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One of the best company’s at launching products into the market is Apple. If you ever want to understand how to launch a product with maximum exposure, build brand and excitement in the market, then follow Apple’s launch of their next iPod or version of their iPhone.

Apple does a tremendous job of positioning and messaging their products in the market – however the one thing they do an unbelievable job of is introducing products that resonate with their markets. They understand the problems within their targeted markets and they do a great job of solving those problems with their products.

If you ever wondered why Apple is so successful, just take a look at one of their products and think about the problems these products solve and how they resonate with their markets.

“Your Opinion, while interesting, is completely irrelevant…”

So what does all of this mean?  Am I just being a jerk and trying to show people that I know more than you?

Actually, couldn’t be further from the truth.  I got this line from a book – “Tuned In” – and the premise goes like this — While you might think you know a lot about your companies technology and the market that your company plays in, the only way you could possibly know about the problems that exist in your prospects environments is to get out into those accounts and talk with them.

Does your company have one person who “has all the knowledge”?  They know what direction the company or the product needs to go in.  They stand up in front of the group and tell your executive team what they should be doing and what direction the company should be taking.

Do you ever wonder why your company or product line continues to struggle and can never get off the ground and gain the proper traction in the market?

I often sit in meetings and listen to different companies talk about their next product release and how great a product it will be and how much the market is waiting for it, etc. etc.  Then I start asking questions like – How long has this product been under development?  What problems is the release solving in the market?  What prospects have you taken this product into and discussed the solution set to?

Most companies can answer pretty quickly how long the product has been under development and how much that development effort has cost them to date.  However, when I get to the questions about what problems the release is solving and what prospects they have talked to – I tend to get a look that quickly says “Solving problems?”…

Solving problems is why we develop products and bring them to the market.  Yet I am amazed at how often companies develop the next version of software because —  well, because they needed a new version.  Requirements are based on what the competitors are doing or worse, they are based on what the companies existing customer base says they want.

A little bit of thinking up front and spending some cycles talking with prospects will go a long way on the back-end of a requirements document that ensures the product you are bringing to the market actually solves problems that exist within your market.  After all, isn’t that why we develop products?

Tune in to your markets.

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