HOW TO DEVELOP A NEW PRODUCT

First step. Ideation. We needed a new product to diversify our product range. Our product range consisted of tomato sauces and ketchups and was mainly targeted at the school market. The school market is seasonal and our cash flows would dry up whenever kids went for holidays. We needed something that would be consumed all year round by a broad spectrum of people. So we thought of some kind of juice.

Second step. Market research. The team then hit the market and bought up all kinds of juices and drinks available on the market. We needed something a bit unique and different. The research revealed the most common drinks on the market, the price points, retail outlets, marketing channels, and targeted demographics.

Third step. Deciding what to make. Having assessed the market we realized a tiny gap in the market and we decided to exploit it. The mineral water market is crowded with stiff competition from many players. The soda market is dominated by the big players. The juice market is also dominated by a few players but they mainly focus on the most common fruits like mango and orange. The healthy drink market is growing and has fewer players. Most are still relatively small and play in specific regions withing the country. So we thought of a unique fruit with health benefits which can be taken as a refreshment. This process eventually settled on tamarind (enkooge).

Fourth Step. Prototype. Next we needed to source some fruit and begin tinkering. The team made a trip to some villages and using local scouts managed to collect a few bags. The production team got some training from an established juice processor. Then they began experimenting. The design team came up with the brand and related artwork. A specific bottle was sourced and eventually we had a prototype.

Fifth step. Market testing. The testing was initially confined to friends and family. Then it was rolled out to a few customers. The product was iterated based on feedback received.

Sixth step. Roll out. A production team was assembled and trained. Equipment was purchased. Batches were produced. A sales team was mobilized. And we hit the road. We are now focusing on nationwide reach by end of year.

This same process has been replicated for our new banana fruit juice drink called “Omubisi.”

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