How to Validate Your Product Idea

Everybody has got great ideas.

But the difference between great ideas and successful ideas is this- successful ideas sell.

That is why before moving forward with your product idea, you need to know:

  • Are customers going to buy your product?
  • Is there a demand for what you are selling?

For that to happen, you need to validate your product idea. So that you do not end up wasting your time and money building a product nobody wanted.

Product validation ensures that your idea is worth pursuing.

With that, here are six strategies to validate your product idea, so you can determine whether or not you can sell it.

1. Share your product idea

There’s a myth going around that if you’ve got a great product idea, you should keep it a top-secret.

But it is not true, is it? How can you validate your idea without getting any feedback?

Most probably, your product idea would be incorrect at the outset. You must break it down and listen to what others have to say.

People like your early adopters, consultants, partners, investors, or anyone else who can listen and offer you some feedback.

If you’re still afraid because you’ve got some secret formula for building your product, then don’t tell that part. Just tell them what it does. You just need to figure out if your idea is worth investing in.

You will go through with tens of variants before actually building something. Maybe you’ll figure that it was a bad idea to begin with, which is also fine.

In any case, share your idea and accept the feedback.

2. Find similar products

When you are going to build something already present in the market — you face competition.

And in this case, some competition is a good thing, let us explain.

If a similar product is already on the market, this means:

  • Your product has a demand to fulfill
  • There is already a marketplace for it

Overall, competition indicates that people are willing to pay for your commodity, which is the biggest validation.

From here on, you can start building the same product but an improved version. And you’ll have the following benefits:

  • You would be familiar with the mistakes to avoid
  • You can come up with a better design and iterate quickly

However, you need to choose a product which you believe can be improved and avoid the one which is already doing pretty well.

For example, going after brands like Apple or Microsoft won’t make any sense as they are the dominant players in their marketplace.

However, selecting something that requires improvement and has a fair amount of competition will put you on the right track.

3. Build a loyal audience

For that, you’ll need an audience, right? So if you don’t have any, you should build one.

How?

Set up a website and start collecting emails. There are multiple ways through which you can do that:

Create a “coming soon” landing page, send out a newsletter, send users from your social media accounts, and so on.

All these things will revolve around your product category and people interested in your product launch will fill the email forms.

However, to bring organic traffic of users who might be interested in your product, you will need to create a blog.

How would this blog work?

Well, you should create quality content related to your product. However, don’t directly talk about your products but cover the related topics and problems.

For instance, if your product is related to graphic designing, then write blogs on the same and start collecting emails of readers who might be interested in your content.

This audience is great for many things:

  • You can collect feedback on your product
  • You can engage the audience in different surveys
  • You can even ask for suggestions and improvements by starting a conversation

Not only this, your online audience is going to help you a lot in the future. From selling the product to running crowdfunding campaigns, the opportunity here is big.

However, building a loyal and interested community needs time and quality content. Therefore, start early and by the time you’re ready to launch, you’ll have a good list of people interested in your product.

4. Run Facebook ads

It’s a simple and easy way to validate your product idea.

Set up a landing page. Send cold traffic using Facebook ads and observe how many people would buy it.

This is how it works. On your landing page, describe your product as if it’s already available. List down the basic details like how it works and the features you’ll be offering. And for the call to action part, use a ‘Buy Now’ button.

When your visitors will click on this button, you’ll send a pop-up saying, “Sorry, this product isn’t available right now. Please enter your email address and we will notify you once it’s available.”

Once the sales page is ready to go, start sending cold traffic using Facebook ads.

Target your demographic who could be your potential customers and create an advertisement that will send them to your sales page. Now you can see for real — the number of people clicking on the ‘Buy Now’ button.

However, your page is not genuine and your visitors are not spending any money, but they were ready to pay you for your product.

Running ads is a real-time validation method, and you will have a good idea of whether people would buy your product or not.

5. Sell it before you make it

We tried to replicate selling the product, but there was no money involved until now.

But in this method, you will sell your product through ‘Pre-selling’. Because selling a product is the best way to validate your product idea.

As the name suggests, you’ll get people to pay you money for the product they like and they will receive it in the future.

It’s not going to be easy to pre-sell, but you will use your online audience who trusts you and reads your content. And they might be people investing in your product before it’s made.

However, let them know the risk involved here. Because your product is not available right now. There’s also a good chance that they will never see the product at all. In any case, you should keep them updated so that they trust you.

6. Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Let’s move even further. Let’s sell a real product in the real world.

How?

By building an MVP.

Build your product quickly and cheaply and bring it to the market. Use this product to collect feedback and reiterate. This product will be very much like your original product but an early version of it to test it with your early adopters.

Because this is the real deal, building a product and delivering it in the market. This is going to be the ultimate product idea validation.

You’ll learn if people are willing to pay for your product. If they will buy again and what are the things you need to fix.

Again, you don’t have to make the final product as planned; instead, you’ll create the most basic version of your product and test your chances.

This means if your product is going to offer a lot of extra features, you will not introduce them for now. For MVP, you will only include the most critical features that promise to solve your customers’ problems.

Originally, Eric Ries, the author of The Lean Startup introduced this concept. Eric calls this process a build, measure, learn loop.

Validating your product idea is not easy, but it is well worth the effort. Because you can save yourself from wasting your resources only to find out that your product is not going to sell.

All these validation methods will not only save your resources, but you will be much more confident with your product. And ultimately, it will increase your chances of succeeding.

Remember, no matter how much you believe in your product, you must validate your product idea. Because your customers will use your product in the end, you must understand their perspectives.

Hope we could add a little value to your knowledge through this blog.

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Zeda.io aims to make Product Management and Development Simpler & Smarter. We write about Product Management, Product Design, Product Development, and startups.