Designer working on ideation design sketch at desk with macbook and tools to hand

Design and Manufacture a Product – 5 Ways to Keep Your Focus!

So you’ve had the idea brewing in your mind for a while now, you’re eureka moment has occurred and you are now working with your product designer, in order to design and manufacture a product.

Now it’s time to start to bring it to fruition. It’s very easy to get swallowed up in the product design process. On this journey, it is critical to remember the very reason for your product coming to life, is to get it manufactured and get it to market!

With this in mind, here are our top 5 ways to keep your focus:

1. Stick. To. The. Brief. 

We know it’s an exciting time when you start to see the reality of what your concept is becoming. But when you design and manufacture a product it is critical to keep in mind that you have a budget, a timeline and a goal. In order to hit these your agency must have a really clear brief from you, with firm objectives. It’s critical to remember that design teams will estimate your product timeline and costs, based on the original brief. If the goal posts move, you will likely have to expect your end date to move. If you are unsure of what your brief should include, check out our previous feature on Creating the Perfect Design Brief.

2. Avoid Scope Creep

We’ve said it above, but do not be tempted to expand on your product’s functionality or design details. If your product is a hit, you will need to review it time and time again, so you will have the chance to improve upon it at a later date. If you’re project is on budget and the timeline is suitable, then for best success, we recommend you nail down on scope creep. For more on understanding scope creep, click here.

3. Manage Expectations

There may be stakeholders a-plenty who have high expectations for the new product (or maybe just your own high entrepreneurial expectations!). With this in mind communication is key. Be sure to touch base with your teams at regular intervals to ensure everyone involved understands the timescales, the functionality expected, any limitations of the product at this stage, and critically, the hard deadlines for sign off, in order to get your product to market according to the brief. By communicating with your stakeholders, you stand to experience a smoother experience when you design and manufacture a product.

4. Nail the Budget

Whilst communicating with the teams in your business is critical for success, be sure to communicate with your design team. Don’t leave anything to chance – if you have an email in your inbox that requires an action, take that action as promptly as you can. Your design team will have allocated the relevant teams in a suitable time frame for getting your product completed. Make sure the process is not held up your side, by ensuring you are available when a sign off or an action is required. This will help get you to the finish line on the original timeline and on budget. Be really clear on what you are willing to flex on regards to budget, and what you are not. Do you have a budget contingency? If not, you will need to stick to the brief firmly. Find out more about budgeting in product design here.

5. Start Banging the Drum

As you near the end of your product design journey, this is a good time to kick off your marketing efforts. You may want to launch some teasers around the forthcoming product launch. You will need to be researching your competitors thoroughly, in order that you appear on the radar of your ideal client, so make sure you have done your research. You will need to be considering the 7 P’s; product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning and people. By kicking off these marketing efforts, it demonstrates to your stakeholders that the project is well underway and launch is imminent. Generating that early interest also means you could take pre-orders, or at very least, have customers who are ready to buy when the product lands! If marketing is not your thing, check out our top tips here.

Image of team working together at a computer at a desk. the team are smiling and interacting

These tips will really help you stay on track to design and manufacture a product. Sure, we’ve stuck to the design element here, because that’s where most people get distracted. The rabbit hole of ‘what if…’ or ‘but can I just…’ is an absolute minefield. If you can avoid the temptation and keep your project on track, you will find the magic behind how to design and manufacture a product.

For more questions, or to find out if we can help bring your concept to life, get in touch today at andy@conficio.design. We’d love to hear about your product and it’s potential!

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