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5 tips for inventing a new consumer product using Design Thinking and Innovation

Posted by on Jul 4, 2015 in Design Thinking Tips | 0 comments

Consumer Product Invention and Innovation

Inventing your very own consumer product can be an exciting yet daunting endeavour. We provide below five tips from design thinking to help you navigate fruitfully through the process of consumer product designing and developing to kick-start your innovation journey.

1 BE YOUR OWN CUSTOMER

To invent a new consumer product using design thinking, it is imperative that you have a problem you want to solve that no one else has solved before. You can uncover such needs by keenly observing how people interact with everyday objects and their environment. You can put yourself in the same situation and imagine dealing with the problems and/or issues they are dealing with, especially if it is a situation you would otherwise not on your own encounter. Ideas can also come from paying attention to your own behaviour in your daily environment. Dealing with unique problems and situations in our daily life, we sometimes acquire interesting or even quirky ways of dealing with certain problems. If we pay attention to these and reflect upon them, interesting insights and inspirations could be drawn from which valuable ideas may be tapped to develop innovative solutions.

Be your Own Customer is the First Key to Consumer Product Invention and Innovation

“Be your Own Customer” is the First Key to Consumer Product Invention and Innovation

2 SOLVING A PROBLEM FROM MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES

An innovative new consumer product seldom addresses only a single issue. Looking at the problem situation from multiple perspectives and observing how different people handle the same problem differently is an important step in design thinking and innovation. From these differences, you can understand the range of responses that people develop to deal with the situation.  This allows you to uncover the underlying core and common root cause/s of the problem enabling you to more accurately pin-point the issues you want to address. The solutions you develop can then better target these issues and problems.

A Design Thinker will consider Multiple Perspectives when Innovating

A Design Thinker will consider Multiple Perspectives when Innovating

3 PROTOTYPING TO TEST FUNCTIONAL VIABILITY

Physical models allow simple prototyping of your new consumer product to test its functional viability. From initial quick and easy models, you can very speedily progress into more durable and sturdy prototypes. Depending on the complexity, size and nature of your product, 3D printing technology can be a good way to produce close-to-final prototypes for design thinkers at a relatively low cost.

3D Printing can be a good "Close-to-Final" Prototype

3D Printing can be a good “Close-to-Final” Prototype

4 TESTING THE PRODUCT’S BUSINESS VIABILITY

Testing the product’s business viability can be trickier than testing its functional viability. This involves good salesmanship and clever marketing. The success of a product does not solely rest upon its good design and functional excellence. Apple’s success-to-date for example was very much attributed both to the company’s good product design and solution as well as Steve Job’s salesmanship and marketing charisma. Making use of a crowd-sourcing platform such as “Kickstarter” or “Indiegogo” can be a good way to both help you test your marketing as well as the business viability of your invention.

Innovation requires thinking about Business Viability

Innovation requires thinking about Business Viability

5 PROTECTING YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

After designing and developing your new invention, you will need to consider how you would want to protect your intellectual property. A successful new product will attract many copycats. However, patenting a design can be extremely costly. You will therefore have to weigh the cost, risk and benefits before making your decision to patent. Another way to protect your hard work and invention can be through the use of a trademark. By associating your invention with your trademark, you can allow easy identification of the original product versus the copycats.

Using Trademark to protect your Invention

Using Trademark to protect your Invention

We wish you good luck with the invention of your new consumer product!

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