Are you stumped for product & service ideas? If your answer is yes, you’re not alone!
Economic changes have forced businesses to develop long- and short-term strategic business strategies in order to remain successful, which has created an environment of fierce competition. Now more than ever, it is important to stay well-informed of consumer behaviors, industry changes, and evolving trends in order to create innovative and cutting-edge products and services that give your company a competitive advantage over the competition.
Here are five strategies you can use to expand your product & service offerings in ways that appeal to your customer base, create actionable results, and yield increased sales.
- Analyze customer data. While it may be tempting to leap in head first and try to do anything to increase sales, first, take the time to survey your customers. For example, developing a customer satisfaction survey or a consumer product survey can generate information about what is important to your customers, and gather their opinions and comments. Use online survey software tools such as Snap Survey Software.
- New products & services. Your customers may be craving something new or different. Before you move forward and expand your product lines or offer additional services, be sure to conduct thorough research. Additionally, check your profit margins to gauge your company’s financial health. Your company will need the funds to back its investment in research & development, production, marketing, sales, and so on.
- Find new markets. Research emerging markets that may have a need for your products or services. In order to penetrate more profitable markets, you must remain open to change. Ask “what if” or “in what ways” questions to develop new market ideas.
- Expand distribution channels. Distribution is one of the classic “4 Ps” of marketing (product, promotion, price, and placement, a.k.a. distribution). Distribution helps you expand your reach and grow revenue. Think of the different ways you can expand your distribution channels: wholesale/distributor; direct marketing via mail, Internet, email, catalog or sales; retail; sales manufacturer’s rep; reseller; consultant; or dealer. The possibilities are infinite.
- Target existing customers. Current customers will often be repeat customers. Loyal, ongoing customers are the backbone of every business. In today’s highly competitive environment, current customers cannot be ignored or else they may be won over by your competition. Direct marketing remains an effective form of sales and promotions. Select a target group of customers and send them special offers via mail or email. Harness the capabilities of your customer relationship management (CRM) system or use an email marketing tool to develop segmented customer mailing lists for email campaign distribution.