Product and Service Growth
..the trickiest of conundrums for a business, how many products is too many?
“most of us understand that innovation is enormously important – it’s the only insurance against irrelevance”
How many products should I have at anyone time? I’ve got 4 at the moment – 1 is the mainstay of the business, and 2 are okay, but 1 is a dog. What should I do?
A common problem. Some companies have hundreds of products, most of which gather dust on a shelf. Some of the most successful companies have one or two. Think of Microsoft as an example, they basically started with a single product that virtually everyone in the world uses, even today. That should perhaps tell us something about the scale of the problem and its fix, that many of the largest businesses in the world, have a small range of products that they can do a lot with.
The question to the above issue for the business with 4 separate products or brands is, if we dispensed with 2 of your products and left you with 2, would your business grow faster, be more profitable and have a longer term future because of that? It’s an exercise we go through a lot of businesses with, because products are closely tied in with customers, and most businesses have too many of one, and not enough of the other.
Many years ago, I worked on World Vision Child Sponsorship, and during my tenure I am proud to say, we grew the organisation and that particular product, significantly. Throughout that phase, there was a constant panic that Child Sponsorship wasn’t enough and we needed more products, in case one day everyone walked away from Child Sponsorship. Yet, as far as I can see today, Child Sponsorship is still going strong, and people still love the association.
Yet, within businesses, there is a time to introduce new products and services and to grow the business through that. This is a process that needs careful, strategic thinking and often a lot of resource – more than most think.
We’ll put in place a plan to ensure you have a growing portfolio of successful products and services.
Looking to put more or new products or services into your portfolio, but want to be assured of their success? Growing a new stable of products can be a tricky process, yet it is also essential for businesses. Our Marketing Directors will help you analyse opportunities, and assess markets and conditions to ensure that any new launch has a much higher chance of succeeding.
The alternative is of course, standing still. The current products may look like they can succeed forever, but every business needs to refresh itself, and look forward to new opportunities. We have vital experience in bringing new products to the market shelf and ensuring longevity and success with the intended audience.
The benefits to a business owner of a part time Marketing Director
We’ll put in place the right strategy, so that from the beginning we know what’s ahead of us. No surprises, no ‘let’s launch this today and see how it goes’ only to realise that the cash runs out next week. We have a few Marketing Directors who have been involved in some of the most successful product launches down under, and they understand the risks involved, as well as the benefits.
Long before then, we will want to have conviction that the current business is achieving all its potential before we move onto the next phase, and that by launching the new phase, we won’t subvert the existing products. We will also want to be convinced that the new product has a chance of really adding value to the current business, so saving heartache down the track. Decisions upfront are far easier to make than the more difficult ones later on, because we didn’t make right choices early on.
The most common problem is still likely to be though, that your business has too many products, and some of them under perform. A marketing director will look carefully at the situation, and come up with some solutions that not everyone will always like, but may be best for the survival and growth of the business. A huge benefit of getting us involved, is that you engage us to tell you the truth about where you are as a business, and we cannot afford to sugar coat that. Surgery is sometimes needed before we can proceed with vigour again. Nobody likes it, but in the end it can provide transformation for everyone.