Project Viability and Risk

From concept to production - we are the product design and development specialists, experienced in the whole process. Learn more about how our unique process helps you manage your risk and gives your product the best chance of success. Watch the video for an overview of this phase of product development and click the links below for further details of our specific services.

What Happens in This Phase

Marketing Insights – before getting too far into an innovative product development process, it is prudent to obtain some initial marketing insights that will help steer and guide the project’s direction. As the target market will ultimately be purchasing the product, and therefore will determine the commercial success of the product, it is vital we develop the product to suit their needs.

This step is also vital to commercial viability since we will determine the product’s appeal to consumers and the probability of its success in the market.

A technical feasibility stage fully explores the idea and attempts to ensure that technically it will work. This might involve researching mechanisms, electronic solutions or the latest technical fabrics and assessing their capabilities to perform the required function in your product. 

Before getting too far into an innovative product development process it is key that we obtain some initial marketing insights that will help steer and guide the direction for the project. As the target market will be ultimately purchasing the product it is key that we develop the product to suit their needs.

A commercial viability assessment provides an approximate unit cost for your product and production setup cost including tooling. This is critical to the viability of your project. Unit cost will establish future margin on your product and provides reassurance to continue to invest in the project.

Market Insights brainstorm with post-it notes, pens and paper

The innovation workshop is a creative session with some of the design team to consider all options and new ideas before the project kicks off in earnest. It is often used to ensure that multiple options have been considered early in the project rather than just launching down one particular development route. 

Often innovative ideas require different and new manufacturing techniques, materials or processes. A manufacturing feasibility assessment is key to make sure your product can be produced. It isn’t always possible to make what has been designed so this needs to be assessed early.

Mark 1 Prototype ready to be reviewed

A basic physical model is the quickest and cheapest way to test out your product idea. Concepts often look great on paper but the reality of a 3D object that has to perform effectively is different. Basic models are often made from deconstructing existing products and rebuilding them with novel components.

Cost and Funding

Every project is unique, and the development costs can vary hugely. One of the first things to consider is what investment is required to develop, manufacture and launch your product. You can project this through a commercial viability assessment. We always work with a client to ensure their funds are used to maximise their chances of success and to plan any funding or investment requirements..

This often means ensuring essential elements of development are carried out to enable you to access further funding through investors, crowdfunding or grants. Our team of experienced designers are trained to develop products that keep manufacturing costs to a minimum where possible.

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Why Work with Us

All product development is inherently risky, and at D2M we use our extensive experience to develop a bespoke project plan. It will minimise risk whilst analysing the project from a commercial perspective.

We do this through a commercial viability assessment, which involves considering the target market, potential marketing claims, and production costs from a very early stage in the project. This hugely increases your chances of success with your project.

We offer specific stages of work within your overall project plan that clarify the best route forward and highlight areas of concern in: market positioning, messaging, route to market, regulations and compliance, production costs, and sourcing.

We use the results of these stages to inform decision making. This is always communicated in an honest and transparent way to you, so you are in control of your project’s direction and fully informed as to the level of risk you’re taking.

This includes advising if we believe that stopping the project is necessary as it is likely to not be viable for any reason.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is commercial viability?

Commercial viability is the likelihood that a product or service will be successful in the marketplace. To assess commercial viability, businesses and designers consider factors such as the potential demand for the product, competition, price point, and production and marketing costs.

What is technical feasibility?

Technical feasibility is the likelihood that a product or service can be developed and delivered successfully. We determine this by assessing several factors, including the availability of technology, materials and what is possible with production manufacturing techniques.

What is production feasibility?

Production feasibility is the likelihood that you can produce a product or service at an acceptable cost and quality level. An idea is said to be ready for manufacturing if raw materials, components and the right manufacturing partners are available and easily accessible.

Production costs must also be realistic and affordable. Most importantly, the right processes and equipment should be in place to ensure manufacturing and delivery capabilities.

What is the risk?

The risk is the potential for loss or damage if something goes wrong. A highly risky concept may have a high chance of failure, even if it is commercially viable. Conversely, a product that is not commercially viable has little chance of success, regardless of how low the other risks may be.

Finding the right balance between these two factors is essential for successful product development.

When assessing commercial viability, businesses must consider the risks involved in developing and delivering a product or service and the potential rewards.

What are the risks associated with developing a new product?

Numerous risks are associated with developing a new product, including technical, market, financial, and manufacturing risks.

Technical risks include the risk that the product will not work as intended or be unable to meet consumer demands.
Market risks include the risk that there will not be enough demand for the product or that the target market will not be receptive to the product.

Financial risks include the risk that the cost of developing and marketing the product will exceed the revenue generated from sales.

Manufacturing risks include the risk that the manufacturing process will be costly or defects that will make the product unsellable.

How can you reduce risk in product development?

First, conducting market research gives insights into consumer needs and wants. Second, building a prototype allows designers and engineers to test the product’s form, function, and feasibility. Thirdly, commercial viability can be assessed by gaining product costings form appropriate manufacturers.

It is also important to partner with a reputable product development company so you can have access to resources and expertise. Finally, securing funding can help you offset some of the costs associated with development and marketing.

Expert Knowledge

We’re all about helping companies, startups and entrepreneurs to succeed with designing new products.

Get your hands on some of our carefully crafted videos, pdfs and podcasts. If you want to successfully develop and launch a new product idea then click the images to discover more about these free, instantly available resources.

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Bonus 40min extended case-study video!