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Commercial Viability Assessment

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Commercial Viability Assessment at D2M: Ensuring Profitable Outcomes in a Competitive Market

At D2M, we recognise that an ingenious product idea is only the inception. The pivotal challenge lies in its successful translation into a profitable venture in the commercial arena – it’s all too easy to design the best new product ever only to find that no-one’s done it because it’s simply too expensive for your target market! Through our Commercial Viability Assessment service, we have honed a methodology that meticulously scrutinises the financial aspects of a product idea to ascertain its potential for delivering a solid return on investment.

Our Process

**Preliminary Design & Costing**

The initiation phase is where the conceptual design undergoes refinement to a stage where we can begin to attach potential costs to the production of the product. To ensure comprehensive costing:

– We delve into sourcing specifics: What components and materials are necessary? From where can they be procured and at what potential costs? Where will the product be manufactured and therefore what scale of labour rates will be required.
– We create a preliminary manufacturing specification to gauge the initial production dynamics. This includes key details like material finish, likely production volumes, key specifications such as battery life and environment considerations.
– Consultations with potential manufacturers provide us with insights into the scalability of production and potential cost-saving measures. These cost potential cost savings can then be allowed for within our estimates.
– Supplementary costs, often overlooked but vital for comprehensive assessment, are also factored in. This includes packaging, shipping, duty, testing, and quality control (QC) evaluations.

It’s important to note that while this phase might not yield an exact costing, it provides a close ballpark figure that’s indispensable for subsequent stages.

**Determining the Selling Price**

With a clearer picture of the cost structure, we now venture into the domain of price determination. This phase is pivotal in ensuring that the product’s price resonates with its perceived value among the target audience. Our approach involves:

– Conducting primary market research to gauge the reaction of potential consumers at different price points. What are they willing to pay? What do they consider a ‘value-for-money’ price point for such a product?
– Organising focus group discussions where potential customers can provide detailed feedback on pricing structures and what features or functions they particularly value.
– Conversations with retail buyers provide a dual advantage: They shed light on what prices the market can bear and give insights into potential shelf-space competition.

**Evaluating Routes to Market & Margin Analysis**

The final phase integrates the insights from the first two phases and brings clarity on how to navigate the product to its end consumer. Our process here is comprehensive:

– We analyse potential distribution channels. From direct-to-consumer models to collaborations with distributors and retailers, each route has its unique cost and benefit structure.
– Margin analysis is crucial. What profits can be expected when considering the margins for distributors, retailers, and, most importantly, our client? Understanding this is fundamental to ensuring the venture is commercially lucrative.
– Lastly, while direct marketing costs might still be variables at this juncture, our extensive experience allows us to make educated estimates. As the project advances, these estimates can be refined through additional research.

Clarity on Costs

For many new entrants in the product development sector, accurate and comprehensive costing is a challenge. It’s not just about production costs; every small aspect, from packaging to shipping, has a cost implication. With D2M’s Phase 1 assessment, entrepreneurs are provided with:

  • Expert-Led Guidance: Our experience in working with a vast network of suppliers, manufacturers, and other industry professionals means the ballpark figures we provide are rooted in real-world scenarios.
  • Risk Minimisation: Accurate early-stage cost estimates can prevent costly redesigns later by highlighting particular cost-centres within the product. It also ensures entrepreneurs are prepared with a robust financial plan, circumventing potential liquidity crises by clarifying potential manufacturing setup costs and minimum order quantities.
  • Competitive Edge: Understanding the full spectrum of product costs allows for strategic pricing decisions, ensuring competitiveness in the market while preserving profitability.
Future market insights data

Evidence-Based Pricing Strategy

Determining the right price for a product is a fine balance between covering costs, ensuring profitability, and matching consumer expectations. Setting it too high or too low can have severe repercussions. D2M’s Phase 2 provides:

  • Consumer-Centric Insights: Through market research and focus groups, entrepreneurs gain a direct line to potential consumers’ expectations and willingness to pay. This ensures pricing aligns with perceived value.
  • Retail Collaboration: Engaging with retail buyers provides a two-fold advantage. Entrepreneurs gain an understanding of the retail landscape and also begin fostering relationships that can prove beneficial once the product launches.
  • Informed Decision Making: With data-driven insights, entrepreneurs can confidently set a price that promises market acceptance and healthy margins.

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Production support in a manufacturers

Optimised Distribution and Margin Management

The final stretch of the product journey, getting it into the hands of consumers, is equally critical. An effective distribution strategy is what stands between a great product and its market success. D2M’s Phase 3 offers:

  • Tailored Distribution Strategy: Entrepreneurs often grapple with the question: “Which sales channel is right for my product?” With D2M’s comprehensive route-to-market analysis, this becomes clearer. Be it direct-to-consumer, partnerships with retailers, or collaborations with distributors, entrepreneurs receive insights on the pros and cons of each avenue.
  • Margin Mastery: A keen understanding of the expected margins across various distribution channels ensures there’s a clear profitability roadmap. It enables business owners to select routes that offer maximum returns and align with their business goals.
  • Future-Proofing: By taking into account variables like potential marketing costs, entrepreneurs are equipped with a holistic strategy that caters not just to the present but anticipates future challenges and opportunities.
Phil and his team are the ultimate professionals when it comes to developing a product and I recommend him to anyone wishing to take advantage of his services. Furthermore, his commercial awareness is second to none.
Charles O'Ferrall


What is commercial viability?

Commercial viability for a physical product refers to its potential to satisfy market demands, be produced at a cost allowing for profitable sale, and sustain profitability over its lifecycle. It assesses if the product can compete effectively and generate consistent profits in its target market.

Factors determining a physical product’s commercial viability include its production and manufacturing costs, potential retail price, consumer demand, unique selling points, competition in the market, distribution and marketing strategies, and compliance with relevant standards and regulations.

To assess the commercial viability of your physical product idea, consider conducting a ballpark costing of its components, evaluating potential retail margins, gauging consumer willingness to pay through market research, comparing potential sale price against production costs, and consulting industry experts or utilizing assessment tools to gain deeper insights.

The cost varies based on the product’s intricacy and the scope of the assessment. Please reach out to our team with specific details, and we’ll provide a tailored quote. The minimum is normally around £1500 exc. VAT but it the cost could be much higher is detailed research is required and if we’re starting with no additional information other than an initial idea.

The cost varies based on the product’s intricacy and the scope of the assessment. Please reach out to our team with specific details, and we’ll provide a tailored quote. The minimum is normally around £1500 exc. VAT but it the cost could be much higher is detailed research is required and if we’re starting with no additional information other than an initial idea.

Overview of Commercial Viability Assessment

Comprehensive Market Analysis

Identifying Market Gaps: Every successful product addresses a particular need or fills a gap in the market. Ideally the new product solves a common (or high risk) problem in a way that is easy to communicate to your target customer. Through market research, we can confirm the existence of the proposed niche and guide product development towards addressing these spaces, ensuring alignment with actual consumer wants and needs.

Understanding Consumer Pricing Expectations: Leveraging our advanced market research tools, we craft targeted questions to discern the price points consumers are willing to pay. This insight becomes instrumental in defining a product’s price strategy and also confirming early in development if the project is a sensible investment likely to deliver good commercial returns.

2. Financial Feasibility and Costing Analysis

Ball-park Costing for Product Elements: A distinguishing feature of our assessment lies in the detailed examination of the probable costs linked to every segment of your product. From sourcing raw materials to the intricacies of the production process, we provide an informed ballpark estimate. While these figures might not claim absolute precision, they serve as reliable indicators to gauge the potential commercial success of the product. This early-stage costing insight is a rarity among product design firms. At D2M, our unique vantage point is shaped by hands-on experience in developing our own product suite and facilitating the production of countless diverse products. It’s this extensive experience that equips us with the expertise to deliver such crucial financial insight.

Pricing Strategy for Maximum Profitability: With a keen understanding of production costs and consumer pricing expectations, we devise a pricing strategy. Our goal is to ensure a healthy margin while offering compelling value to the end consumer. This balance is crucial in maintaining both competitiveness and profitability.

Projected Margins Based on Route to Market: Different distribution channels come with varied cost implications. By assessing the most optimal route to market for your product, we can forecast margins more accurately, ensuring that the chosen path aligns with desired profitability metrics. A combination of different routes to market may also be the right approach for your specific project and developing this strategy early on can impact the design direction for the project.

3. Product Differentiation and Positioning

Benchmarking Against Competitors: Even the most groundbreaking product can get lost in a crowded market without clear differentiation. We undertake a comprehensive competitor analysis, understanding their strengths and weaknesses, to position your product in a manner that accentuates its unique value proposition.

Branding and Messaging Strategy: Beyond physical features and functionalities, a product’s market perception is shaped by its branding and messaging. It’s pointless having an amazing product with unique features if they can’t be clearly, rapidly and compellingly communicated to your target market. As such this element needs to be considered early on.

In Conclusion

The journey from a product concept to a profitable market entity is riddled with complexities. Our Commercial Viability Assessment service at D2M seeks to streamline this path, addressing the vital financial and market-oriented challenges head-on. By partnering with us, innovators and entrepreneurs arm themselves with actionable insights, financial clarity, and strategic market positioning, paving the way for commercial success. At D2M, we believe in turning visions into viable ventures, and our Commercial Viability Assessment stands testament to that commitment.

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