Thomas Goetz had an interesting article in the February 2017 issue of INC. titled “Build Your Product for the Consumer, Not the Buyer.” Goetz is a co-founder and the CEO of Iodine, a digital health startup based in
He is also the author of The Remedy. San Francisco
His example in the article is a mobile app for pharmaceutical companies to give to customers who use their medicines. The companies were buying and giving out the app, but the consumers were not using it.
The app was too complex. It had too many features. The problem was solved by redesigning the app for the end user, not the company buying the app.
This is a common problem with product management. Technology constantly changes, but the basics of business never change. As business owners and managers, we often have to get back to the basics.
It is easy to make the mistake of designing a product for your sales staff, wholesaler, retailer, or retail sales staff, and not the actual consumer or end user. This can be explained because people often get bored with selling the same thing all the time.
A sales person will ask for something they don’t offer because they may have lost a sale to a competitor. Trying to be everything to everyone is also a major mistake. A company must concentrate on what they do best.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming your personal tastes are representative of the market, but don’t ignore them either. Do your market research. Starting a business based on a perception of a product or service can be a huge mistake. Sometimes test-marketing can be easy and cost effective.
I love to give a simple example about selling donuts. I used to stop at a convenience store on the way to work when I was in the collector car business. My favorite pastry is a plain, chocolate-covered cake donut.
This store had about eight trays of pastries, When I would stop they would invariably be out of chocolate-covered cake donuts, yet the racks would be almost full. Late in the afternoon, about a quarter of the pastries would still be there and would have to be thrown away.
The store manager wanted to have an extensive selection, but was not giving the consumer what they wanted. I encouraged the manager to increase the number of plain, chocolate-covered cake donuts. He put in a full rack, then two full racks, and eventually three of the eight racks were usually sold out in the late morning. This product selection was quite boring, but the customer was happy. And the store realized more pastry sales, less waste, and greater profits. That is product management.
We have a great bakery where I live now with an extensive selection, but they don’t offer a plain chocolate-covered cake donut. I am sure this costs them business, but it is great for the convenience stores that do offer the number one single pastry consumers want.
For more detailed information and examples of product management, market research, and selecting the right product read my book, Business Fits. It is available on Amazon as an eBook or a paperback.
God bless the
God bless President Trump and guide him to make United States of America great again. America