- by Rory Ramsden
Positioning your product to best attack the market is crucial if you want to make money with your first product launch. There is no point in taking on a big brand in a segment of the market in which it is really strong.
This was Borders big mistake. They set up their book shops in the center of big cities and were immediately faced with stiff competition from the big brands. If, instead, they had decided to focus on suburban malls in good neighborhoods, they would have found little resistance and a ready supply of well paid professionals happy to browse their latest titles over a cup of coffee… and buy
So as we agreed yesterday, once you have created your product, there is still 80% of the job to do.
Here’s the question... Is it better to seek to get a toe-hold in an existing market or to create a whole new one?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the answer. If you can create a whole new market all to yourself, you will leave the competition fighting over the scraps left behind. So that’s the challenge, the vision or the strategy – call it what you will – that you must have
“It would certainly nice to pull that one off” I hear you say. But Borders could have done it if they had taken their stores out of town. You can do it by being a leader and not a follower. It all comes to how well you know your market… Not the people in it, this time, but your competitors.
Have you ever stepped back from the coalface and wondered whether there is an easier way?
It’s right there in front of you. Thoroughly analyze not only your competitor’s products but their positioning and their strategy as well. Then devise a unique mechanism that will set you apart. It’s best if it’s new and original. If you’re looking for an example, how about Apple which, by using this strategy, is now the biggest company by value in the USA.
Steve Jobs quit the company in 1985 and rejoined in 1997 when it was on its knees. So this transformation has been achieved in only 14 years. How did he do it? Each time, there’s a new Igadget, it creates a new market in which Apple dominates leaving the competition to play catch up.
These visually stunning products establish a market that no-one knew existed until the visionary CEO pointed it out. He is not just a serial entrepreneur. He is a serial creator of market segments. And each time, he brings a new product to market, there is a new product launch. Not just one, mind you, Steve Jobs stacks one launch on top of another and leverages the success of the last to create momentum for the next
They say that if you want to be successful that you should model a successful man. There is no better example of what a successful product launch marketing strategy can do for a company than what it has done for Apple inc. You would do well to take note…