Before we begin, lets start by saying – “Product making is all about your brand persona”.
The key elements of a successful business strategy is the acknowledgement that your existing and potential customers will fall into particular groups or segments, characterized by their “needs”. Identifying these groups and their needs through market research is what defines your product. Further, you must address your users’ needs more successfully than your competitors to have a lasting stretch. You can then create a product that takes your strengths and matches them to the needs of the customers you want to target. For example, if a particular group of customers is looking for quality first and foremost, then any marketing activity around your product should draw attention to the high quality service you can provide.
The other thing is that before looking at new markets, think about how you can get the most out of your existing customer base – it’s usually more economical and quicker than finding new customers. Finding this existing platform can only propel you. Ask, would my product fit into this existing group better or worse than another market?
A key element that is often overlooked: always perform monitoring and evaluating techniques for how effective the start of your business strategy has been. This control element not only helps you see how the strategy is performing in practice, it can also help inform your future marketing strategy. A simple device to evaluate the start of your business strategy from the beginning is working with outsiders. A business is never a sole feat but should always be community endeavor. Ask your mother, neighbor and life partner about what they consider are strengths and weaknesses in your idea. Take them through the mind map and show them the target market that you may be considering. It will only strengthen your product. Other tips include approaching a third party for feedback about your strategy – they may be able to spot any gaps or weaknesses that you can’t see. Many design and development companies actually offer free consulting and you should take advantage. (www.studiominted.com does!) Above all, measure the effectiveness of what you do, personally. Be prepared to change things that aren’t working and to drop your idea if the need or the market is not there or won’t be there. Don’t create problems solve them.
When a product idea meets a marketing group the following should occur to best hold the relationship together:
- analyze the different needs of different groups of customers
- focus on a market niche where you can be the best
- aim to put most of your efforts into the 20 per cent of customers who provide 80 per cent of profits
There are some poor consequences that can easily be avoided during this process so that your product and business concept stays viable:
- Making assumptions about what customers want and giving them really, a new problem to deal with.
- Ignoring the competition and thinking you are the only thing on the block, and remember the big guys the ones like Google or GMC for example.Many times they will be your largest threat.
- Trying to compete on price alone. In today’s world you have to supply more than just price drops. There are simply too many products out there to stay competitive.
- Relying on too few customers. This one is tough because your idea may solve 4 man’s problems instantly and fully. It may change their lives, however sadly this is never a viable business plan.
There is a balance in business between the severity of problem you’re solving and the number of people you are helping. Of course the larger the severity and the larger amount of people it solves for more profitable you will be.
Trying to grow too quickly is a large implication to your business message. Scale is really hard to conquer and every successful company will face at point or another. It is easy to imagine being the boss of 200 people until you actually do it. Scaling your company internally is more difficult than scaling externally. Keep that in the back of your mind when launching. Growth also means product development and product maturity. What will your product look like after 5, 20, 100 phases?
Finally, becoming complacent about what you offer and failing to innovate will kick your ass. Kodak. End of story. Invented the camera and went bankrupt because they couldn’t keep up with the technology. Be a legacy, always challenge yourself and never stop innovating.
Bottom line: Products and Markets are both independent entities that entirely feed off of each other. They are like the left and right sides of the body, without either one of them your business could not succeed. Thinking about them at the start of the business process is imperative to nailing this thing.