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 Inventing a Retail Product Step #5

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former mentor




PostSubject: Inventing a Retail Product Step #5   Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:49 pm

Were back from the store and our little inventing inspiration trip - It was productive actually. It would appear in a cursory sense we found a hole in the market that needs filling. We ran the planets in our head there in aisle 12 and found at first blush it appears they line up well for this idea of ours.

Now we’re back home and we need to hit the books. We have to find out as much as we can about this market, the category and comparable products…all of it.

Earlier we talked about the things we’re looking for at this stage of our investigation, so let’s take another quick look at our list.

- Name of the Product
-Description Packaging type/style
-Price
-Retailer
-Display (ie: Hook, Strip, Floor display….)
-Picture
-Differences between that product and yours
-Things it does better – Things it does worse (be honest)

We’ll use the Internet, catalogs, and a trip back out to several local retailers to wrap our minds around how our new bag idea fits into this list and what kind of market picture that gives us.

Because in a format like this we can’t actually take the time to do this step in full, we’ll fast forward a bit and assume we found our product has no real competitors, the category although crowded, has room for this product, and we should fit well into the price points normally seen in this category.

Now that that’s all done…We’re one step closer to the end. It’s time to start working on the design of the product itself. For me it’s off to the white board.

What we’re doing here is developing the Look, Feel, and Function of the product. In this case we know we want a bunch of bags to present itself to the consumer one at a time in a compact store-able way that can be forgotten about most of the time, but save the day when needed.

Hmmm…..A roll would be best. This way they can be manufactured efficiently, packed very tightly to keep their size profile small, and the roll itself becomes the functional basis for dispensing. As the user pulls on the bag it unrolls, with each bag being perforated to the one behind it they can simply tear one off as they need it.

That should work well – but what’s it look like? Too keep the manufacturing costs down we likely want to use a thin plastic case of some sort. If it’s a case around a roll, we should be able to use vacuum forming to make a thin plastic clam shell that folds and snaps around the roll of bags. Functionally we’re starting to drill down into how this product works, and how it presents itself to the user. Now we need to figure out the look and feel of the overall product…..you guessed it – back to the store to be inspired by other products. This time we’re looking for an overall look. Maybe we find colors, shapes, style, and sizes of products that catch our eye. We’re also looking at things that enhance our product, such as a small strap, or a clip, or even a Velcro patch for mounting.
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