December 5, 2006

Turning Products into Stars

There's a statistic about product development heard from entrepreneurs, big company executives and product development gurus. The statistic is that about one out of six products will be successful. Imagine - more than 80% of products can be doing better.

So how does one go about turning around an under-performing product?
Easy! First identify the poor performers, then follow this checklist to turn any product in to a high performer:

1. Tag Them: Set benchmarks (revenue, profitabiltiy, stage in lifecycle, etc...) that define success and then see where each product or service lands. Create a stack'll quickly see the under-performing ones.

2. Do Over: Do a market assessement again even if one was done before. Identify the market size, competitors, problems it solves, ideal pricing, etc...

3. Re-Define the Product: Create a product gap analysis between the "do over assessment" and the current product feature/function. What features/functions are missing and need to be added, etc...

4. Re-launch or Kill: Now that you have refreshed data, make a decision to relaunch or
kill the product. If you're relaunching go back to step 6.

5. Re-allocate: If you are killing the product, then shift funding/resources to another product or project. You may need to conduct steps 2 to 4 again to pick the right product to receive the resources.

6. Attack Plan: Plan and implement a new sales & marketing attack plan. Set goals. Set a launch date. Begin the campaign.

7. Conduct a post-mortem: 3 months after launch review the results and make necessary strategic or tactical adjustments.

If you found this of value you may also want to read: The Physics of Sales Management, Company Startup Checklist and Checklist to Internationalize a Product

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