Developing and Marketing Successful Products and Services
A great product or service can bring profitability to a young company, accelerate earnings at a mature company or even put a new company at the centre of a brand new industry.
From our experience, success stories are driven by three factors:
- The Right Market: Choosing an attractive market is the foundation of a successful product. A good selection can lead to uncontested dominance in a rapidly growing and profitable market. But, a poor selection can throw a company into the middle of competitive warfare and create financial losses.
- The Right Product or Service: Designing a product or service with attractive features is not the right mind set. Product and service design must be strategic: distinguishing between what customers say they want vs. what they will pay for; providing what the company can justify on an economic basis; and factoring in competitive offerings.
- The Right Marketing Strategy: Contrary to the adage “this product / service will sell itself,” products and services do require sales assistance:
- Pricing: Pricing is more than striking a compromise between “pricing yourself out of the market” and “leaving money on the table.” Pricing must address many factors such as revenue predictability (e.g., one-time fee vs. on-going payments) or product/service line interactions (e.g., loss leader pricing).
- Promotion: Before a customer buys from you they need to be convinced that your company’s product or service provides significant benefits over two always-present options: the competition and the status quo. This often requires hard evidence.
- Distribution: Design of the right distribution channel strategy is critical – it not only provides a vehicle for getting the product or service to the customer but also influences how the product/service is promoted to potential customers. An endless list of potential channels and channel partners can make this task very complicated.