Wondering if there’s a secret to getting your idea to market? You’re in the right place. There’s nothing more exciting than having a great idea that you want to bring into the world. That’s especially true when you have a unique concept that no one has created before. You could be the very first person to bring that idea to life! Here’s how to get started.
5 Crucial Steps to Taking Your Concept to Market
There’s not just one “correct” way to bring your idea to market, but there are some steps that can help you along the way. Read on to learn how you can take your invention to market, and share your amazing creativity with the rest of the world.
1. Research How Others Have Done the Same Thing
Over the years, plenty of other people have gotten their concepts out on the market. Many of the food and beverage products you see on grocery store shelves were once a home-grown concept much like yours. But how did these innovators get their products out into grocery stores across the country? Good news—there are plenty of books and websites on the subject!
Find some books or articles that interest you, and learn all about how people have found success and made money from their concept. They don’t necessarily have to be related to the type of product you want to launch, but if you can find something in your particular area of interest, that’s even better!
2. Conduct Market Research
This market research goes along with the previous step, but here, you’ll need to research the specifics of your particular concept. Before you go any further with your idea, you’ll need to know all about:
- Your competitors
- The costs involved
- Your target customers/market
- Demand for your product
- The challenges that will likely arise
- State or federal laws and regulations that govern your product (for example, CBD regulations or food safety laws)
Are there any other companies making products that are similar to your concept? Search online, visit stores, and talk to people who might be interested in your idea. If you find similar products out there, make a list of what they are, where they are found, and how close they are to your idea. Learn about the likely costs of making your product, find out what kind of profits you’ll want to be making, and figure out the demand for your idea. Armed with this research, you’ll be able to troubleshoot your concept and come up with smart solutions.
3. Continue Perfecting Your Prototype
If you were inventing a machine, you’d want to perfect the prototype until it was running as smoothly as possible with your available resources. You’ll need to do the same for your food or beverage concept. You may not have the specific tools or ingredients you’ll be using when you start making the product commercially, but you need to start with what you have.
Make the recipe over and over again. Think about how it can be made more delicious. Try to perfect its texture, appearance, and overall appeal. And also consider how you can simplify the recipe, and how you can source cheaper and better quality ingredients. You might have a great concept already, but you can always make it better!
4. Work on Your Business Plan, Marketing Materials, Etc.
Your goal isn’t just to get your product on the market. Your goal is to be profitable and to grow your business! So, you’ll need a well-thought-out business plan that summarizes your ideas, describes your company, analyzes the market, lays out sales strategies and funding requirements, and projects your expenses and other financial information. This plan will be invaluable moving forward.
You’ll also want to be thinking about branding, packaging, and marketing materials. You need something that will catch your customers’ attention and draw them into your story. At some point, you’ll want to hire a graphic designer and other marketing experts who can help you create a great brand and excellent marketing materials, both online and offline.
5. Test Your Product Before Launching
So, you’ve probably already tested your recipe extensively on your own. But continued testing is essential. Don’t just have people taste your food or beverage idea; you need to go further than that. Test out everything, including your packaging and branding ideas, on friends, family and focus groups of target customers. Keep an open mind and always be willing to experiment and tweak the final product to give it its best chance of success when it hits the store shelves.
In addition to testing for the food or beverage’s marketability, you’ll need to find a professional food testing lab, develop a relationship with them, and get your product tested for both safety and quality. From the raw ingredients to the production process to packing and shipping, there are lots of safety and quality issues that may arise. So, make sure to test and troubleshoot before significant problems come up.
Start-Ups are Hard!
If these steps seem difficult to carry out on your own, that’s because they are! Starting a business is hard, and bringing a food or beverage to the market is always going to involve a lot of steps, a few setbacks, and some confusion along the way. If you want the best chance of success, it’s always a good idea to bring in the professionals—and that’s where Get Creative Culinary comes in. As experts in the R&D and innovation of foods and beverages, we’re here to create and expand opportunities for you and your ideas.
If you’re wondering how to take a product from concept to market, we’re here to partner with you, provide industry connections, guide you through each step and lend our expertise to your idea. With more than a decade of experience, the Get Creative Culinary team is an invaluable asset to your food or beverage startup. Get in touch with us today to learn more or to get started!