Further development of the product
Keep developing your company's products to make them better and more attractive. Make modifications to your product especially when you want to expand your customer base or launch your product onto a new market. Adapt your product according to the habits of your customers through a new kind of design, for example. Also use customer feedback to make changes to your product.
The further development of a product means that your company develops your current product into something better, more efficient, cheaper, or more attractive. With the help of further development your product will remain fresh and will meet the latest requirements.
The further development of a product is important, as the market position of even a successful product always faces hazards. Your company's competitors will constantly try to develop their own equivalent product into something better than yours. Further development enables you to respond if an innovation of some other company seeks to supersede your company's product.
Also keep in mind that customer behaviour is unpredictable. New trends, attitudes, fashions, or changes in methods of operation can suddenly bring down the popularity of even a successful product. Then the further development of a product can help your company to get back into a good market position.
Your company should be constantly developing its product further at some level to keep the product up-to-date and to keep its success from waning. Further development of a product is required especially when
- customers frequently express complaints, wishes, or development suggestions
- you are looking for new customer groups
- you plan to launch a product in a new market area, such as a foreign country.
Collect customer feedback regularly, through questionnaires, group interviews, or a consumer panel, for example. In this way you will be able to modify your product better in accordance with the demands, wishes, and needs of your customers.
When your company seeks new customer groups, consider how you can modify your existing product to meet their needs. Note that your present product might have characteristics that make it hard to accept by a new customer group that you wish to win over.
You can respond to changes on the market by modifying your company's product so that it better suits the dominant competitive situation. Make changes that improve competitiveness in the product's design, name, marketing, packaging, or colour scheme.
Keep in mind that if you change the name of your product or alter its appearance, the product can easily be seen as something completely new.
By modifying a product, you can build product families comprising several different versions of the product. For example, you can produce several different flavours of yoghurt. A product family can also comprise a group of products that complement each other. A product family with yoghurt can also include a selection of different types of muesli. Remember to update product families in addition to individual products.
Improve the competitiveness of your company also in the long term. Drafting development plans with forethought according to demand and market conditions gives your products the best possibilities to succeed on the market. You can draft a separate product strategy in which you set out the main features of your product development and plan the life cycle of your products.
When your business wishes to launch a product on a new market or offer it to new customer groups, there might be a need to develop the product further. First, get background information on a new market area and new customers. Ascertain, for example, the kinds of needs the customers have and what kinds of characteristics the competing products have. If a foreign market area is involved, familiarise yourself with the country's legislation, consumer habits, language, and business practices.
Consider carefully what kinds of changes are worth making in the product. Consider, for example, the product's name, colour, package, and possible new features. Pay special attention to those features in your product that the new customers might misunderstand.
Set the price of your product to correspond with the price level of the new market area or with what the new customer groups can afford to pay. Consider how the new customer groups will see the present brand of your company. Find the most appropriate sales and marketing channels and take enact product protection measures.