Updated: May 26, 2021
It all starts with an idea to create a product. Next, you create a product roadmap. Then, you make the product.
Listed below are characteristics your product or brand must have if it is to be profitable. They are elaborative. Apply them to your product.
1. Your brand has to serve an identifiable purpose(s) or deliver value to consumers.
Consumers buy products for the absolute purposes that the products will serve. Be it that the product brings joy to them, or tickles their fancy. The point being, the product brings a certain satisfaction or use to them. And the satisfaction of use is brought about by acquiring your product.
2. Your brand has to be of better value from your competition, in the eye of consumers.
It could be the price, feature, or design difference. A cheaper product may be the reason for consumers to buy your product and not that of the competition.
There are many reasons which could make consumers choose your product over your competitors. Always chase that reason and imbed it in your product.
3. You must deliver efficiency.
Your clientele has to be better off with your product. They must be glad they possess your product. It should make a better difference in their lives somehow.
4. Offer easily defined products and product features.
It’s all about describing what your product can do for consumers. When products/services are easily described and their use is easily understood, they become easier to sell. It also becomes easier for you to relate what the product will do for the consumer, and easier for consumers to understand what the product will do for them.
This helps consumers readily identify what your product will do for them. It is also a quick way to close a sale. This is your product’s hook.
5. Offer good quality, good after-sales service and maintenance.
This is how you protect your product’s use, in that it’s always in use and serving its purpose. This is also how you maximize the value of your business brand, which then makes your brand the trusted among plenty.
6. Market a well-branded product.
Branding is the layer that covers your product or a layer that stands for your product.
You need a logo. A logo is a sharp and distinctive mark that says, “I made this product, this product of such stature.”
Your product’s packaging is crucial; it should communicate psychology that captures consumers. It should also explicitly communicate your business name. When people think of a good product, your brand should come up.
7. Don’t take forever building your product.
We all are in pursuit of perfection to better our products. Do not take forever to perfect your product. Things change, people change, relevance changes. Who knows…someone might come up with an idea similar to yours.
Don’t overload your product. The best way to test its viability is to release it in the market and improve it along the way. For as long as a product is able to serve a particular purpose and add value to the market, people will be willing to pay money for it.
The best way to learn as an entrepreneur (value provider) is through engaging your product with the market (selling), as soon as possible. Whatever the stage of the product, it must serve value or purpose that which people can exchange money for.
Say you take time loading features onto your product and then release the product into the market. The market will give you feedback on what to tweak.
It would take more time to tweak and return the product to the market than if you had fewer features. Another reason not to overload your product is, once you get into the market and competition strikes, the extra unloaded features can be used as ammunition to stay ahead.
Some Relevant Words to Ponder
I want to quote Rick Alden, founder of Skull Candy. once said. I struggled to find the precise quote, paraphrasing will do.
Alden said that the first one to get to the market is the market leader. I think he was pointing to what I stressed above. Skull Candy didn’t take that long to get to the market. And as they were in the market, they learned a lot of things that helped the company become stronger. This would have probably not been the case had they delayed to launch. Skull Candy is a headphone leader in the outdoor action sports market.
8. Protect product use value through innovation and consistent enhancement.
The truth of the matter is that everything changes. People change, the competition gets tougher, and other factors like piracy take their course.
Say you release your product this year and people buy it. Next year, and the following years, they have no reason to buy it again because they have it already. Your duty is to then give them such a reason to continue buying. The role of a business is to make money every day (or year) if possible and keep making it. So, the year following the product release, release something that the same consumer who bought the first product can buy so as to continue making money.
Even if it’s an enhancement of the current product, those that bought the old one would want the new one because it has something that the old one doesn’t have. In this way, you will continue making money. But be very careful not to totally take the crap out of the previous product. You might upset your first consumers.
Some Examples to Emulate?
Take Apple, for instance. It’s always taking money out of people’s pockets. It’s always making money, as businesses should, and as they are meant to. From iPhone 3, you want iPhone 4s and now iPhone 5. So they are living up to the business philosophy of “ever making money.”
Another example is Google. Since its inception, it’s been improving its main product, the search engine. It has also been acquiring other properties that now make money: YouTube, Adsense (formerly Oingo), Android, etc. If their search engine business was to become less profitable, it’s invested its profits in other revenue-driving streams/products. The amazing part about Google is that they also buy companies that add extra service to their search engine business, which is their founding product.
Tiisetso Maloma is a South African businessman, author of Forget The Business Plan Use This Short Model, business model innovating consultant at At Large Communications and he writes economic and entrepreneurial development programs for AfriBizCulture (NPO). His current startup (co-found) is DVDapps, a DVD disc-based edu-training-app authoring company.
This is an excerpt from my book ‘Forget The Business Plan Use This Short Model.’ The book points out what is important and crucial for an entrepreneur to concentrate on: a shorter and efficient business plan format. It provides guidance on what is vital in running a profitable, sustainable, and growing business. It’s meant to make things easier for entrepreneurs, by keeping the main things main.