A manufacturer or a service provider, who aspires to be successful in a business market, must indulge himself in research, pertaining to consumer preference as well as the various stages of a product life cycle. This will give him a better chance to make his future decisions concerning the product and also the wisdom to evolve strategies accordingly. Developing a product and introducing it into the market demands certain amount of forethought and prudence. The first step is to study the market, to understand consumer preference as well as to gauge whether your product will be appealing to the customers existing in that market. The prerequisite for this would be market segmentation, that is to statistically estimate the demographic quotient (people belonging to different age groups and ethnic societies) of the sample population and decide on the customers whom you want to target.
A product’s success depends mainly on two things:
1) Innovation-lateral thinking, by which you let loose of all your unorthodox methods and stick onto some novel ideas of marketing.
2) Customer-oriented marketing rather than product oriented. This customer oriented concept is advocated by modern marketing consultants and it has proven to be a fantastic proposition.
More than the actual product, people like to know more about the values that they obtain out of that product. The secret behind success will be to hit the right note, by propagating more about the value added services that go with the product.
Expectations Created by the Product
When a product is introduced in a market, say, automobiles for example, since every tom, dick and harry is fond of cars and bikes and they talk a lot about it. It is looked upon by prospective customers with great expectations, which might be due to the great hype created by the manufacturer through advertisements in electronic media, papers and magazines. The product as it hits the market will instantaneously make it big, if it has the right mix of intangible and augmented benefits that make customers happy and they feel that they have bought something worth the money paid for. A luxury car is well received by the market, irrespective of the price tag that is stuck to it, just because of the value added benefits such as, delicacy, great speed, high-performance, safety, insurance and warranty.
Product Pre-Launch Analysis
Before launching a product, industry analysis is a must, as various similar products might exist and it comes to the question of how different and appealing your product is, for market acceptance. Even minor things can make a big difference, say, for instance, if you are able to float the cheapest car, in terms of price but with great fuel efficiency, the results are obvious. The strategy would be to introduce innovations not only in your product but also in your thinking. Best products emerge as a result of tuning in your wavelength with that of the consumers’.
Product Life Cycle
A product gets introduced, grows, matures, stabilises and slowly withers off, just like a human being. No man is eternal and so is a product. You may argue that some products are in the limelight for more than their share of lifetime. If you keenly observe, that would have been the result of makeover changes to the product in lieu of the change in people’s liking and analysis of market trend. Some products have a second chance to prove their mettle. They go into hibernation for a while and then re-enter when market conditions seems to be favorable. The perspective from which you look at the life cycle of a product may cast a different idea and thus influence your understanding.
The general concept is product versus time, but there are lot more factors to be considered such as competitors, cost, pricing, distribution channels, sales and profit. The industry also has a life cycle to travel through, the various stages being, emergence, growth, maturity and decline. But industry life cycle is enduring than a product life cycle. Automobile industry has been thriving for ages, but what is the position of some automobile companies that has gone haywire. Textile industry is one of the major economic sector of Asian countries, but there are problems to be handled such as, high production cost, out dated technology, poor supply chain management, difficulty in importing fiber from other Asian and European countries, taxes, levies and the list is endless.
This discussion is aimed at throwing some light on the strategies that can help in a product’s acceptance and to reiterate that innovation is the key to market acceptance.