In a rapidly changing world, the business has to adapt very quickly to new challenges. For all businesses, large and small, this year might be the toughest regarding NDP. New product development, is always an uphill battle. But, for the year 2020, it has become a little steeper due to the ongoing challenges of the trade war between the US and China.

This may equate to a lack of materials to go around, having to buy from home instead of from an overseas supplier and having to design a product more so for the domestic audience instead of worldwide. Particularly under pressure will be the product managers in every research and development department around the world.

Their decisions often mean the difference between a product failing or succeeding. Here are some of the challenges your business faces this year, and ways you can power through them.

Altering the Product Roadmap

Every company has their own way of doing things. The product roadmap is no exception. However, there are some general themes running throughout all roadmaps.

Firstly you need to set a goal. This will usually be nailing down the idea and reasons for creating the product.

Next, you will assign tasks to various departments, designed to build a picture of what the product could do to meet the goals you wish to achieve. You’ll also need to monitor progress from each department, so you don’t have ideas that clash or would render one another redundant.

Next, you will begin to build up a prototype. Here is where your first challenge will lie in 2020; sourcing materials.

You may not happen to have a manufacturing wing in your business but dedicated industry companies will. This means the additional price of raw material sourcing will be passed onto you.

Do you know what kind of tariffs there are on the materials you desire? It may turn out to be too high and thus, you might not be able to afford the material you had in mind.

Altering the product roadmap to utilize different materials and or even push manufacturing deadlines back, is a very real possibility this year. It doesn’t seem like the US-China trade war is going to cool anytime soon.

The Year of Emerging Markets

Market diversification is going to be big this year. Despite some tensions in the Gulf making crude oil soar, it doesn’t seem like this is affecting emerging markets all that much. What could be the reason for this?

Well, in 2019, most experts thought there would be a high chance of the dollar falling and a recession looming ever-closer.

Even experts like Jeffrey Gundlach got it slightly wrong because the FED has pumped so much liquidity out into the market.

As emerging markets depend on the US Dollar to be weak, but not too weak, they were given a staggering $14 trillion, thanks to global investors.

For 2020, this just means that businesses have a real chance to really capture some emerging markets just as they start the process to mature.

As tensions in the Middle East rise, China and the US butting heads, emerging markets like Brazil, India, Mexico, and even Russia seem like good bets.

Since these nations have loosened their interest rates, it’s time for your business to see their market as entry-dependable and start designing products for their consumers.

Products vary from nation to nation, thus sending out research parties to conduct surveys with the general public is highly recommended. From the research you gather, design variations of your domestic products to fit each different market of the emerging economies.

Evidence-Based Design

Competition has always been fierce, in every industry you can think of. However, with recent examples of a catastrophic failure such as WeWork and Theranos, evidence-based design is now the modern standard.

Despite business models that look sound on paper, real-world evidence has to be factored into the overall design of a product.

No more can a business bring a product to launch without first consulting with consumers, regulators, risk analysts and even political experts.

Utilizing the types of services UserZoom provides is one such route to take for your product’s development lifecycle. The software they provide allows you to incorporate user feedback at all stages of your product’s design be it for desktop, mobile internet sites or apps.

The company provides clients with purely evidence-based answers to user experience questions.

Even Silicon Valley is no longer solely relying on amazing entrepreneurial leadership.

With competition being so intense, the days of tech founders like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs are over.

Rather than resting on gut feelings or hunches, product development has to remain in the hands of the risk experts who will assess opinions from consumers, stakeholders, and the markets.

In 2020, your business should rely on such techniques to increase the certainty of sound product design options.

That’s not to say you need to be less creative, but only give the green light to go ahead with product production, after you’ve included evidence-based factors.

Eco-Friendly Products

Consumers are more morally conscious than at any other time in history.

For years and years, this has been rising in percentage. Around 50% of generation Z is willing to pay more for products made out of sustainable materials. Around 47.3% of the general public is willing to pay more for sustainable products also.

The shift has been coming for a long time and now, finally, it’s here. Businesses all need to be more conscious about their product designs, to include materials that are strong yet sustainable.

The eco-friendly consumer is willing to pay higher for your products, thus you should begin a shift over to materials and designs that will be less polluting and built to last longer.

The use of plastics is becoming a highly charged subject, so begin to develop to seek out replacements for your common materials.

In 2020, there are lots of exciting challenges for business. One of those is changing to a more eco-friendly production style and use of materials. The other and perhaps more intriguing is the challenge of evidence-based design.