Rapid prototyping, which has been around since the 1980s, is the process of creating a scale model of your product using computer-aided design and manufacturing techniques. And because technology is more affordable and widely available today, the process is significantly faster and more accessible than it was even 40 years ago. Nowadays, even small businesses can afford 3D printing and other prototype-creation methods such as injection molding, casting, CNC milling, or turning.
If you have ever wondered whether rapid prototyping has a place in your organization and how it can boost your product development and manufacturing processes, please keep reading.
5 Ways Rapid Prototyping Can Boost Your Company
With an estimated 95% of new products failing within the first year of release, rapid prototyping provides a competitive advantage by lowering costs and increasing profits. Let’s take a closer look at how your company can benefit from this product development process.
Reduce Lead Times and Costs Associated With Product Development
Rapid prototyping allows you to significantly shorten the time it takes to go from concept to production with a new product. And, because you’re reducing development lead time, you’re also lowering development costs.
This also implies that you can create multiple prototypes throughout the design process. This allows you to see what is and isn’t working and adapt accordingly. It may be more effective for you and your designers to work from a physical model rather than a digitized plan or design.
The authentic feel of a prototype allows you to iron out issues quickly and efficiently, significantly reducing the time it takes to create a final product. In the end, the sooner you enter the market, the more likely you are to find a profitable niche before your competitors.
The ability to tailor a product to a specific client or customer base significantly increases sales potential. Whether a client requires customization to match their own unique offerings or there is consumer demand for a similar secondary product with a few tweaks, customization can significantly increase bottom lines.
Suppose your product hasn’t yet hit the market. In that case, rapid prototyping eliminates the need for your designers and manufacturers to devote separate time to the customized sample while they’re still working on regular production. Instead, with rapid prototyping, these processes can all take place simultaneously.
When customization propositions arrive after the product has been released to the market, the development process usually interrupts the existing product’s production. On the other hand, rapid prototyping allows you to easily create models that show the changes without affecting the output of the regular product.
Develop Cost-Effective Models
When bringing a new product to market, it’s critical to have prototypes to show investors, employees, and potential customers long before the product is released.
If you can mass-produce your prototypes at a low cost, it won’t matter that you don’t have multiple designs. Instead, you can make several and distribute them to relevant stakeholders.
You can also make multiple versions of your prototype to demonstrate your ability to customize or personalize the product. This can pique the interest of investors and potential customers while also showing the potential of your product and business.
Make Use Of Relevant Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is a crucial component of any new product launch. Your product and business will fail if consumers are not interested or impressed. Therefore, you must maintain an open line of communication with your target market to ensure that you understand their thoughts and feelings about the product and that you can iterate accordingly.
This is another area where rapid prototypes can be highly beneficial to your company. For example, you can use your prototypes to run focus groups and feedback sessions, update them quickly and cheaply based on focus group feedback, and then bring the changed product back to the group.
This back and forth demonstrates to your target market that you genuinely value their feedback while validating your concept and providing you with an idea of how your product will perform in the market.
Increase Market Visibility
Essentially, the quicker you can get a product from concept to market, you will gain more significant market visibility with the help of your product. And the more products you do this with, the better your company’s reputation will be. As a result, you will gain greater market penetration faster, and your brand will expand at a faster rate.
Brands rarely become household names with small product runs and rarely achieve effective market penetration. Because the development process allows for refinement during production rather than after the fact, rapid prototyping improves product quality even in larger runs. In addition, rapid prototyping gives you the tools you need to get your product to market quickly and successfully.
Rapid prototyping is now a viable option for all small businesses. Because of advances in technology and lower costs, your company can quickly and efficiently create mock-ups or full-scale models of a new product. Now that you’re aware of the advantages, it’s up to you to decide how to incorporate this process, from budget and operations to the technology required to create your own rapid prototypes.
Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.
In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.
“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”
Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.
There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.
The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.
“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”
Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.
Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.
While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.
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About The Author
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.