4 must-have ingredients for bringing your new product to market successfully!
November 26, 2014
So you have a new idea that you want to bring to market that you are hoping to do shrouded under the cover of secrecy and waiting to be unveiled in a big bang! Some companies do that, of course, more out of need than design. But for the simpler folk, embarking on secret skunkworks may be counterproductive. In this day and age, success favours the collaborator more than the inventor. So, for those of you who are embarking on bringing a new product to market, you might like to take a peek at these ingredients; they may just hold a couple of insights to make your new product a success!
1. Involve your customers
Instead of working by yourself to fulfill your customers’ needs, why not involve them up front? Get them not only to articulate the solutions, but also in developing and trialling them, and opening up the channel for you. In effect, they will commit to buying the solutions that you co-create, giving you an instant go-to-market strategy that can be further replicated with other customers. This is akin to the Kickstarter model, where innovators crowdsource the funds from early adopters.
2. Enlist evangelists & snipers
Evangelists are people who will connect you with others, singing praises of your new product. They are more than your early adopters as they lend their voice to their own network on the values that your product will bring to the table. Most of them do not do this for financial reward; instead they do this to bring greater significance both to themselves and their network. In a sense, it provides you with a win-win strategy to go to market with.
Snipers, in contrast, are the killers in a military field. They are sharpshooters that hit strategic targets from afar. One shot, one kill. While you must have evangelists will sing praises to their network, you need snipers to kill your product at each step of the way. They are there not to make life difficult for you; but to sharpen your thinking, especially around your assumptions. Snipers must be adept in the business environment, understanding its changing landscape, and adopting a “helping” mentality, despite their role in killing the product. Your role is to accept the snipes and work to make things better. Yours is not to justify your actions; you just go out there and make it better. You must therefore esteem the snipes to not question their intent or their methods, only in making things better. And if you can’t address the snipes satisfactorily, you then have to accept that as a potential roadblock, or even concede that the product wasn’t such a good idea after all.
3. Build a tapestry of partners
Gone are the days when we have all the expertise under one roof. Instead, pull in all the partners you need to get your product to market. You may be the brightest spark in the room, but there will always only be only one of you and many of them. So even if you were Tony Stark - who still needed the other Avengers to help defeat the alien attack in New York! - you could still do with the help of others; especially those who are experts in their field.
Yet, expertise aside, having partners allows you to spread the costs, so that you can get the best product to market in the cheapest possible means available to you; it also allows you to speed up your market entry since you do not have to build all the capabilities in-house; you can also spread the joy, thereby enriching your ecosystem which allows you to level up to the next product, the next challenge, the next opportunity, with ease.
So don’t keep things to yourself, build your tapestry of partners.
4. Good is better than perfect
Many of us are perfectionists and we need our product to be totally without any problems, bugs or irritants before we bring it to market. The problem with this mentality is that we can always find something wrong with our product, and to continuously throw resources at it to fix the little bug, will kill your product. It is of no use to anyone if it is still in the drawing board. Bring it out to the market, warts and all, and let your customers try it out for you. They will be able to find out what’s wrong with it better than you can. And since there are so many of them, it can be done faster. The key for you is again not to be defensive but to accept their feedback, make changes quickly, and roll it back out. So if your product is already good enough, let it go. Because making it perfect, will simply keep it under wraps. And we all know what that means to your business.
So there you are, four must-have ingredients for any business that wants to bring a new product to market. I hope you find this helpful and it has spurred new ideas for your own go-to-market strategy.