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A three-step guide from the LA NPDT team

Some may believe that finding ideas to make a new product or service that the market needs is a tricky enterprise. But, according to Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, “Every 2 minutes, a new product is launched to the U.S. marketplace”. It indicates that there are always opportunities for innovation and idea development. But how do you come up with product ideas that are truly needed on the market?

How about research, research, and once again research?!   


Find your niche

Current market is an endless sea of products and services. In order to navigate it, the market is divided into segments, or niches. Each of those segments defines the product’s characteristics that are necessary to meet specific market’s needs.

For example, sportswear is a segment of a larger apparel market. It is further subdivided into smaller niches with regard to:


a) Demographics – age, gender, level of income, etc.

b)  Price – low, moderate, or high cost.

c) Quality – handmade, premium, and so on.

d) Geographics – part of the world, country, city or its area.

e) Psychographics – customers’ values, interests.

Product Ideas, Ideas to Make a New Product, Idea Development, LA NPDT

Therefore, learning market niches and determining the one you want to contribute to is a must. Start with a bigger picture. Look at the skills, talents, and hobbies you have to mark your place on the market map. Are you good at designing clothes? If yes, then what type of clothes do you want to design? For who: kids, adults, maybe pets? Keep zooming in by going through all of the defining aspects until you pinpoint the niche for you. From there the ideas to make a new product that has not yet hit the market or that will improve the existing product will start to flow.


Identify market trends

After having successfully determined where in the market you want to apply your skills, you need to research current market trends in your niche. It is an important step for mapping out the right course that your product idea development will take.

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

— Steve Jobs

Product Ideas, Ideas to Make a New Product, Idea Development, LA NPDT

How true, Mr. Jobs, especially nowadays. With this ever growing demand for innovation, market trends are constantly changing. Therefore, you need to make a thorough research to ensure whatever idea you come up with will be in demand. Looking at what is needed in your specific area or what is in high demand as a general trend, will provide you with new unique product ideas.

For instance, the sales of sustainable and eco-friendly products have increased by 20% since 2014. Definitely, with more sustainable consumption solutions available, this rate will only go up. Why not use this prominent trend to inspire ideas to make a new product or service? It can be applied in any niche, starting from the beauty industry to clothes to houseware. Building your idea on such promising trends will increase your product’s market success, for the present moment and in the long run.

Sources for research

There are various online resources that can assist you in your research. Pew Research Center can help with looking into industry, media, and social trends, and SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurship Education Resources will provide you with market research analysis tools and data on product production, customer statistics, etc. One other useful source is the  U.S. Census Data Tools that helps with learning demographic and geographic aspects.

Also, it is important to keep your finger on the pulse of current and emerging trends at all times. If you’re just generating thoughts for product ideas or your product has already made it to the market, you need to keep an eye on any trend changes. It will provide you with relevant and up-to-date information for quality product idea development, as well as for further evolution of your business.


Recognize consumers’ problems

The next step for generating ideas to make a new product is to identify consumers’ problems. When you know the problem you are bound, one way or another, to find the solution for it. But sometimes, people don’t see that there is a problem in the first place. So, they don’t ask for a solution. Thus, relying on customer surveys for identifying market needs or for inspiration may not be enough. You yourself can identify the need that the market and consumers don’t recognize yet. The key for achieving it is to use one of the empathic design techniques – observation.

 “It isn’t that they cannot find the solution. It is that they cannot see the problem.”

– G.K Chesterton

Product Ideas, Ideas to Make a New Product, Idea Development, LA NPDT

Start with Yourself

First off, train yourself to see what you usually miss. Observe how you use products or services. Notice which one of them you habitually customize to fit your purpose instead of using them for what they’re intended. At the same time, watch your thoughts like “It would be more useful and convenient if…” Learn the way you use things in your own environment. You’ll get tons of new product ideas out of it, no doubts. Our team has a great example for that.

Once upon a time one of our engineers found our office emerged in charging cords but with uncharged devices (which we use a lot). It’s easy to forget to plug your smart pen sometimes, you know. Yeah, we had a problem. But due to a busy schedule and a habit to plug the charger into the wall, we didn’t recognize it. So, we looked online for a compact device that would be able to charge several micro-USB devices at once without too many cords attached to it. Sure enough we found none. Now the problem turned into an idea development, which brought about a unique product that we called UP Dock. Read its story in our Portfolio.

Continue with others

After you learned how to observe yourself, expand your perspective. Begin to observe others. See how they use products, in which way they want those products to be different, better. In other words, identify their problem. See what people don’t see. And from there you can draw your unique, innovative, and inspirational product ideas or you can improve the existing solutions.

Related article: Boost the Invention Development with Empathic Design


Finding ideas to make a new product that the market recognizes as a need may seem like an overwhelming endeavor. When, in reality, it is a journey of self-discovery, cultivation of your entrepreneurial skills through research and idea development. The experience you gain from it will benefit your product and business as a whole for years to come. More so, it will allow you to be in constant ideation flow, stay on top of market trends and even influence them by creating innovative product ideas which solve important but unrecognized problems.

What other ways that may be helpful in finding product ideas that the market needs you know of? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

And if you already have an idea sparked in your mind, let our professional team help you develop it end-to-end.

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LA New Product Development Team is a comprehensive product development firm, offering services from idea generation and product design to manufacturing and marketing. LANPDT collaborates with startups and established businesses to transform concepts into market-ready innovations.

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