So you’ve got a great product idea, sourced some funding to get it moving, and what to approach a product design consultancy. But now what? If you’ve never created a product before, or sometimes, even if you have, it can be pretty confusing trying to understand the right steps to take and in which order, to help you bring your vision to life.
This blog series aims to blast any myths and jargon surrounding product design. We’ll be covering topics from selecting the right consultancy and creating a brief that everyone understands, right through to scoping, setting budgets, protecting your idea, taking your product to market and beyond!
Reaching Out to a Product Design Consultancy
First step – find a product design consultancy for best success. It’s going to be a little like dating; you’re going to need to find a team that you can work well with, who understand what you need to fulfil this project and are able to communicate with you effectively.
When you start asking around, or you hop online to run your Google search on who best to work with, you’re going to come across a list of agencies to reach out to. Check out their ‘shop front’; what do they do? Does it even make any sense to you? If the answer is no, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and have a chat with them. Be clear if you aren’t sure about terminology. Design Consultants will be keen to genuinely understand what your product is all about. Or at least, they should be.
What to Look for In a Product Design Consultancy
Here are a few pointers to get you started:
- Do they understand what it is you want to create?
- Is this something they are able to facilitate?
- Do they take the product from concept through to market? How much of the process will they be helping you with?
- If they don’t take the product from start to finish, do they outsource any of the project? If so, to whom?
- Are the consultancy happy to create something brand new? It’s likely that your new product has not been made before – are they comfortable with this?
- Can they help you protect your idea for copycat chancers?
- Do they understand your budget and any related limitations? Awkward money conversations don’t make for great relationships!
- Are they easy to reach either in person or remotely? They don’t have to be on your doorstep, but you might want to pop along to visit them to make sure they are who they say they are. There’s nothing like getting in the studio to see how it all works and getting a real sense of the feel of the team.
- What sort of experience do the Design Engineers have? If you can find an consultancy that can provide expertise on all elements of your product you’ll be winning! For example, if they can build the casing, create any software needed to make it work and help you take it to market, the experience will be pretty smooth.
Are They The One?
Once you’ve spoken to a selection of agencies take a moment to reflect and be clear about what each consultancy can contribute to your concept. If they outsource that’s great, but keep in mind there may be associated costs and longer development times while the project changes hands. Did you get a good feel for the consultancy, and if you met the team, did you feel you got on with them well? There’ll be a lot of conversations, so it’s important to have a good rapport with the team you select.
That should be enough to get you started in your search for the right consultancy. For any further tips or guidance, feel free to drop us a line. We’d even be happy to talk to you about your idea and lend our expertise on how to take your idea from concept to market.