Do you ever feel like every single couple with a baby on TikTok right now firmly believes that they have created the most beautiful baby on earth…
And it just seems like a regular baby to you?
Well, new product ideas are kind of similar when it comes to accepting reality:
They’re just like our precious babies.
We think highly of them and simply cannot stop talking and bragging about them.
But this might mean that not everybody around us will -or should- appreciate what we have to offer.
No need to be upset, though.
Taking the time to validate your new product idea is a critical step to understanding whether or not there is enough demand for what you’re about to offer.
This article will talk about the essential ways to validate your new product idea before investing heavily to make your dream a reality.
1- First things First: Conduct Market Research.
You’d be surprised to know what a great deal of fantastic product ideas go to waste as we speak due to the lack of research and sufficient knowledge about the market.
It’s all over the Internet, really.
Here’s a professional talking about the matter and its importance on LinkedIn.
Market research helps you understand your target market, its requirements, wishes, and preferences.
So, it is absolutely crucial to understand the competition as well as the market itself.
You need to look out for similar products in the market and see how well they’re doing, how exactly they are performing, and meeting needs.
You should also look for specific trends, the size of the market potential, and customer reviews, opinions, and feedback for they will also help you get a clearer idea about the market and what it is expecting of you.
2- Identify the Audience You Wish to Work For.
Products and people are two terms that are aligned and attached to one another.
Whatever you come up with has to meet a certain demand and need – it needs to bring a solution to a problem people are facing.
This is why you should identify who your target audience is and what kinds of problems they are struggling with. This will help you understand whether or not there is a demand for your ”product idea” and how you can market it to these people.
3- Create a Prototype, aka MVP.
👉🏼 Best for: Startup contexts and software development products
An MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, is a version of your product with just enough to offer to please early buyers and provide feedback for future improvement.
It’s commonly used in software development and startup contexts, but of course, can be applied to other types of products as well.
It’s especially helpful in certain use cases such as:
👉 Testing product-market fit.
An MVP lets you test your idea with real customers and get their precious feedback on whether or not your product solves a problem they are facing or meets a requirement they have.
👉 Decreasing development costs.
Creating an MVP with only the core features can help you save a great amount of time and money, letting you launch and test the market before investing too much resources and energy in a fully-features and ready-to-go product.
👉 Repetitive development.
An MVP allows you to gather honest feedback from early adopters and use that feedback to improve your product over time.
You can add more features based on related customer demand, refine the user experience, and enhance the overall product based on real-time usage data.
👉 Reducing the risk.
Building an MVP and launching it helps you reduce the risk of investing too much money and time in a product that eventually does not survive in the market.
However, by testing the market with an MVP, you can validate the need for the product before investing heavily in improvement and development.
Long story short, an MVP is best used for testing and validating a product idea that you have in order to decrease product development costs, and enable iterative improvement based on actual customer feedback.
👉🏼 What could be an example of it?
Let’s say you have an idea for a mobile app that helps people find fitness classes in their area.
Instead of creating a fully-featured application with everything included, you first decide to come up with an MVP to test the market and validate your idea.
Simply, your MVP might have a basic interface that lets users search for fitness classes by their location, timetable, etc. But, preferably nothing more advanced than that, not just yet.
Before moving on to the next step, I find what other people are saying about MVPs worth sharing, here are a couple of examples from LinkedIn.
4- Try the Fake Door Test.
👉🏼 Best for: Measuring the number of users interested
The Fake Door Test is a research technique that includes creating a landing page or another kind of user interface for a specific product that does not actually exist, and tracking the number of users who click on the call-to-action button or share their interest in your product/service through another way.
It is especially great for:
👉 Testing demand for your product.
By building a landing page that depicts your product and asks users to sign up or provide personal contact information, you can easily understand how much interest there is in your services without actually needing to create the tangible product.
👉 Identifying user requirements and wants.
By tracking and analyzing the behavior of real users who interact with your fake interface, you can gather insights into what features and benefits your audience is looking for, and consequently use that information to develop your real product.
👉 Saving time and resources.
By implementing the Fake Door Test to validate the demand for your product, you can avoid wasting money and resources as well as your time on something that may not have any market demand in the first place.
5- Also: Fake Door Test for New Features.
👉 Best for: New Product Features
A Fake Door Test can also be used for existing users to validate new product features. You can easily conduct this test for your new features by following the given steps:
✅ Identify the feature.
Decide on which new feature you would like to test and what problem it specifically solves for your users.
✅ Create a landing page.
Create a landing page that thoroughly describes the new feature, including its pros and how exactly it performs.
Make sure your landing page has a call-to-action button -CTA-that leads to a page where users can sign up or buy the feature.
✅ Build the fake door.
Once your users click on the CTA button, they are supposed to be redirected to a page that provides information to them, saying that the feature is not available for use yet, but they are completely free to provide their contact information to be notified when it becomes available.
✅ Drive as much traffic as possible to the landing page.
Drive traffic to your landing page using advertising, social media channels, or e-mail marketing campaigns.
This will allow you to get a big enough sample size to understand the amount of customer interest.
✅ Track & analyze the results.
Make sure you measure how many people clicked on the CTA button and how many left their contact information.
This will give you an indication of customer interest in the new feature, which is all you need, obviously.
Analyze the results and decide whether or not there is enough customer attention and interest to justify investing in building this new feature.
If there is low interest, you can always modify the idea, and if there is high interest, surely you can take a step further with confidence.
Here’s a great example by Notion.
For their new AI feature, Notion partially did the Fake Door Test – they showed every user a pop-up that said ”Join the Waiting List”.
This can be easily done – in less than five minutes really!– with an in-app messaging platform like the great UserGuiding itself.
6- Try Crowdfunding Platforms and Offer Pre-Order Discounts.
👉🏼 Best for: Costly products
Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo are great ways to validate your product idea by creating a simple campaign and asking people to pledge their financial support for your product idea.
And if you reach your funding goal, it’s a clear indication that there is a current demand for your product.
Similarly, a pre-order discount to early adopters is a healthy way to validate new ideas – if people are willing to pay for your service in advance.
It’s a good sign that there is ✨demand.✨
7- Attend Trade Shows and Events
Attending trade shows and events can be a valuable way to validate your product ideas since they allow you to network with potential users, analyze competition, showcase your product, generate early sales, and get instant feedback on the go.
With this great networking opportunity, you can connect with industry experts, the potential market, suppliers, and potential partners.
Furthermore, the interest and engagement level of attendees can serve as a measure of the possible success of your new idea. If they are enthusiastic enough about it, it can be a good sign that there is, again, enough demand.
There are numerous ways to validate your new product ideas, and doing so is crucial to the success of your business.
By testing assumptions, gathering valuable feedback from potential customers and industry experts, and analyzing data, your business can better understand the target market and target customers, and make sure that your product meets their needs.
By following the given methods, you can easily develop products that are better suited to the needs of people, eventually leading to a more successful product launch and increased revenue.
Before we say goodbye, I’d like to share a precious podcast episode I found researching for this article; here’s ”How to Validate a Product Idea’‘ by Derrick Reimer, the co-founder of Drip.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of product validation?
The 4 common types of product validation are market validation, concept validation, MVP validation, and A/B testing. By using these different types of product validation, businesses can ensure that they are creating products that solve relevant problems, meet customer requirements, and offer value.
What are the steps in the business or product validation process?
The business or product validation process generally includes a series of steps to determine whether or not your product idea is up for success. Some of the most common steps in this process are defining the problem, conducting market research, developing a product concept, testing the product concept, building a minimum viable product (MVP), refining the product, and launching the product.
What is the most effective way to validate a product idea?
The most effective way to validate a product idea depends on the nature of the product and the targeted market, however, there are some general methods that are proven to be highly effective like conducting market research, using landing pages, ads and fake door tests, creating a product prototype or MPV, conducting surveys, user interviews, and feedback forms, and using A/B testing.
Overall, the most efficient way to validate a product idea depends on the specific product, target market, and audience. Businesses can use a mixture of these techniques to validate their product ideas and ensure that they are offering products that solve real problems by real people, have relevant value, and meet customer requirements.