The Great Idea Viability Test

Business owners and organizational leaders request design services because they have ideas for products and services. Many have great passion for their ideas, but have not thought them through enough. As a designer, I have to look at things from the customers’ point of view so that the outcome of my efforts is successful. My mind immediately goes to the viability of the idea: Is this going to work? Is this reasonable? Will people want this idea? Let’s face it: some ideas look really good in your head but when you get them down on paper and begin to develop a strategy, the flaws become apparent.

Before taking an idea to a designer to develop a logo and start building a brand, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is there a real audience for the idea and is it big enough to warrant the investment in design and marketing?
  2. How will people use or benefit from it?
  3. What similar product or services are already out there? Is this an improvement on what already exists or is it a copy? Will this make a positive impact on people?
  4. Am I the only one excited or passionate about this idea? How do people respond when I share it with them?
  5. Am I willing to invest financially in design development, brand strategy and marketing?
  6. Why do I want to market this product or service?
New ideas are all over the place, but not all of them are relevant and viable. Take time to test the idea with people you think might want to use it. Always keep the end-user in mind and consider the impact, if any, on the market. Also, if your designer is not convinced about your idea, it may need some re-thinking.

Alvalyn Lundgren

Alvalyn Lundgren is the founder and principal of Alvalyn Creative, an independent consultancy providing brand strategy design and bespoke illustration for more than 30 years. She is the creator of Freelance Road Trip — a business school and podcast for creative freelancers. She teaches design and design practice on the college level with design schools and programs.