Who Would You Ask How to Develop New Products for Market?
…….David Farrage of Course!
If your business is selling products, then there are two important facts we know to be true. First, you either sell your own products or someone else’s. Second, you will eventually at least consider bringing your own product (‘s) to market. Well, if you are considering launching your own product there are probably more than a few questions you will need to answer.
The first question may be, “…..why should I even consider launching a proprietary product?” That is a great place to start. The three main reasons for considering such a concept are:
- As the product owner/manufacturer you can control all aspects of the product. This could include cost, price, margins, quality control, market penetration….and PROFITS.
- If you launch a unique product and protect the properties associated with it legally, you can effectively minimize competition and control the market segment.
- You are in control of that part of your business from a long-term standpoint. You don’t have to worry about building up the sales of that product in your portfolio to only lose it (and that business) down the road.
Of course there are potential pitfalls for launching your own products as well. You will incur the costs associated with that venture. You will assume the risk associated with the investment into that product launch. Your name (brand) may become associated with the product……good or bad. However, overall most entrepreneurs who have successfully launched their own products will tell you that it was worth it. They will also usually tell you that they went through a sometimes painful learning curve as well!
Your second question may be, “…….where do I start?” THAT, is a great question. If you want to minimize that painful learning curve and initiate the process in as cost-effective a manner as possible, the place to start is with someone who can lead you down the right path! For you to successfully turn an idea into a marketable “in-demand” product that will generate profits…. as it grows in market share……you need to seek out the best possible guidance available, and that is just what we at Mosaica did!
What follows is a two-part article that includes an interview with whom many consider THE guru of “new product development.” Most entrepreneurs would pay a tidy sum to ask questions of this gentleman. In the next several paragraphs…you’ll understand why.
Mr. Farrage is the founder and Chief Industrial Design Engineer for DF-ID, Inc. Born in England, David graduated from the Royal College of Art & Industrial Design and has a Masters Degree in Industrial Design. After having worked for the Sekisui Jushi Company in Osaka Japan, he relocated to New York in 1996 to work for Smart Design. Shortly thereafter he was hired by Sony to work in their Design Center where he led several key projects for the U.S. market.
Eventually (2006) David opened his own product design studio and began working for such esteemed clients as Toshiba, Sony, Movado, Lamborghini, Altec Lansing and NAD to name a few. Today that internationally acclaimed client list has grown to include such companies as Bluesound, Dansk, Donna Karan, Kenmore, PSB, Samsonite, Vicks, Villeroy & Boch, OXO and many more.
As the patriarch of the DF-ID studios, David Farrage has a unique and deep understanding of the essence needed for a product to not just stand on its own “worth,” but also how it can support its successful launch and growth in its designated market segment. This is an Industrial Design Engineer that approaches each project as if he himself were funding it and responsible for its long-term success!
Easy as 1…2…3…
One of the first things you will find about David Farrage is that he has a very easy-going manner about him. While he is very busy (as one might imagine) you would think that he has all the time in the world when he is engaged with you.
“It is important that my client and I develop a highly communicative relationship, “ says Farrage. “For them to effectively share their visions and for me to apply my design observations so we can together develop a new product…..it is imperative that we are able to speak openly and honestly with each other,” shared Mr. Farrage.
When asked what one may expect from working with an Industrial Design Engineer, Mr. Farrage answered, “…..At minimum they should design the product as envisioned. However, if the ID Engineer is fully invested in the project their efforts should continue through the packaging, marketing, mission and long-term vision stages as well!”
Farrage explained that when a company contemplates developing and launching a new product line there are certain aspects of the potential concept that should be taken into account. First, it is important that we realize that fully 20-25% of all product development projects are not business viable. Such an assessment is based on closely examining market trends, considering future sustainability of the idea or vision and formulating an understanding of what Farrage defines as “….the redundancy of future obsolescence.” In other words, will the product outlast its future need?
He also suggests that while “niche,” products definitely have a place in the marketplace….and they can command a tremendous level of consumer appeal, if given the choice it is usually preferable to develop an idea based on a “macro” or consumer-wide appeal. Again, it comes down to broad-based consumer attraction being more sustainable for the average product.
In Part II of this article, Mr. Farrage will explain exactly what it takes to bring a new product to market and the specific questions that need to be answered by both the client and designer to ensure the success and financial viability of the project.
To be continued…..