Running a business you’ll know each and every product and service has a burn rate (nothing lasts forever). However, in the race for innovation, you have a distant advantage! In that you know your sector, you know current and future trends that will cause and have an effect on both the core and on the periphery of your industry.
One way to leverage your knowledge is through innovation. Building new products and services that meet the markets current and future needs – in short, keeping your company relevant.
Product development isn’t necessarily the building of new products or new services. Competitive advantage through a robust product/service development strategy can be done by simply adding more value to your existing product/service line through new features, cross-selling and/or up-selling.
A potentially low hanging fruit as you’ve already established yourself in your sector. And already have your finger on the pulse when it comes to what your customs want, and how to serve them better. You will also have another advantage over new upstarts such as already having operations, logistics and distribution channels and you have a relationship with your customers and know how to reach them.
Before you start developing your product line and/or developing new products, consider the following questions:
- Will your end user actually benefit from the added value or the new feature? Are they asking for this? Is your industry ecosystem moving towards this?
- Consider all the primary and secondary manufacturing, marketing and distribution costs. Do these costs complement the current product line? Are you able to share current costs across the new product/service?
- Are you able to use your current assets with the new products/service (marketing, branding, distribution for example)?
You have by this time given the development of a new product/service a great deal of thought and consideration. You have decided to go ahead with the product service, here are a few ways to develop new products and services to meet both market and customers needs:
- Adapt & pivot (to other ideas and development)
- Modify (changing features such as colour, sound, smell, form shape or motion)
- Magnify (give them more for a higher price, more robust longer, value-added)
- Reduce (light or trial version, smaller, shorter, lighter)
- Substitute (other features, ingredients, power, operations, processes)
- Combine (extra or other options, products, services, ideas or a miscellaneous collection of things)
- Developing additional models and sizes (Apple have perfected this with eg iPad, iPad mini iPad retina display or the new 9.7-inch iPad)
Consider the following seven-step when developing your new product/service:
Step 1: Generating an Idea
Step 2: Idea Vetting / Screening
Step 3: Concept Development and Testing
Step 4: Business Analytics
Step 5: Product Development And Marketing Strategy Development
Step 6: Product / Market Testing
Step 7: Commercialisation
Filling the skill gap, have you or your team the needed skills, capabilities and time to develop the product/service? Do you need to hire a full-time product developer or a consultant for the project?
About the writer.
A founder of multiple startups Hader Ali is an innovation & business consultant.
Hader Ali Consultancy works with startups, SMEs, and large organisations. Specialising in business strategy, product/service development, sales & marketing.
To future-proof your business. Hader Ali Consultancy will work with your company to create an innovation portfolio by providing a framework for structured innovation. All while creating an ecosystem of ideas and a culture of innovation.