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Launching a New Product

March 2, 2013

LaunchingI love this idea but is there a demand for this new product or service? Will someone buy it? For most small business owners and entrepreneurs, this is the question they ask when presented with an idea – either their own or someone else’s.

For those with the most passion or hubris – eg Steve Jobs, Richard Branson – the demand was/is rarely a second thought.  They see the future and they see their product or service as shaping part of it.  But for others, it is not so cut and dried.  And the element of doubt is always there.

So as you go about launching that new product or service, consider both the promotion of it and the packaging of it.

If you think the market has a latent (built up) demand for your offer, then by all means go market your core offering.  A core offering is the ideal product and/or service configuration you want to be selling. It has all the bells and whistles.  And if you aren’t sure that the demand is there, then you can always start out by marketing the core offer and see if there are any takers.

If there is no latent demand, then you need to build to your core offer with various different levels of product and buzz.  I would suggest you have a starter out offer, a trial offer and a free offer of some type.

So lets look at how do you repackage your core product or service into something smaller. We’ll use a fitness club for example our example. (for those of you that thought that joining the gym was a good idea for new years)

Their core offer is to have you buy full access to the whole facility (including the pool) and all training classes.  For conversation sake, lets say this costs $69 per month with a 30 day cancellation or $59 per month if you commit for a year.

The starter offer may be to have access to just the equipment – no pool or classes.  And you can do that for $39 per month.

The trial offer is try them out for 3 months for $149 – one time fee – access to everything.

And the free offer is a day pass (or a week pass) that is available through a current member or that you might get a health fair they are participating in.

With each of these offers, you can create a marketing and promotion plan to get the word out.  Each package gives you something new to talk about and promote.  And the free offer makes it easy for current members to refer you.

So if the latent demand isn’t there, build up to your core offering by repackaging and reconfiguring what your customer gets and how much (or in what way) they pay for it.

By the way, we do this ourselves.  In addition to our core 1-on-1 consulting, we offer in-person group education as a starter offering and online group education as a type of trail offer – both at a significantly reduced cost and time committment per person. And we have a lot of ways to try us out for free – The business breakthrough assessment, our blogs, newsletters and webinars, not to mention the various conferences we speak at in breakouts and keynotes.

So if you are frustrated that your product or service isn’t getting bought at the volume you think it deserves, reconsider your packaging or consider giving us a call.

Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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