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What product or service are you building?

  • DETERMINE YOUR TARGET CUSTOMER: Having a target customer for your solution affects all areas of your product or service. Think about what your consumers are like. From basic demographic info to more intricate details like behavior, interests, lifestyle, etc. Learn what makes them happy and what they easily relate to. Find out how your product or service can fulfill their needs and solve their specific problems. Determining the right target customer will support your overall marketing efforts. So definitely do not skip this first step!
  • DEFINE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE: Now that you’ve figured out who your target customer is, give them a reason to chose your product over others. Delve deep down and outline the key values your product or service offers that no other product or service in the market is offering. Emphasize what makes your product or service more effective and efficient than existing ones. Focus on the qualities and benefits that make your product or service unique. People generally don’t favor solutions that do not tell a story. So tell your story and make customers get emotionally attached to your solution.
  • RESEARCH YOUR INDUSTRY NICHE: Choose two to four competitors for your comparison chart. Maybe it would be a good idea to take a look at smaller ventures for starters. After that, you can also check how you’re doing in comparison to more established ventures. It may seem a bit unrealistic, but it can give you some good insights as well. You should never imitate the established ventures within your industry, but it’s totally legit to be aware of what they do. Learning from their mistakes is especially the go-for strategy. In other words, do what the competitors won’t do. Research your main competitors, and study how they have built their solution and what obstacles and shortcuts they’ve had and experienced along the way.
  • ESTABLISH A MISSION STATEMENT: Stand for something you believe in. Be innovative, bold, and daring. Here are a couple of pointers to keep in mind when stating your mission:
    1. Review the product or service your business offers.
    2. Pinpoint the space in the market you occupy.
    3. Conduct research on the rational needs and concerns of your customers.
    4. Think about your customer base and try to differentiate yourself in the market.
    5. Make everything from the logo to tagline, voice, message, and personality reflect your mission.
  • CREATE A FREE TRIAL OR DEMO: Before the official launch, you want to get as much feedback as possible. In order to see how your product or service works, you want users to experience it. Hence create your first hand-made prototype (MVP) or a product demo. This is a crucial stage in building an effective product or service. Your product or service has some expectations to meet at this is vital to understand whether it will succeed or fail. If you are creating a website or app, use a wireframing tool. Nowadays, there are many affordable ways to make prototypes.
  • BRING IT TO LIFE: Before you launch it, understand your limitations and either outsource or hire the skills you need. Don’t take too long to perfect your product before releasing it. Time and consistency are the basic elements of creating a unique solution in the market. Market your products or services in tune with the time or seasons that best suit the core proposition of the product. Even if you make a mistake, just own it and make it right. Keep tracking customers’ feedback. This way, you’re not only gaining the customers’ loyalty but also positioning yourself as an ethical innovator who takes the customers’ feedback to heart.
  • BE CONSISTENT: Be consistent unless you decide to improve your product or service into something that is better and more effective. Consistency is the key. Don’t constantly change. The inconsistency will confuse your customers. Many product marketing campaigns fail. Some catastrophically. McDonald’s went too far outside their market’s perception. It was known mostly as a restaurant for kids. So they wanted to create the burger at a more sophisticated customer – adults. They invested an incredible amount of money on it but failed. It’s now one of the biggest product flops in history.
  • PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE IN THE MARKET: A great way to build an effective product or service is to tell people your story and make them emotionally attached to your solution. Digital marketing is the buzzword. You can use different promotional and advertising channels e.g. blogs, magazines, newspapers, websites, and social media to promote your product or service. Go all-out on social media. Use social media platforms smartly to promote your product or service, and to build an enviable reputation among your potential customers. Adidas’ tagline is “Impossible is Nothing”. It sells you on the dream that you can achieve anything.
  • START SPREADING AWARENESS: As you can see building an effective product or service is not a cakewalk. Use some of these out-of-the-box techniques to spread awareness about your product or service: write a press release, set up a referral program, write a blog, offer freemium services, forge partnerships with local businesses, give away swag, and run a social media contest.
  • RINSE, WASH, AND REPEAT: Keep in mind that both product development and marketing are evolving processes. So, rinse, wash, and repeat. Regardless of the success or failure of your first go-around, take the knowledge you’ve discovered from the previous process, and recap it. Every time you try, you will be one step closer to the success you strive for.

You should be able to answer these questions

  • What product or service are you building?
  • How does it work? How do you deliver your solution to the customers?
  • What can people do with it?
  • What major benefits can your customers derive from your product or service?
  • How does your product or service effectively solve your customers’ key challenges?
  • What is unique in your product or service?
  • How does the very first version of your solution look like?
  • What is the minimum set of features you can build that solves the customers’ problem?
  • What is the order of priority to develop the additional features?

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