No matter who you are, where you are or what you do, your business is only as good as its product. What you sell, whether a physical commodity or a service is the hanger on which rests the garment that is your business. If that hanger isn’t fit for purpose the business is apt to fall down and the creases are likely to become all-too apparent. When businesses develop new products, they pin a great deal of their hopes for the future on that product’s success. Nobody ever sets out to create a product that becomes a laughing stock that does lasting damage to the reputation of their brand (oh hi Google Glass, hello yourself Microsoft Zune).
With that in mind, there are certain things that all businesses must keep in mind before launching a product upon an unsuspecting marketplace. We’ll address them as we look at the anatomy of a perfect product…
It Embodies Values That You Want Associated with Your Brand
A product is more than just a product… it’s also a marketing exercise. It will inevitably be accompanied by a launch with promotions all over the digital and real world. As such, it provides an opportunity to tell those who are new to your brand everything they need to know about your business. For a great example of this, look no further than the iPod. Suddenly Apple wasn’t just making esoteric tech for geeks. It was making cool tech that was easy for consumers to use… the rest is history.
It Does Something Your Competitors’ Products Can’t
A perfect product is one that has functionalities that your competitor’s products does not… or at the very least does them better or makes them easier. When you can launch your products with the ability to compare them favorably to a similar product (even if it’s one of your own) this can give you an inside track in making your product resonate with your target audience. They already have a basis of comparison and quantifiable reasons why your new product is better!
It’s Made from Superior Materials
A great product starts with an innovative idea. But unless it’s made with the right materials and / or innovative manufacturing processes, it can’t live up to its true potential. The manufacturing stage is not an area in which to cut corners. Take the time to familiarize yourself with innovative manufacturing methods like ABS molding for plastics or ERP software. While it might mean heavier investment in the lead up to launch this is far superior to launching a product that fails or is prone to damage.
It’s Developed with an Empathetic Perspective
Finally, while your product should embody your brand’s attitudes and values, it should not be an opportunity to show off your brand’s prowess. Many a vanity product has failed because, for all its technical accomplishments it doesn’t generate enough value for the end user. Make sure your products are developed with extensive market research to ensure that they are aligned with the customer’s needs and goals, making their lives easier or helping them overcome a commonly encountered problem.
Remember who the product is for!