3 Ways to Achieve Market Validation for Your Creative Ideas

3 Ways to Achieve Market Validation for Your Creative Ideas

It’s natural to get excited about a new, creative idea, but it may not always be wise to put all your money and resources into making a product out of it. Many products fail simply because the idea could have been refined or invalidated earlier. Market validation serves as your safety net when you’re about to leap at a unique yet risky marketing opportunity.

Marketers and business owners often chalk validation up to conducting simple surveys or finding out what the competitors are doing, but there are other equally effective ways to determine if your new idea is worth investing in. It all depends on the type of product you’re creating, and what type of information you need to confirm that your idea is a viable product.

Ask Yourself the Right Questions

Validating your idea starts from the source: you. Lisa A. Riley, a creativity coach, provided a piece of advice to artists that may prove useful in this case: “You must first and foremost validate yourself and your work.”

Ask yourself a series of questions before you even consider running your idea through other validation processes. What problem are you trying to solve with this product? If you were a consumer, would you spend money on this product? What would make you choose it over the other similar products out there? Answering questions like these with confidence is one of the first signs that your product is worth investing in. Being uncertain about your own product can be just as bad as being overconfident about it

Define and Test Your MVP

Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, developed a technique called minimum viable product (MVP). The MVP is a version of your new product that only contains the features it needs to be created and deployed. One simple example of an MVP is a basic website with links for “more information” on your product or service’s specific features. This allows you to track what features your visitors click on.

Developing your MVP and taking it out on a road test allows you to learn a lot more about customer interest and preferences without using up too much time and resources. You need to define your product vision to determine what your MVP is. The idea is to gather information from customers and gradually adapt the product based on this information without changing your product’s vision.

Know Your Industry and Work with the Pros

You shouldn’t simply focus on your customers’ opinions and needs when validating an idea. You need to keep up with your competitors and the latest developments in your industry as well. Find out what your competition is like, and compare your idea to what they already have. Customers won’t want to buy your product if a competitor already has one out in the market.

Finding the news and updates about your particular industry is easy if you stay alert online, but having an industry advisor can also help. A mentor can offer you a fresh perspective and help you know your industry’s needs better.

Using these three methods and recording your findings carefully allows you to get rid of bad concepts early, avoid wasting your product development and online marketing efforts, and to make room for better ideas. It’s possible to end up shooting some of your favorite ideas down, but your validation efforts might help you unearth some ideas that are merely diamonds in the rough.

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