Identifying your product or service offering is critical to your success. You need to make sure your offering is viable, in demand, aligned with your brand, and something you’re able to deliver on!
So here are six steps to consider when identifying your offering, to give you every chance of success when it’s time to launch!
- Start with your purpose.
Before anything else, you need to start with your purpose, and your core offering.
The key consideration when launching a product should be the ‘why’. This refers to your brand’s core function, and why it exists; and why your product or service is being created in the first place.
It might be that you want to help people improve their health, or you’re passionate about sharing your expertise with your community. Whatever the ‘why’ may be, by defining your purpose before identifying your product, you’re allowing yourself to meet the core idea behind your business and goals.
This means your offering will be on-brand, targeted and strategic, and gives you a much greater chance of launching a successful offering. Always start with the purpose, before defining the product.
- Identify your target market and really get to know them.
Identifying your target customer and audience is critical when establishing your offering. Once you’ve decided on the exact demographic or group you want to reach through your business, spend some time understanding exactly what this group wants and needs. Conduct market research, spend time in the spaces and platforms they use the most, and understand how to engage with and interact with them in ways they’re most likely to respond to.
If your offering doesn’t meet the needs or wants or your desired customer, chances are it’s not going to go down well. So this step is critical in ensuring your offering will be in demand when you launch.
- Figure out which products or services help execute your purpose.
Now you’ve decided on the purpose of your business and the people you want to target, consider the best way to execute your purpose. Which products and services will most allow you to meet your goals?
This ties in with identifying a goal for your new product or service. For example, if you’re looking to increase awareness of your brand, maybe developing a free product or an opt-in incentive will help you achieve this goal. And on the other hand, if you’re looking to turn over a profit or build a sense of authority around your brand, you might offer a higher quality product with more research, work and effort required to produce it.
The main takeaway is that every product must align with your key business purpose, and also needs to have a goal behind it, which will dictate the nature of the product, and the work required to produce it.
- Analyse your competition.
Think about it, you could come up with the most incredible, effective, powerful product, but if nine other businesses are already offering the same thing, why would people choose your offering over the others?
It’s vital to conduct a thorough competitive analysis, where you research and analyse your competitors, their offerings, their strengths and weaknesses, and your point of differentiation. This should almost be an ongoing analysis which you continue to perform regularly, allowing you to adapt to changing pressures and demands all the time.
You can learn a lot from observing the successes of market leaders, and analysing the weaknesses of businesses who aren’t doing as well.
From here, you can decide to produce an offering which is vastly different to what your competition has already launched, aiming to fill a gap in the market, or you can identify an area of weakness in the competition which you can improve upon, encouraging people to pick your business over others.
Either way, you need a strong grasp of what’s out there and how competitors are performing, to ensure there’s adequate demand and opportunity for your own offering to succeed.
- Position your offering.
Your competitive analysis will come in handy again here. By now, you should have a good idea of what your offering might entail. So it’s time to think about how you’re going to position this product or service.
This involves differentiating your product, determining a pricing strategy, marketing your product and engaging your target audience. So it’s no small task!
Make sure you’re using your insights from your market research and understanding of your customers, as well as your competitive analysis, to set your offering apart from anything else that’s available, and help you grow a sustainable offering which can continue to evolve and grow.
- Never rest!
The work is never done! You should always aim to continue growing your offering and evolving what you have created, to keep up with the changing needs of your target audience, and the changing landscape of the industry. Keep talking to your audience and striving to understand them. And learn from your mistakes and your competition to continue improving your own offering all the time! Growth and change is the key to success!
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