Market Research for Aspiring Inventors

Here at Shark Design, we always tell aspiring inventors that there are three critical questions they should ask themselves when they gain inspiration for a new product or service: 

• Does your idea exist in some form elsewhere in the market?

• Does your idea solve a current problem or pain point? 

• Is your idea feasible? 

All these questions will help to keep you firmly on track as you go about the research process. Make no mistake: this research stage is intensive, insightful, and absolutely essential if you are to successfully determine a viable space for your idea within the market. 

Even when you achieve success, it’s likely that you will be using market research for product development purposes well into the future. As your profitable design undergoes new iterations and upgrades, or becomes one small part of a vastly expanded product range, you are sure to revisit these questions.

So, let’s break down each of these three questions and explain what needs to be done. 

Does Your Idea Exist In Some Form Elsewhere In The Market? 

You need to do your homework to ensure that your idea is truly one-of-a-kind and proprietary. Get started with a simple Google search! Even if a direct rival product doesn’t exist in the form you envision, there is likely some vaguely similar competition out there. 

A good example is eco-friendly packaging and materials. We’ve heard from many entrepreneurs who are interested in designing sustainable packaging. While it’s true that consumers are more sensitive than ever to the benefits of recycling and disposal of hazardous materials, it’s important that your outstanding feature is not a token gesture or too faddish. You should have a genuine aspiration to move innovation forward.

Create charts, pictograms, tables, and lists to detail exactly what your own and rival products are, what they do, who they serve, and the background of the manufacturers. This will help you refine your concept to ensure that it is distinctive, and that it has a good shot at standing the test of time until the conditions are right for launching an upgrade or redesign. 

Does Your Idea Solve A Current Problem or Pain Point? 

In other words, are you providing a new solution? For most inventors, this is a deal breaker.  Once you’ve determined that your idea does indeed solve a specific problem or pain point, it’s time to take notes and bring your concept out into the physical world where it can begin to take shape. Even if it’s only a few words written down on a piece of paper! 

Is Your Idea Feasible and Can You Actually Produce It? 

If similar products exist out there, perhaps you can connect with those manufacturers. If you’ve perfected your product idea, now is the time to figure out just what you need to do to manufacture it. 

This process will most certainly include due diligence research into various manufacturers, product designers, engineers, and more. You’ll need to determine the most economical way to bring your product to life. Of course, you also need to make an acceptable profit, while keeping to a sales price your target market considers reasonable. 

Next Steps

At Shark Design we know only too well that the inventor’s journey is often highly complex and full of challenges. But it can also be one of the most rewarding processes that you’ll ever experience. 

As a full service product design and development agency, Shark Design is fully equipped to conduct market research, help you shore up your initial idea, create a design, build a prototype, and launch your manufacturing efforts. 

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