How To Tell If You Have A Viable Product

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

If you’re thinking about launching a new product in 2021, you probably want to make sure that it’s worth your while.  It’s not enough just to get people to buy your product.  You need to get them to do so at a price which gives you a decent return on your investment.  With that in mind, here are some points you should consider.

What are the product’s selling points?

Selling points are reasons for a person to buy a product.  For practical purposes, they are generally assessed by comparison to the existing competition.  If a product is too innovative to have any direct competition, they can be assessed by the benefit a product delivers.

With selling points, quality is generally much more important than quantity.  In simple terms, you have to offer customers a compelling reason to switch from their existing product.  It’s usually much easier to explain one major benefit than to try to tally up lots of small ones.  That said, it’s worth noting where a product has more than one selling point as it can be useful for marketing.  

It’s also useful to note where the same selling point can be marketed differently to different audiences.  For example, the fact that fuel in a box reduces packaging can be marketed either as a space-saving benefit or as an environmental benefit.


What are the potential sales channels?

There are basically three ways you can get a product in front of the public.  Firstly, you can sell the product directly yourself.  Secondly, you can sell the product through a trading account on a major sales platform (e.g. eBay).  Thirdly, you can have established retailers sell the product for you.

Selling a product directly yourself allows you to keep everything you earn.  It does, however, also mean that you have to do all the promotional work yourself.  Selling through a sales platform can cost you more in fees and charges, but you can benefit both from the platform’s traffic and from its credibility with consumers.

Selling through established retailers can be a great way to get your product in front of people who might otherwise never have seen it.  Your challenge, however, is likely to be to get retailers to accept it in the first place.  You may need to be prepared to pay substantial promotional costs and to allow the retailer a significant share of the profits from the item.


What is the likely sales frequency?

As a rule of thumb, the less frequently people are likely to buy an item, the more profit you need to make on each sale to justify producing the item in the first place.  For example, original pieces of art can fetch very high prices, even if they’re by relatively unknown artists.  This is because they are unique.  Art prints, by contrast, are much more affordable.

There is, however, a potential twist on this.  You may be able to leverage the initial sale of the product either to sell further products or to sell ongoing services.  This is often known as the “razorblade model” but it is actually used in a wide variety of business sectors.

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