“Defining a category for your product is necessary when developing a marketing strategy for any product, it helps you to understand your target customer’s pain-point and how best to address them. “
We live in a country where majority of businesses today are product focused and competitor focused rather than being customer focused. Oftentimes they expend resources creating products with the aim of responding to competition and neglect the due diligence of researching and understanding their target audience demographics and psychographics ( I.e. their pain point and changing lifestyles). With such poorly researched product introduction, you tend to find that over a short period of time majority of such products fizzle out and never leave up to their intended expectation.
In a market like ours ( Nigeria Market), when such situations of sales underperformance occurs, the decision makers are seen to throw blame on the sales team as regards product failure or underperformance without going back to scrutinize the product/ marketing strategy development phase lapses.
The big question which ought to have been asked and answers provided are ‘What was the goto market strategy? ‘Who are our main targets and what are their expectations based on their lifestyle?’ ‘What is our brand message and how does it resonate with our target audience?’
I’d expect any savvy marketing communications team to have answered the aforementioned questions before rolling out any new product or service! That is if they truly seek success and want to beat competitors. And of course make the efforts of the field sales team effective and seamless.
Doing it Right
The best approach as practiced by thriving brands in developed markets is first off, gaining deeper insight of what consumers want and how best they can satisfy it. As opposed to just responding to competitors with a counter product (by assumption) and hoping that it catches on.
Conquer don’t Counter
Releasing a product into a saturated category or segment might mean you are out to gamble with your production budget which in 6 out of 10 scenarios often fails, production budget is lost, product is withdrawn from the market.
If you wish to introduce a new product and flourish then leverage the power of marketing insights, come up with a product with better benefits and functionalities and the right brand message tailored towards your target. create a subcategory, a category you rule and any other brand doing similar product becomes a copycat in the minds of your target audience rather than focusing on creating counter product.
Be the Hero Brand
Generally, individuals aspire to be associated with iconic figures in society, brands also need to position themselves as inspirational entities that their targets want to be affiliated or identified with. This gives a brand better equity and enables the brand stand the test of time as long as it in tune with changing lifestyles.
On observation, you find a lot of brands quickly create a new product the instance a recently introduced product faces some sort of sales setback with little or no effort from the marketing team to try to understand what went wrong and taking appropriate remedial steps to addressing the consumer’s concern and effectively using a marketing medium to reposition the product.
Moreover, to improve the chances of succeeding with the introduction of a new product and limiting wastage of scarce resources majority of brands/businesses in this part of the world need to wake up to the possibilities of Digital Marketing as a tool which can be used to generate insights, identify the targeted niche and reach the right people at the right place and time cost effectively.
If marketing competently leverages the the power of digital marketing, sales will skyrocket and selling will be on autopilot for the sales team, hence, boosting revenue over time and your product will eventually become a hero brand.