Have you ever wondered how an idea on a piece of paper becomes an actual physical unit? Ian Arbuckle, CEO at LINIAN, pulls back the curtain to give some insight into the company’s product development process.
The initial stage in creating any new product is coming up with the idea first. We will identify a problem in the market, either through our own direct experience or when the LINIAN team is contacted by a customer to solve a problem, to speed up processes or make installers’ jobs easier. After the problem has been identified, the next stage is breaking it down into chunks to see how we can lend our expertise to the task. We undertake research, and some of the questions we’d be asking include: Is there a current product to solve this task? If so, how does it work? What are the materials currently used? What are the pain points with the current product? How could the process be improved to make it easier for the installer? If there is no solution at all, what would help the customer?
Proof of concept
We start testing the best ideas internally, often by building and designing prototypes. Generally, we try to keep as broad a base as possible by looking at lots of different ideas and materials. We ask – does the product solve the problem that we set out to solve in the first instance? Is it genuinely innovative? Does it fit into LINIAN’s key themes? If so, then we have what is called ‘proof of concept’. Once proof of concept has been established, that’s when we branch off. The product development side of LINIAN begins to look at the manufacturing capacity, sourcing suppliers and materials and the different stages that we need logistically to bring the product to market. We source our suppliers as locally as possible, keeping our supply chain short and ensuring great relationships with our suppliers.
Simultaneously, we start looking at intellectual property, patenting, copyright, and design protection. As a result, we’ll then have an intellectually protected product that we can then take out to market. This is important to LINIAN to protect our business from competitors, but also to protect our customers. Cheap quality copies that are not up to the same quality and standard as LINIAN products could be seen as equivalent products, and fail with dire consequences, so you can understand why we take this process very seriously. Then it’s time for more testing, again! If we’re working with a partner, we send them samples for feedback. We’ll also send samples to the LINIAN Dragons, our independent testing panel of industry experts. We ask the panel to sample the product and undertake a practical demonstration using the item. We collate pictures, videos and feedback from the LINIAN Dragons and will then share this with our marketing and product development teams before making any necessary modifications. We then launch the products to a randomly selected pool of our clients (or to the client who brought us the project) and gather real-time market feedback. If the response is in line with our expectations, then it’s time to…
The final stage is the launch to market. The unit is put into production, the packaging is designed, marketing and advertising materials are created, catalogues are updated and we shore up our distribution channels. We’ll then inform our wholesale stockists about the new product(s), send out samples and launch at trade shows and online too. We then wait for feedback from the industry… this is the nerve-wracking part. It’s also exciting as we start to see installation images and videos shared on social channels and receive feedback from installers. LINIAN products are designed to solve problems, speed up installations and generally make installers’ jobs easier, so, thankfully, our products have been received very positively, to date. We’re always innovating and thinking about how to improve existing products and developing completely new solutions to make the job faster, safer, and simpler.
There’s no time to rest – as soon as we release one product, we’re already working on the next. However, even after the product has launched, we’ll always make modifications if we believe it can be improved. We want our products to be the best and most effective they can be so will never settle for ‘okay’.
Can LINIAN help you?
Do you have an idea for a product or a problem that needs a solution? Get in touch with Ian and the LINIAN product development team at: email@example.com
To browse the LINIAN product catalogue click here