Designing a Product – Processes – Research Phase #1

Designing a Product – Processes – Research Phase #1


Designing a product to sell is something which takes time and a fair few processes in order to successfully create and release a clothing line to the customer. While this can seem a little daunting, it is important to remember that everything you need to do can be broken down into a set of simple steps. To help you with this, we’re releasing a series of blogs compiling a list of things you’ll need to do in order to design and sell your products

The research phase is one which is very important to the entire design process. With the research phase you can take the time to ensure that you make correct plans for designing the product, how best to market it, your USP and also to make sure that you have a passion for the product you are bringing to market. As well as when you want to launch your product and timescales. To begin with you will need to research your product, competition, where you are going to market and how you are going to start the design process


To begin with you’ll need to understand the DNA of your product. The DNA of a brand consists of things like where it came from, what holds it together and what the long term aim of the brand is. This is where concepts such as the USP come into play, does your product fill a niche in the market, who are your competitors, what is the mission of the brand and the direction you want it to go in. The USP is particularly important because as a brand, you’ll want to make sure that you stand out from the rest of the competition, and how best to showcase your unique strengths and appealing features of your brand. This is where being passionate about you brand really comes in handy, because you’ll have and in-depth knowledge of what your product can offer someone who purchases it.


The next step during the research process is to investigate the current market to see what companies and brands you’ll be competing with. There are certain questions you’ll need to ask yourself when you’re researching the market:

  • Are there companies that already offer the same sort of product you’re looking to design?
  • If there are rival companies, then how are they marketing and promoting their brand to their customer 
  • How can you make your product different than the competitors
  • How might your product be affected by the sales of the competitors

These are all things to consider when researching the market you intend to sell in, so as to ensure you get the best possible attention. You’ll also want to look into their target audience, especially if you are selling the same kinds of products. This will be the audience you are looking to sell to as well, so you will need to ensure that whatever you do differentiates you fro the other companies

The next thing you will want to do as part fo the research phase is to create a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis looks at the Strengths, weaknesses, Opportunities to improve and the Threats to the brand and can help you to look at where you need to focus when you are planning your brand. You’ll also want to be aware of things like:

  • Your target prices for your brand
  • What budget you have for the project
  • How much do you want to retail your product for?

As a general rule the mark up for retailing products is around 2.5-3 x the cost of creating the product. So bear this in mind when working on your budget


One of the last things you’ll need to do in the research phase is to create timelines. Your timelines should be:

  • Realistic
  • Fair
  • Agreed on by everyone

These timelines aren’t going to reflect a quick process when it comes to designing a product, as the entire process is not going to be a quick one. It’s important to remember this, as the average product can take around 4-6 months to get to market

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