5 Steps to Critiquing Your Product and Service Ideas
I quite regularly have ideas for new products and services or even just new marking ideas. The problem I always have is deciding between them and taking the emotion out of that decision for a while so that I can figure out which ideas make good business sense, as well as me being excited about an idea.
The other thing is that we don’t have infinite amounts of time and energy, we have to pick which ideas we’re going to work on. This is also where I’ll bring in my philosophy around doing not more, but less and focussing on the tasks and projects that really make a positive impact.
Whether it’s a physical, digital or service based product the best place to start is by sketching all of your ideas out on a large piece of paper. Make sure you sketch out ALL of your ideas, even the crazy, weird and wonderful ones. Make notes on your drawings to bring your ideas to life, add colour to them and get excited about the possibilities.
All done with your product ideas? Time to separate the wheat from the chaff
1) Which ideas are you excited about?
If that’s all of them, great! If there are any ideas in your pool of sketches and ideas that you aren’t looking forward to creating, perhaps they’re there just because it’s something you feel you should be working on. If either of those apply, they’re a non-starter so cross them off the list. You’re building your own business so that you can do what you love, remember?
2) Which products fit in with your why and your brand values?
Do the product and service ideas that you’ve got fit with your business mission, are aligned with your values? Whether that’s to use recycled materials in your packaging or whether it’s to help people create branding for their business they’re confident in. cross out any of your ideas that don't fit with your WHY and your values.
3) Do these products fit with the rest of your offering?
Whether you’re planning on creating physical products or starting to do courses, do your new ideas fit with the rest of your product offering? Will it jarr in anyway with what you’ve already got? Again, cross out any ideas that don't fit in with the rest of your offering.
4) Which ideas will sell?
The best thing you can do at this juncture is ask your audience. Put out a poll on Facebook or Instagram stories. You don’t have to give your whole idea away but you can describe what your idea is and see what interest there is. Cross out any product ideas that you have a gut feeling won’t sell or that your audience respond to negatively. Don’t forget that you can also ask your audience what they want from you to dig into what they need a little more.
5) Which product ideas fit with your strengths
If you’re working on products that fit with your strengths you’re more likely to create something unique and really special, as well as rewarding and fulfilling for you. These are the golden ideas. From your list of ideas that haven’t been crossed out yet, circle the ones that fit with your strengths and that you’re most excited about. Those are the ideas to go after.
If there’s anything most important about the product and service ideas that you take forward, it’s this; they’ve got to be something you love offering/ making/ working on and it’s got to fit with your strengths. I’ve found that’s the magic formula to creating something that’s unique, that only you can offer and doing the work you really love.