From the Expert: Five Things to Know Before Launching a Product
Target, Ulta, Caribou Coffee, and Paper Source are just a few of the brands that enlist Minneapolis-based June Co. to develop and design new product lines and private-label brands. Co-founder and partner Amy Arias, who recently led her team through the development of their first proprietary brand, Lilac 11, shares her process.
1. Look with fresh eyes.
“Product development becomes intimate and something you can get too close to. Throughout the process, step back and look at the product like a consumer seeing it for the first time. It will help you make critical decisions.”
2. Think about where you will sell and how people will find your product.
“Whether you’re going direct to consumer or selling through retailers, you will want to have a monthly marketing plan and budget. It gets expensive fast, so understand your options before you go live, and be ready to adjust. It takes a lot for people to make a purchase.”
3. Know your category, the competitors, price points, and where you and your product fit.
“This knowledge will help you make decisions in marketing, partnerships, and for future product extensions. And as the creator, people want to hear from you. Share with them why you love the product and how it’s relevant to them.”
4. Seek expert help, then make your own decision.
“When it comes to quality assurance and safety, ask a specialist. If you believe your product to be an invention, consult a patent attorney to protect the idea before going to market. And know that pretty much all other advice and feedback is meant for your consideration. Listen, evaluate, and determine whether the feedback improves your product. You are the creator.”
5. Be courageous.
“There will be speed bumps and brick walls in the process of creating a new product. You will feel vulnerable and overwhelmed. Remembering this is part of the creative process will help you push through and keep going!”