Product Development Strategy: Using Product/Service As Offence & Defense Against Competitors

The strategy is simple; basically it is about attacking your own products/services by making even better products/services thus making the old ones a dead wood. Such strategy would not only keep your competitors at bay but also constantly increases satisfaction of your customers.

Now before getting into details of how to carry out such strategy let’s first understand what are the advantages and benefits of such strategy and why do you need it.

Ok now let’s get to it!
  

Product Development Costs


It costs a lot to develop entirely new successful products/services but it cost less to improve current product/services. Just think about it how many manufacturing machine components, human resource, planning and raw material would you need to make an entirely new successful product, not to mention prototype development, pilot tests, marketing costs etc. Compare that cost with improving the existing product/service cost. 

Target Market


Now if you having a product/service that is doing great in the market, it means many things but the important thing is, it means you know exactly what your target market wants, now it would be a plausible reason to improve that product/service to make it even better. 

Every big corporation and small business is doing it, look at Smartphones they are constantly improving it, look at operating systems from Microsoft, Linux, OsX by Apple Inc etc, look at automobiles manufacturers they are constantly improving their products/services. 

They made it from small business to huge multinationals because of their constant improvements in their products/services; as they say “Every majestic oak tree was once a nut who stood his ground.

Great Product/Service


Why anyone would let it waste, I mean the success of their product/service, there is no such thing as product/service becoming obsolete, only if the manufacturers/businesses focus on meeting the customer needs instead of selling product/service.

This point greatly emphasized in famous paper published in HBR by Theodore Levitt “Marketing Myopia”.

So why not keep on doing what you do great (as a business) instead of going for something completely new or different (new product).

Helps to Keep Competitors at Bay


Yes you got it right; instead of focusing on developing entire new product/service to compete, why not improve your successful product/service time to time to keep your competitors guessing and your customers satisfied. This is what I am talking about, using your product as offence and defense!

Nurtures Creativity


Always trying and looking for new ways to improve your product/service nurtures creativity inside your business; and creativity helps your business to grow, to expand, to become more competitive.

Okay Now let’s Move to the How Part


To improve your product/service constantly there are two areas where you need to focus on.
1.      Target Market Trends 
2.      Technology

Using creativity for product service development

Target Market Trends


Means what new trends your target market is interested in, how much and how do those trends relate to your product/service. For this you have to carry out constant target market research, surveys over time, identify the important trends, identify the level of relationship of those trends with your product/service. 

Technology


What developments and improvements can present technology and newly developed technology brings to your product/service.  Always think outside of the box because that’s the only way. And for more outside box thinking let’s move to the final step.

Creativity


Once you identify the target market trends and developments in technology it’s time to brainstorm. Now the question is how would you do that ?! Well I am not saying that there is only one way to creativity but I will point out couple of major ways that you can take to effective creativity.

Pro Teams


Make teams that have at least one professional from each department (of your business). Give them the data (Target Market Trends & Technology Developments), make them understand what is needed and then let them brainstorm.

Intern Teams


This is another way to bring in creativity that is to make teams of the interns, who have no or little experience, give them the summary of the situation, the key points and make them understand what is needed and let them brainstorm . Never let Intern Teams mingle up or meet with the Pro Teams. As this would affect their creative thinking, let nobody from the Pro’s tell them what to do, how to do.

The Pro Teams would take more of a standardized approach to product/service in terms of creativity as they have great experience and expertise on their side while the interns would take more open broad and far more different approach as they don’t have any experience or expertise on their side.

Assess the Ideas


And then in the end assess the ideas and go for the viable ones, that’s it.


About Publisher Arshad Amin

Certified SEO Professional, Small Business, Start-up, Marketing Expert with ton's of practical, actionable ideas, insights to share, Proud Founder and Owner of www.easymarketinga2z.com and www.topexpertsa2z.com

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