You’ve seen the numbers. There are billions of connected products coming to market in the next few years—devices for living rooms, bathrooms, and baby rooms. Are you feeling left behind in the IoT dust? It’s not too late to head out on the trail to IoT success.

Developing a connected product is possible for pretty much any brand these days. It’s just a matter of getting the right people in your company on board to start the process. CIO writer Peter Bendor-Samuel wisely points out that it’s completely possible (and even affordable) to create a connected product. It’s just a matter of getting all the right players in your company on board to get the ball rolling. Here are the steps for your brand to deploy a connected product:

  1. Pick your party. These are the key players of your IoT vision. There should be a representative from each department in your company. This focus group will determine the goal, the resources needed, and steps involved in creating your product.
  2. Do your research. Figure out what’s already in the market and how you will differentiate your product from the rest. Talk with customers to find out what they would like to see in your product and what’s most important to them. Identify what your company can do in-house and areas where you might need help from outside sources.
  3. Create your trail map. Your map should be able to answer these questions: What will customers want in a connected product from our brand? What are our goals for creating a connected product? Who needs to be involved? Who will lead the efforts? What outside resources are needed? How much money do we need to invest? What are the key milestones along the way? What will be our ROI? When will the product deploy? Where will we go on vacation after deployment?
  4. Get buy-in. Once you have your trail map, present it to the higher-ups. They’ll be cutting the checks and will want to ensure your vision matches the rest of the company’s goals. They may even have ideas or resources or questions you haven’t considered; then adjust your roadmap accordingly.
  5. Measure, document, celebrate. Creating a new product line is like playing the Oregon Trail. There will be roadblocks (hopefully not dysentery) and challenges as you head out on the frontier. Along the way, it’ll be important to measure your success and document what’s working and what’s not. And whenever possible, don’t forget to celebrate. Tip: when you’ve reached Oregon, stop by DADO HQ for celebratory drinks and high fives!

Photo credit: KGW