What’s a Feasibility Study?

01 Jun 2018 Mr. Peterman Business, Product

You have probably heard of it in passing or can even guess what it might mean just by thinking about the word feasible. But what does it mean specifically when it comes to product development? I’ll go over what we put into a feasibility study for our clients and what it can help you learn about your product.

Marketing Brief – This is the first component of a Feasibility Study. It’s always helpful for clients to bring their own research, but we like to do some ourselves as well. We look at competitors, market openings, pricing, and other market information that might be helpful in seeing where in the market the product can exist, and who would buy it. Down the line when designing the product, this information will be helpful. The Marketing Brief is, you guessed it, brief. It isn’t a full market research or analysis, it is only high level and not as in depth as you’d want to go when developing a marketing strategy for your product and its launch.

Manufacturability Brief – This is a review of the manufacturing side of things for the product. Whether digital or physical, every product must be made somehow. For most of our clients, it’s a physical product, so we look at things like manufacturing methods needed, logistics of getting components from one place to another, how many different manufacturers might be needed, if there are any features of a product that could cause issues in any way, such as cost or delays, and get an estimate of the time-frame needed to take the final design and turn it into a product.

Cost Estimates – This goes over a high-level estimate of development, prototype, and manufacturing costs. Without the final design, it’s all ball-parks, but it can give a good idea of what type of budget would be needed to get the product into production. Things like packaging and shipping are part of this, and costing for down the line items such as marketing collateral and website design/development is also looked at for start-ups and new ventures.

SWOT Analysis – Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. We like to create a visual list separated into these quadrants for the product itself. This isn’t for the business, just the product. This can show some extra features that would add value, perceived issues that may happen with the product, where the product is very strong, and what other products may do better.

Idea Analysis – While we offer short idea reviews to start with, we always include some analysis about the product when doing a feasibility study. This is to look at the idea as just an idea, and offer solutions to perceived issues, general design feedback on whatever level of concept was brought to us. High-level concepts are often generated here as optional directions for the product. This is where our design expertise gets to shine in the Feasibility Study.

When you go to developers, you can get a range of information and different pricing to get some kind of feasibility study. I’ve seen them range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars and a single page report to a 200 page document. Our firm provides a short feasibility brief that’s a fixed cost, but is very short, it takes less than 10 pages. We also offer custom studies that are tailored to the exact information a client needs, and some of these studies are 40+ pages and go very in-depth. It’s all about what information you want to make the most informed decision about funding your project further.