In the past year, more than 60% of companies planned an IoT initiative. That’s a staggering number, but it’s not surprising when you take into account the transformational business benefits offered by IoT.

For every organization exploring IoT, coming up with a winning concept is one of the most important factor for success.

And yet it’s also one of the most common difficulties when deciding to go smart. Developing IoT has traditionally been expensive, complicated and risky. And the end product, whether it’s a connected food processing machine or smart power tool, also costs more for buyers.

An IoT concept therefore needs to justify its cost with a unique appeal for customers and end-users. To reach mass production levels, the product must be innovative but accessible; it must stand out from competing products and provide tangible value.

Based on market research, these are key steps to landing your winning IoT concept:

1. Map your industry to know where it’s going

The first step in seeing how you can introduce value with IoT is to know what’s already been done.

Map your industry to evaluate the IoT technology, products, systems and services currently on the market and in development. Find out the trends shaping your industry and expected areas of growth.

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2. Understand the pains of your customers and end-users

Conduct quantitative and qualitative research through surveys, focus groups or other feedback forums with your target audience to understand what they want and need. By identifying the frustrations of your customers and end-users, you can better understand how your product concept can meet those needs.

What features or functionality would help to solve their frustrations? How do your competitors try to solve customer pains and where are the gaps?

3. Determine your IoT goals and explore benefits

Clearly defining your company’s IoT goals can further shape your product concept.

For instance, an irrigation company that wants to turn their existing product into a service for customers, can explore a smart sprinkler with advanced features unlocked through a premium app subscription.

Once you’ve determined your IoT business objectives, decide which benefits you want to provide to customers. From improving their operational efficiency to enhancing safety and productivity, the options are practically limitless.

4. Get started with what you have

Now that you mapped your industry, examined user pains and brainstormed how you might solve them, it’s time to assess your existing products, systems and services.

Think of whether smart features can provide added value to something you currently offer customers. Make sure to take into account older products or models that could be revitalized with IoT.

Once you have your initial smart product concepts in mind, begin modeling to visualize how the IoT system might work, look and act, as well as the data it can deliver. By evaluating, comparing, and communicating the potential of each idea, your IoT journey will be off to a winning start.

Interested in learning more about IoT concept development? Join Seebo’s IoT Strategy and Ideation Workshop.


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Jackie Retig
Jackie is a marketer, writer, avid coffee drinker and life traveler.