Adding a new product or service to your offering is one of the most common ways for your business to grow. Depending on how you approach it, it could give your existing customers an extra chance to spend money with you by adding a new product that’s complimentary to your most popular items, or it could be an opportunity to draw in new customers with a cheaper or simpler product, lowering the ‘barrier to entry’ for those who haven’t tried your brand yet.
Introducing a new product isn’t always easy, and the risks are well worth appreciating: launching a new product, by its nature, happens in public. It requires advertising, deals, possibly even a launch event. A public failure, where that publicity launches a product that doesn’t sell well or gets badly reviewed can damage your brand. However it is communicated, your brand rests on the central claim that it knows what’s right for its customers. If that central tenet is proved wrong in public, it can be hard to recover from!
Today we’re taking a look at the process of developing and launching a product to help you find success, rather than expensive failure.
Developing a Product
You cannot underestimate the importance of your product development process. It’s not just a chance to come up with new ways for customers to give you money. A responsible, data-led product development cycle gives you the opportunity to find concepts your customers value and need, and turn them into products that they can use and are willing to pay for.
A key part of developing your next product needs to be testing. Test the concepts as you come up with them, and test each prototype as it’s developed. Look for how well customers see what the product can do for them, how they can understand its value and how easily they can use it. These are all the hallmarks of a successful product!
It’s important to think about your brand as you develop new products. Whatever values your brand embodies (expertise, relatability, value for money and so on), it’s important for that brand to be consistent. If you launch a new product that conflicts with your existing brand identity – a luxury product from an ‘everyday value’ brand, or vice versa, for example – or that sits uneasily alongside your existing selection, it can harm your brand overall. Even if it brings in new consumers, it could cost you some of your existing customers if it weakens your brand!
Brand tracker surveys let you see how customers see you. When you know the key qualities customers ascribe to your brand, you can lean into them, ensuring your new products are consistent, and will strengthen your brand overall, not undermine it!