David Ogilvy famously said, “Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.” So David and so true. There are way too many products being launched every day. Some of them stay, others bomb. Critics, analysts and trade pundits usually end up blaming the marketing strategy, the TG, and media points as reasons for product failure. Seldom do entrepreneurs, in their racetrack life, blame how and on what basis they build the product. And as long as the real cause of failure remains hidden, downfalls will continue to happen. So what makes a great product? The first, of course, is a responsible entrepreneur. Post that, there are three major reasons to keep in mind when building your product.
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Technology is exciting. It's fun to invent a watch that can play music as well. But is that something consumers cannot live with? Especially when there are so many options to store and play music on the go? The one fundamental quality an innovator should possess when building a product is empathy. It is important for innovators to step into the consumers' shoes to build relevant products. If a product addresses a pain point and solves it in a smart or funky way, the product is bound to be a hit.
Insight itself means it is in sight, that is, it can be seen if you are willing to see it. Website tech.co cites the example of the coffee company Starbucks, as it recognised a flaw in their system and used the insight to generate solutions that has made it a worldwide success. According to the article, “Coffee chain Starbucks, is a great example of a brand that can spot customer insights and use them effectively in their marketing strategies. For instance: they noticed how ordering their coffee usually takes plenty of time, especially during peak seasons. This observation helped them incorporate a Mobile Pay & Order in their app, to let customers order on the go and pick up their cup once in store.” A breakthrough insight indeed, as it offered a solution to a problem that the consumers themselves didn't realise. Insights help look into the smallest details and when the small things are taken care of, bigger things falls into place organically.
Some products become a big hit, but fail to penetrate the market due to limitation in production. A product idea may score on all fronts, but fail when it comes to the practicality of production. From sourcing raw materials to logistics to packaging, there are many fine points that decide the fate of a product.
The tricky bend to maneuver in the product’s journey to the market, is pricing. Empathy may help in building a product that is relevant. And scalability may take it to every nook and cranny. But the last mile of a products journey to becoming a hit is, pricing. No matter how awesome a product is, if consumers don't see value for money in it, they're not going to buy it.
Value for money is the price the consumer is willing to pay for a great experience. A great product offers that affirmation. Think iPad, Harley Davidson, Louis Vuitton, and you get the idea. But before building a product of substance, there are a few questions you must have answers to. An article on Forbes asks them for you: “How is it going to be different from what already exists in the market? What are the alternatives? How big is the opportunity for your product in its market? Is the timing for your product right?” The answers to these questions can help you determine the future of your product and if your answers are right that future will be desirable.
Building a product is a noble act. A good product (like the light bulb or the telephone) can change the world for the better. The pressures of the market place can come in the way of a great idea seeing the light of the day. But perseverance is the key to keep going in the face of all odds to see your product idea come to life, and make our world a better place.