ALTI's Apprentice Boardroom Report For 4/21/05 (Episode #14)
Mr. Trump asked his
five weary candidates to invent a device that helps organize desk /
office clutter for the big box office retailer Staples which does over
$13 billion in sales annually.
or Customers, Which Comes First?
Below is one such nugget that came from the Staple executives:
is Better: Inventing or Enhancing?
I often find myself explaining to entrepreneurs that it is typically better to attempt to improve an existing product, service, or system. The reason is that the incumbent has already proven there is a market of customers willing to buy it. Enhancing an existing product can be done by improving current features, adding features, fixing application or usability flaws, increasing quality, and integrating synergistic items.
This strategy speeds market adoption, segments the current market and can sometimes even draw laggards into the market adoption cycle to try the product thus expanding and growing the overall market. (Laggards are customers that are late-adopters, and typically resist trying new things).
Invention usually requires much more research and development, (thus R & D costs must escalate accordingly). Introducing totally new products to a marketplace requires that the market be "made", (potential customers must be educated about a solution they never knew existed that addresses a problem that most are comfortable "managing" their current way, this is called breaking the inertia of status quo).
markets can be very expensive since the customer ultimately decides if
the pain or problem the feel is worth the cost of the solution to fix
it. Lastly, I personally believe that there are very few real original
ideas, and most all "inventions" are merely just derivatives
of an existing idea. For example, the Internet is not a new idea, but a
derivative of the television & print media idea.
Magna used the Enhancement strategy as a frame of reference when they set out to execute the next step of effective product development...
Can You Get Quality and Affordable Market Research?
Surprisingly, a majority of product development initiatives do not require exhaustive studies or research with hundreds of participants. Very often relavant results can be discovered within just a few hours and with meaningful face-to-face dialog with between 5 and 25 suitable participants after which the law of diminishing returns begins to become evident.
In - Garbage Out
The New Product
Before you get
started, consider retaining ALTI's team of specialists who can
affordably research your target market, clearly identify pains, problems
and solutions and guide you to introduce the right product with the
greatest return for your investment. To get started give us a
call or shoot us an e-mail for ONE free hour of complimentary
consultation. (206) 984-9560 or
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