When a product is designed, developed and processed into a saleable product, consideration must also be given to its competitiveness among other similar products. Prepare a product strategy for your company. Use the strategy to determine your company’s product range, product groups, product availability and pricing policy.
First, think about what products (goods or services) your company already has and what does it want to sell? Divide your products into categories based on the purpose of use or the target customers, for example. Forming groups of your products may help you in marketing. It may also make it easier to follow the products’ life cycles and turnover rate.
Think about whether you will keep your product range the same or will you expand it. Determine whether there would be demand for new kinds of products. Decide whether your company wishes to create a counterpart for a competitor’s product. Think about whether there is need to develop different versions of your products to different customer groups.
Set a suitable price and quality level for your products. Note that your customers’ idea of quality may differ from yours. Decide whether your company is also interested in entering new markets.
Decide whether you will protect the intellectual property rights of your products and services. Names and signs can be protected as trademarks. The external shape of products can be protected by registering the design and its technical characteristics by patents or utility models. Read the page about protecting products; Protecting inventions, product ideas and skills.
You will also need internet domains for marketing and it is recommended that they should contain the names of the products and services or the name of the company.
Find out what kinds of a product range and availability can be accomplished with your company’s resources. Think about how much capital you can commit to the product range. Also find out the competitive situation of the products in the market.
From time to time, you should check that the number of product groups enables a future increase in sales and profitability. If necessary, eliminate some product groups and products.
However, it may not be necessary for you to eliminate all unprofitable products. They may attract customers for whom you can also sell profitable products.
Select distribution channels that make products available to customers easily, quickly and on time. Make sure that your company’s staff is always available during service hours.
The availability does not have to be the same for every product or product group. You can also limit the availability of a product when testing the sales of a new product, for example.
Your company must have products at all the stages of the life cycle. This allows you to secure the continuity of your company’s operations.
- At the introduction stage, you must raise awareness of the product among customers. Make use of social media, for example.
- At the growth stage, you should invest in attractiveness. Bring attention to the benefits of your product compared to other similar products. You can also compete with price.
- At the maturity stage, you should remind customers of the existence of the product. You can change the packaging, for example. Reduce the price if necessary.
- At the decline stage, you want to get rid of the product, for example by reducing the price. Look for customers who make their buying decision based on the price.
You can also personally affect the length of the product life cycle. You can make your products look like they are at the end of their life cycle. This way, the product will make room for other products that sell better.
You can also extend the product life cycle by developing an old product. Change its name or packaging. You can also come up with new purposes or target groups for your product.
Take the environmental impact of all the company’s operations into account. Use ecological materials and minimise the emissions caused by transport. Think about recyclability in advance. Take into account the well-being of people working in the value chain as well. You can use the fact that you take these issues into account in your marketing.