The first step in creating a new product is ideation. Generally when small brands are looking at launching a product, it’s because they already have an idea they want to pursue, or a specific problem they want to solve. Even with a clear idea, it will only benefit you to be exhaustive at this stage.
Here are some ways to approach ideation depending on what stage you’re at:
If you already have a clear product idea
Write a clear description of your concept. Then, come up with 2-3 other ways you could achieve a similar result. Be specific in your descriptions - the more details you explore now, the easier the following steps will be.
If you have a problem you want to solve
Brainstorm 3-4 completely different ways to solve this problem. Maybe explore different forms (a bar vs a liquid product) or different ingredients. Even if you absolutely love your first idea, keep going. Exhausting concepts will either enforce how good your first idea was, or may give you other things to consider, regardless of the final form your product takes.
If you have an ingredient you want to use
Let’s say you just returned back from a trip and discovered a cool fruit that you need to make into a product. Come up with 3-4 different ways to use that ingredient. Get creative - don’t limit yourself by what you think is possible, but by what you wish you could see.
Once you have a sense of what direction you’re going in, you’ll want to start market research.