Fundamental to every new product is whether you are a painkiller or a vitamin. Put simply, painkillers’ are those that solve an acute and immediate problem for your customer where a vitamin tends to be a feel good improvement of an existing line or service. We could argue back and forth about the over use of pain killers in today’s world vs. preventative and holistic life methods, but that wouldn’t be a great use of this particular discussion. What we can do, though, is review the relative merits of this approach as we define our solution and determine if we should be focusing on one versus the other. I’ve broken this down depending on the stage our business is in currently to review the two different types of product classifications and draw some conclusions that I believe will help any new product or service as a first offering or a new product in a mature business focus for success.
As mentioned above, this is the solution you go to when you have a headache. There are typically moats and barriers to entry for other participants (ex: brand trust, patents, technical expertise), which provide time to help any new product succeed. Conversely, the challenge here is also the amount of branding effort to differentiate the offering, credibility building that must be done to prove your solution works and development investment to break through to the solution. Depending on the maturity of your business, there are some nuances you should consider when approaching your “pain killing” solution:
As children, we are told to take our vitamins. They will help build lasting health and support you as you grow. If we all just listened to our mother! From a product perspective (hardware, software or service) a vitamin is something that represents a feature improvement or service offering tweak, not a new platform or vertical market. With this understanding, let’s discuss the relative merits of taking our vitamins based on the relative business maturity for our operation:
Don is a new product development executive with 20 years of experience delivering great solutions to customers globally. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with your product or service, please contact us at email@example.com or visit us at www.prismaticglobal.com
Last weekend it was Scouts apple selling weekend. It is the time where kids 12 and under stand outside various businesses in the local community asking for a donation to help them go to camp. In exchange for a small donation you’ll get a shiny apple and a big smile. This is the first year my kids have been enrolled in scouts and I was interested to see them in action trying to sell apples for funding their activity. It’s a great learning opportunity for kids, as young as 6 years old, to learn important sales skills to further their cause. After spending hours in the cold with both of my boys selling apples over the course of 2 days, I had the opportunity to observe their sales approach and provide my own coaching/encouragement between customers. Seeing the similarities in the general sales principles from apples to products/services we sell every day as professionals, I thought it was a great opportunity to share this experience with others.
Don is a new product development executive with 20 years of experience delivering great solutions to customers globally. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with your product or service, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org