It might not have occurred to you to hire product design companies to help guide the vision for your invention so that it becomes a reality, but that’s often the most sensible thing to do. Trying to figure out all of the nuts-and-bolts of the creative process on your own is challenging unless you’re skilled in many different areas. Besides, even if you can get a working prototype of your concept going, the chances are remote that you have the manufacturing facility needed for mass production, not to mention the industry contacts that will result in substantial orders.
It is a foregone conclusion that you need product design companies, but how do you pick the right one? Asking these four questions is the best place to start.
What is Your Understanding of this Industry and Product Category?
No matter what your idea is, it’s going to fall into some industry and category, and the product design company that you choose should know plenty about both. Not all of these companies work in all sectors, so you should be sure that the one you pick has extensive knowledge on which they can draw. If they seem shaky about the details of the industry into which your product falls, then you should look elsewhere.
Do You Have a Design Philosophy?
When you ask this question, you don’t need the company representative to whom you’re speaking to get up and start reciting some credo with their hand over their heart. What you’re looking for is some sign that they take a practical approach to product design and manufacturing. You want a company that has some creativity and flexibility, but also that has a basic design principle from which they will not deviate very far, regardless of the product idea that you present to them.
What Would You Like Me to Know About Your Design Process?
The design of no two products is going to be identical, but there should still be an approximate formula that product design companies follow. The representative to whom you speak should have no trouble telling you in detail all about their process, from start to finish. They should also be able to take you on a tour of their facility if you so desire. If they aren’t willing to show you their workspace on introduce you to the rest of the team, that could be a potential red flag.
What Makes You Better than Other Leading Product Design Companies?
This is a chance for the candidate to brag about themselves a little, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You want these companies competing for your business, and that means they should be striving to place themselves above and beyond their competitors.
They might take this time to mention some successes they’ve had about which they are particularly proud. They might talk about awards in the industry that they have received, or their customer satisfaction rate. Any company that doesn’t have the confidence to say that they’re better than the others is not one that is worth employing.
Product design is more than a utilitarian process. It is an art form, and although there are commercial applications, you want to hire a group or a company composed of people who care about their reputations and the finished products that they help to produce. If you can get a team of individuals on your side that wants to see you succeed as much as you do yourself, then there is a much better chance that your product is going to turn out the way that you wanted it.