Companies spend millions each year on market research and consumer insights to understand what their customers want and what they hate. Yet all this information and insight doesn’t make many products lead in their category and succeed because they’re not different enough from their competitors.
Most new products are just another version of an old idea. It’s common to see the same product concepts over and over again because there are only so many ways to design a product, which is why so many products fall into the same category.
Here are seven ideas that will help your product lead in its category by taking it to the next level with exciting features that customers won’t find anywhere else.
Make your product Solve a Bigger Problem
What is the biggest problem that you can solve with your product? Some of the best products go beyond just solving basic problems for their customers. [Tweet that]
Instead of solving just one problem, they solve several problems at once. For example, the Swiffer was a great product because while it solved the problem of cleaning your floors and also saved you time because you didn’t need to vacuum as often or have to deal with messy water in the process.
Also, the product that made the biggest splash in recent history was the iPhone. Apple created a phone capable of doing many things, but it also became a platform that allowed developers to create new apps that solved a multitude of problems.
The biggest problem in many industries is usually how to manage and organize the data that comes in. Apps like Asana, Trello, and Wrike rose to tackle that problem and thrived as a result.
Offer Incredible Value
Value is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak, but there are certain things that people expect to get when they make a purchase. Beyond the obvious quality and functionality of the product, the best products are ones that provide an experience beyond just the product itself.
You can achieve this by adding additional features and accessories that your customers will appreciate. Perhaps you can offer a better guarantee, include a warranty, or provide additional services that make the product more valuable — and more likely to be used.
Develop User-Focused Innovation
It’s great if you’ve invented a product that no one else has made before but if no one is willing to buy it, it’s not going to be very successful. Some industries or categories are flooded with similar products, but they lack innovation in their design and functionality.
To stand out, you’ll need to focus on the user instead of the product. What do your customers need and what problems are they looking to solve? How can you design your product or service to solve these problems in an attractive and appealing way?
Most customers want solutions that are reliable and functional. If your product is too much of a risk, customers may shy away from it because they can’t trust that it will work when they need it to.
Make your product useful before making it cool
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by the number of products that are only designed to look cool. If you focus too much on the design and aesthetics of your product, you may miss an opportunity to make it even better.
People buy products because they believe they will be helpful for their lives. For example, let’s say you’ve created a new rechargeable blender. You’ve spent a lot of time designing this blender, making it look as attractive as possible, and coming up with fancy new features.
If you don’t test your product out and find out how well it works and how durable it is, you may create a product that isn’t very helpful. Customers will buy your blender because it’s beautiful, but they might be disappointed when they use it.
Create an Irresistible Selling Proposition
What makes your product special? Why would customers choose it over the other options? What makes it better than the competition? Even if you have a product that solves a problem, it’s not going to sell itself. Customers don’t care about products — they care about their problems.
For every product, there are hundreds of different solutions. When you walk into a grocery store, you see hundreds of different types of cereals, beverages, or detergents. It’s difficult to sort through so many options. For your product to stand out, you need to give customers a reason to buy it. [Tweet that].
Ideally, you want customers to choose your product over the others simply because it’s the best option for their needs. Additionally, you could add the human touch in your sales strategy because your product is just that — a product. It’s not a human being, so it can’t really relate to your customers on a personal level.
No matter how amazing your product is, you’ll have a hard time selling it if customers don’t trust you or believe that you’re committed to making their experience better.
Use quality materials and craftsmanship
One of the most important aspects of any product is how it feels to use, and this is something that can’t be faked with a good marketing campaign. If a customer is expecting smooth, soft fabric but gets a rough, scratchy handbag instead, they’ll be annoyed — regardless of how cute the pattern on the bag is.
If you can, make sure that your product uses the highest-quality materials and craftsmanship possible. This will set you apart from the competition right off the bat, and will also boost the resale value of your product in the future.
Surprise and delight your customers
Marketers have been using the same techniques for decades. No one’s impressed by marketing tactics that have been done to death. Be innovative and think about how you can surprise and delight your customers.
Give them something that they don’t expect, and make their experience with your product or business memorable. For example, if you’re selling an online course, you could offer your customers an in-person experience along with their course, or give them a gift along with their purchase.
You can also host live Q&A sessions with industry experts, or other big names in your niche to give customers more value than they expected.
If you want to make your product lead in its category, you need to be bold. You need to challenge the status quo, and dare to be different. The product you’ve created is an investment, and you want it to be a smart one.
The customers who will purchase your product are looking for something new, something fresh, and something that challenges their existing ideas, so give it to them. Make your product stand out by offering more value and making it different or unique in some way.