By Bryan Smeltzer

Product Ideation | 5 Steps to Creating a Product Ideation Process

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs


Product Ideation | 5 Steps to Creating a Product Ideation Process


The cornerstone of all generational, Visionary brands is the foundation of a Product Ideation and Commercialization process. Creating a product ideation process involves systematic steps to generate and evaluate innovative ideas for new products or product improvements.


Here are five steps to help you establish an effective product ideation process:


  1. Define Objectives and Target Audience: Clearly define the objectives and goals for the product ideation process. Identify the problem you want to solve or the need you aim to fulfill. Additionally, specify the target audience or customer segment you are targeting. Understanding your objectives and target audience will help focus your ideation efforts.
  2. Create a Cross-Functional Team: Led by Product and Marketing, and supported by Sales. Form a diverse team consisting of individuals from various functional groups and disciplines. Include people from product management, engineering, design, marketing, and customer support. Cross-functional teams bring different perspectives and expertise, fostering creative thinking and comprehensive evaluations.
  3. Do your Research: Before generating ideas, conduct thorough research to gain insights into adaptable technologies, the addressable market, industry trends, competitors, and customer desires. Explore feedback, conduct surveys, analyze market data, and gather information on emerging technologies. This research will inform your ideation process, helping you identify gaps, opportunities, and potential areas for innovation or disruption.
  4. Idea Generation: In this step, encourage your team to brainstorm and generate various ideas. Create a supportive and open environment that rewards creativity and collaboration. Utilize brainstorming techniques like mind mapping, SCAMPER (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, Reverse), to stimulate idea generation. Capture all ideas, regardless of their feasibility or practicality, as they can later be refined and developed.
  5. Idea Evaluation and Selection: After generating a pool of ideas, evaluate and select the most promising ones. Establish evaluation criteria based on your objectives, target audience, market viability, technical feasibility, and alignment with your organization’s strategy. You can use methods like scoring systems, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, or cost-benefit analysis to assess and rank the ideas. Prioritize the ideas with the highest potential for success and align with your overall business goals.

Remember, the product ideation process is iterative and should be flexible. It’s essential to continuously refine and iterate on ideas based on feedback, market research, and evolving customer needs.

Stay True, Stay Authentic, be Different, and be Great!

Enjoy the Journey!


Bryan Smeltzer, President

LiquidMind Inc.




© All rights reserved, Bryan Smeltzer, 2023



Bryan Smeltzer is a consumer products business executive and entrepreneur. He has held executive-level roles in business development, product, and marketing with some of the world’s most prestigious brands, including; Oakley, TaylorMade, Adidas, K-Swiss, and Schutt Sports, among other international brands. He also founded a men’s apparel brand, successfully running a profitable business for ten years, eventually selling to a VC firm.


He also hosts a podcast called The Visionary Chronicles. The Visionary Chronicles podcast is the #1 Global Visionary podcast and Top 50 Marketing podcast for 2022 & 2023, ranked by Feedspot.


In addition, he recently finished his first bestselling book, The Visionary Brand, The Success Formula Behind the World’s Most Visionary Brands. He received the prestigious Readers Favorite Award for BEST Non-fiction, Marketing Genre book.


He is a member of the Board of Advisors at UCI’s BCIE along with their New Venture Program, an Innovation Advisor at the UCI’s Applied Innovation program at the Cove, a Mentor/Advisor to UCLA’s Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and the UCLA Media, Entertainment and Sports programs, and the San Diego Sports Innovators Accelerator (SDSI) center.


Bryan oversees LiquidMind Inc., a global brand strategy firm that partners with start-ups and established mid to large-cap consumer brands to empower businesses to think differently, be different, drive a passionate culture, and execute relentlessly.