A robust product development strategy can take your product from ideation to design, from the table to the production floor, and from the shelves straight to the consumer.
This guide uses the Dyson 6-step design philosophy as an example of one of the most robust product development strategies available today:
See the original Dyson Twitter thread below or keep scrolling to read the expanded version now:
What is a Product Development Strategy?
A product development strategy is a business process that includes ongoing market and consumer research to:
- launch a new product into a new or existing market, or
- introduce an existing product to a new market
There’s strength in combining ideas and process into something repeatable in your business.
To examine this, we’re going to look closely at an electronics design and innovation legend: Dyson. And while the Dyson product development strategy might not be perfect for your business, it’s certainly worth looking at as a framework to develop your own.
The Dyson 6-Step Product Development Strategy
Dyson uses a six-step design philosophy to create objects that change how we perceive and experience common household items. Here’s a breakdown of their products and product design philosophy that helped them hit $8.2B in sales last year!
Each Dyson product goes through the following rigorous steps before hitting consumer shelves:
*This isn’t always a seamless process. It took James Dyson 5,127 tries to get the first vacuum right!
So… how does Dyson do it?
Step 1: Specify Your Design Needs
Dyson says that every product starts with a problem to solve and that when designing a product their engineers consider the following 8 elements:
- Safety and
Step 2: Plan for A/B Testing
Dyson projects run on a tight schedule and there is time built in for the product to be tested and improved again and again. They know they won’t get it right on the first try and build in time for the product to fail and improve as they go.
Step 3: Design as a Team
Dyson Engineers work in teams, brainstorming solutions. There are no bad ideas, and everything is written down.
Then they work on sketching out the design together. Sketching helps them figure out how each of the parts will fit together.
Step 4: Build as You Design
Dyson engineers make 3D prototypes right away during their design process. They often start with crude cardboard prototypes and then move towards Computer Aided Design (CAD) and later to 3D printing.
Step 5: Test for Durability
Dyson engineers often test their prototypes into destruction. They want to not only test their design specs but to make sure the product will survive use at home.
After products are tested, they will be rebuilt and tested again repeatedly until the engineers are satisfied.
Step 6: Analyze the Data to Improve
Once Dyson engineers are confident in the design of the machine, it goes into manufacturing. Once again, it will be put through a rigorous testing phase.
It’s inevitable that the product will fail at some point, but the engineers will analyze this data for improvement.
4 Top Dyson Products That Made it to Market
Over the years, Dyson has produced many top-performing products that passed its rigorous 6-step design process. These four examples are just some of those products…
The Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum
Powerful enough to vacuum up pony beads, this iteration of the classic Dyson cordless vacuum has a motor that runs at 125,000 rpm and an LCD screen that allows you to toggle between Eco, Auto and Boost modes.
Bonus: Up to an hour of Eco vacuum time.
The Dyson Airwrap Styler
The most cutting-edge tech in the hairstyling market. Even after 3 years on the market, the air-fuelled curling and straightening tool is still consistently sold out.
With detachable heads, barrels, and brushes, get a salon-style blowout at home.
The Dyson Supersonic
The Dyson Supersonic was the first product in their haircare line. It’s $400 but it’s quieter than any other hairdryer and it’s less damaging to hair.
Bonus: the vent is at the bottom of the hairdryer which means that your hair won’t get caught in it while drying and styling.
The Dyson Air Purifier and Humidifier
Expensive but so easy to clean! The first humidifier to be certified by the National Psoriasis Institute.
Dyson’s Pure Humidify+Cool is a 3-in-1 purifier, humidifier and cooling system. With a long list of skin, hair, and lung benefits.
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Thank you for reading this guide to creating a robust product development strategy!
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