Product Idea Vetting; Who's Opinion Matters

Vetting your Product Idea

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Hello this is Jason from Two Sparrows Design and Development bringing you another video blog.  If you find the following information beneficial, please share with a friend, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  Links may be found below in the notes.  Also check out our website regarding information on our background, why we do what we do, and how to partner with us to bring your product idea to life.

With that out of the way let’s get today’s topic started.

Vetting your Product Idea

Have a product idea?  Whose opinion matter’s?

Let me set the stage:

Maybe you are like me sitting at home on the couch relaxing, and the next thing you know the next best product of the future has just popped into your mind.  Just after you hastily scribble it into your idea notebook, you have an idea notebook RIGHT, you then wonder, who can I trust to share this awesome idea with, to verify if you truly hit the mark.

It does not matter if this is your first idea that has legs, you are already running your own company, or working for a fortune 500 firm.  Certain opinions matter. So, who should you be speaking to about your idea?

How do you find an audience to share your idea?

If you go online to learn about what to do next, you may come across terms like focus groups, VOS (Voice of Sales), or VOC (Voice of Customer).  Each of these groups has their place in providing feedback. Focus groups are important being that you have a captive audience that can interact with each other.  However, focus groups require significant time and effort to find a random group of individuals within the sphere of your product idea.  A key part of using a focus group is that you should be anonymous to the members, which requires its own level of effort. 

From my experience I have seen great success with VOC.  The customer may be your existing customer or who you have identified as being your ideal customer.  Ask them what they want in a product.  If you take the time to have a one on one conversation you will likely get pages of information and feedback.  If you are just starting out, you are probably wondering,  “How do I find ideal customers to speak with?” 

 There are a few ways to connect.  One way is to cold call them and tell them that you want their opinion.  That may work, but it will likely take a lot of calls to get enough feedback.  The benefit of this approach is that anyone that you connect with at this stage is likely to become a customer when your product launches.  An easier path especially when starting out is to join social media groups that your customers belong to or could belong to and provide value to the group.  For social media start out providing your point of view to assist in solving their challenges.  Then start asking questions about their other challenges, their product or service wish list.  Be creative.  Do whatever you feel will get the conversation going.

For an established firm:

If you are already on your way, and already have a few products that you are selling, it is important to gauge the feedback from your sales team in the form of VOS.  Your sales team is on the front line.  It is likely that if your new product idea is adjacent to your existing products, they have already talked to customers that have a need for your new product and know what features of the product will make it easy for them to sell.  I will say that again, it is likely that their feedback will be based on what will make it easy for them to sell. 

Putting together your product feedback strategy:

For best success you must use voice of customer.  For additional benefits, also utilize voice of sale.  Talk with your customers. Learn what they need.  This will bring you the most success.

When reaching out to others, make sure that you have an NDA, Non-disclosure Agreement in place.  You and this person may have been my best friends since third grade or they may be a family member.  Have them sign, this also goes for customers or potential customers when sharing your ideas ahead of launch. 

  For example:

I send my potential clients a NDA form before or right after our initial meeting, so they know that our conversion was had in confidence and that the ideas they shared with me are protected.

In closing I want to share little about how the process works for me personally.

When I have a problem that needs solved, I am obsessed with finding a solution.  Most times I end up not being able to sleep, dreaming about solutions, working through each idea and fine tuning the concept. 

Before VOS or VOC, I turn to my first sounding board, Nancy.  She can attest to this process.  Ask her how many times she has woken up only to find me wide awake ready to share my ideas for a solution with her.  Early on I wouldn’t even let her have coffee first.  Recently I have been trying to get better and offer to make coffee first.  For me this is the most exciting part of the process and I hope that you do too!

I hope that you have found this post to be beneficial and offers you something to think about as you are marketing your products.  If you have any questions, please go to our website or contact me through any of our social media channels.

Again this is Jason From Two Sparrows Design and Development.  Have a great week.  Have a great year! Never Stop!