs and interests. Survey the competitive landscape by identifying the major players, their relative size and product offerings.

Again, do not attempt to gather in-depth information. It can be easy to become distracted by the variety of details you may uncover and want to further pursue. It is vastly more important to build a holistic view of what the market is like. There are a variety of sources we recommend you use: Employees - Speak with your own sales and marketing personnel to get their rst-hand knowledge of customer habits, preferences, order-winning criteria including assortment and pricing, and what the competitive landscape is like. Internet Research - A lot of information can be found using the internet. However, it is highly recommended that you employ someone who is skilled at scouring the net using various search methodologies, news alerts, engines, and portals. Doing this will save your rm a lot of time and the results will likely be much better organized. Internal Data - Has your rm performed any research or purchased any reports related to your efforts? Do you have a reference library of books and publications? Sometimes these sources wont give you any specic insights, but they will provide direction on where to look next. Lead Users and Customers - Have an informal conversation with a few customers or people in your target audience. Remember, this meeting is about them and their likes, needs, and opinions on this product category. An in-person discussion would be preferable, but telephone and email correspondence also works.


brand development specialists

Partners - Do you have external sales agents or other parties with whom you have a business relationship, that might be able to provide you some unique insights? Strike up a conversation with them. Consulting and Research Firms - Certain rms publish standard reports or white papers that may cover aspects of your product category or industry at large. Look at their abstracts and publication dates to see if they might be right for you. Competitors Advertisements and Trade Literature - Look at how your competitors talk about their product features, performance claims, and how theyre positioning their products. Industry Experts - Hire a specialist in your product category/industry for a day or two. Their knowledge can save you a LOT of time in your research efforts. Trade Associations - There are a variety of associations related to your industry or a unique aspect of your product concept. Seek them out. Sometimes they will publish reports or maintain directories of members and organizations that may be of interest.

As you can see, there are a variety of sources at your disposal. The important point is that you try to cover all your bases. Many of the market insights you gain in the Scoping stage will be foundational material for much greater research & analysis for the next Stage: Building the Business Case & Plan.

Technical Assessment
Here, your firms R&D, development, engineering, and operations staff will examine the product concept and appraise it for viability. They will need to draft early technical and performance objectives, conduct preliminary studies for technical feasibility, and identify critical issues that may pose as risks or hurdles. Your in-house staff may be able to perform these duties, but it is advised that you seek professional advice for areas you may be weak in. The following list of questions will help guide your team in this process: What requirements and specifications should the product have? This is part of further defining the core elements of your product concept. Is your firm technically capable of producing this product? What raw materials would need to be sourced? What aspects of the product could be designed, developed, and manufactured inhouse? Which aspects would have to be outsourced? What are the largest technical risks and how might we mitigate them? Are there important quality, handling, health or usage concerns that we need to be aware of and/or advise affiliated parties of? Are there any Intellectual Property issues (ex: patents, copyrights, licensing) or product regulatory issues involved? If the product or components thereof are being imported, what implications does that impose on us regarding quality, certification, and duties among others? Given our limited knowledge, how likely is it that this product can be reliably produced? How much will it cost to product this product? How much time would it take to develop it?

Every product category has a wide variety of issues to consider for design, manufacturing, logistics, and quality control among others. This basic assessment across these various factors will help your firm evaluate each product concept in an objective manner for consideration at the next review meeting.


brand development specialists

Business & Financial Assessment

After having evaluated the products market and its technical considerations, youll want to lay out the facts of this project regarding the business implications. Key elements of this assessment include: The strategic and competitive rationale for this product. How does this t within your product portfolio? How is it aligned with your product innovation strategy? A core competencies assessment that addresses your capability to effectively execute this project. If partnering or outsourcing is necessary, youll need to explain in basic terms how these additional relationships would affect your business. A rough nancial analysis that identies expected sales, cash ow windows, investments required, costs, and the payback period. Note that this data will be highly speculative and based on early conjectures, but nonetheless important to know because you dont want to spend further resources on a project that just may not make business sense.

Concept Review
Your development team should now prepare a concept brief for the second review. In it, they should include the following: The ndings from the preliminary market, technical, business & nancial assessments. A recommendation to either continue the project into the next stage, or to halt further investigation. Action plans, timelines, resources (personnel and time-requirements), and the deliverables to be expected for the nal review before development begins.

Management will now hear the presentations; theyll discuss the project details, recommendations, plans, resources requested with the development team; and decide on the future of the project and when the nal concept review will be held. The next phase is the Business Case & Plan.

About Us
Sellion is a brand development company specializing in bringing health, beauty, nutritional, and homeopathic products to market. Our multi-disciplinary team can help you investigate the merits of your concepts, build a business case, development strategy, and launch plan for marketing and distribution across the US retail landscape.

For more information, give us a call at: (401) 294-2660