8 Ways To Validate Your Physical Product Idea

Product Development

One shot. That’s all you have to seize the market’s attention with your innovative physical product. They’ll give it a once-over. If it resonates, they’ll be hooked.

One shot.

That’s all you have to seize the market’s attention with your innovative physical product.

They’ll give it a once-over.

If it resonates, they’ll be hooked.

If it’s not compelling, they’ll just move on.

So today, I’m about to reveal eight ways to help companies like yours to not just develop…

but also fund and market your physical product, making sure it strikes the right chord from the moment it’s introduced.

Let’s dive in:

1. Ask friends and family

Don’t just tell your friends and family about your idea – have them actually try it out!

Create a simple prototype or demo and observe them using it.

Ask clarifying questions:

  • Would you really pay money for this?
  • What specific problems does it solve for you?
  • How could we improve it?

Watch their facial expressions and body language as they try your demo.

If they seem genuinely excited and engaged, that’s a promising sign.

Take detailed notes on their verbal feedback and reactions.

This real-world testing can give you an early sense if your product solves a compelling problem.

2. Create a survey

Draft a user survey with 5-10 targeted questions to quantify market demand for your idea.

Post it on SurveyMonkey, social media, and relevant online forums.

Make sure to include these key questions:

  • How often would you use this product?
  • How much would you pay for it?
  • How does this solve a problem for you?
  • What features are an absolute must-have?

Offer an incentive (e.g. $5 gift card) to increase response rates.

You’re aiming for at least 100 survey respondents in your target demographic.

Analyze the data to gain insights into customer needs and pricing models.

Use this quantitative data to understand if it’s worth pursuing your product concept further.

3. Build a prototype

Create a hands-on physical prototype of your product, even if it’s low-fidelity.

Use inexpensive materials like cardboard, 3D printing, clay, etc.

Bring your prototype to local markets, fairs, or community events and engage shoppers by asking them to try it out.

Observe how they interact with your prototype.

What excites them or confuses them?

Iterate on your prototype based on real-time feedback.

This hands-on experimentation can reveal flaws and opportunities early in the development process when it’s easier to adapt.

4. Pre-sell it

Setup a presale listing for your product on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, before you fully develop it.

Create a compelling page with videos, images, and details explaining your product’s features and benefits.

Set a goal for the number of pre-orders you want to attract.

Promote your presale page through social media ads and influencer campaigns.

If you hit your presale goal, you’ve validated that enough customers want your product that it’s worth building.

Use insights from your backers to refine details before launch.

5. Search online forums

Spend time searching related subreddits, Quora topics, Facebook groups, and forums for your product’s target audience.

Look for people already discussing the problem that your product aims to solve.

Join these online communities to connect with potential customers.

Ask members if they would buy your proposed solution and why.

Also ask how you could improve your concept to better meet their needs.

This market research can provide invaluable validation or pivots for your product before you invest in manufacturing.

6. Run digital ads

Create a simple landing page explaining your product idea, features, and potential benefits.

Run small scale, targeted Facebook/Google ads driving traffic to your landing page.

Experiment with different imagery, copy, and calls to action.

Analyze which ad variations generate the most landing page views and sign-ups.

If lots of visitors clicked your ad and signed up on your landing page, that indicates interest in your idea.

Low engagement signals that you may need to reevaluate your concept for lack of interest.

7. Interview experts

Email relevant industry experts, retail partners, or influencers to schedule 30-minute interviews about your product concept.

Prepare specific questions to understand their opinion on market demand, competitive landscape, pricing models, and must-have features.

Take detailed notes. Look for market insights and ways to refine your product to better meet niche needs.

Experts can point out potential issues and provide validation that your idea aligns with customer needs.

8. Find early users

Reach out to specific customers who would benefit most from your product.

Offer them a substantial discount or perk to become early users and give feedback over a 1-2 month period.

You may need to send free product samples.

Schedule follow-up interviews with your test users.

Identify ways to improve your product based on their real-world testing and feedback.

Never assume you know exactly what the customer wants – let them show and tell you directly.

Final thoughts

Validating your idea upfront takes effort but prevents wasting time and money on the wrong product.

Use a combination of these tactics to thoroughly test market demand.

But also trust your intuition if you really believe in solving a customer problem.

With smart validation and iteration, you can increase your odds of creating a successful product that customers love!

Work With Us

Want to learn more about how we’d prepare your product for launch? Request a quote today.

Want To See This Advice In Action?

Check out our case studies and learn more about how we’ve achieved stellar results for our clients.