Even if you’ve got the best go-to-market strategy, product optimisation should be a constant process. The market changes, competitors fall and rise, and consumer opinion shifts. In itself, the process is about refining and improving your product to maintain the value you originally had in mind. It’s also about making it more attractive to new consumers. The process should be embedded in the foundations of your product lifecycle to extend said lifecycle.
Although product optimisation can vary from company to company, there are pillars to consider: the purpose of your product, the value of your product, the price of your product, and what your competitors are doing.
What Do You Want to Do with Your Product?
How far are you willing to go with your product? Again, this is all about the goals you have for your product or service – do you want it to be the go-to budget item, premium offering, or a commodity?
These are questions you must answer to understand the broader goals of your item or service – which we’ll come on to later.
You may want your product to become a pillar item for your business that you build upon. For example, it could be a foundation for growth if you sell enough units of it or an additional item that supplements a larger strategy.
What Value Are You Adding?
Every consumer wants to know that they’re getting value out of a product or service, and giving value is one of the keys to unlocking loyalty and, subsequently, growth. So you have to be sure that your product is offering enough value to the customer before you launch the product and check back in on your product throughout its lifecycle.
Without value, your product could be in danger of becoming a fad or passing trend. A trend is fine to ride the wave of, but it’s short term and won’t supplement growth in the long term.
What value are you willing to offer?
Throughout your product’s lifecycle, you’ll need to constantly evaluate your price point. As the market changes, the economy shifts, and consumer desires alter, the price of your product could increasingly become the key to further sales.
What might have been a great price point at launch time might not be ideal later down the line. Deciding how much you’re willing to charge can be tricky, but if it’s based on data and customer research, you should at the very least be in the right ballpark every time.
What are Your Competitors Doing?
The final pillar of product optimisation is, to be honest, pretty crucial but also rudimentary. Of course, you should always have an eye on your competitors anyway, but competitor research is fundamental when optimising your product. You have to understand similar products in the market, price points, marketing campaigns, and trends.
If you understand your competitors, you can remain agile and react to events as and when they happen – and they will inevitably occur. It’s particularly critical for your marketing teams to have an eye on your competitors so they can react with speed and maintain the upper hand.
With these four pillars of your product optimisation in mind, it’s worth considering three fundamentals that should inform your strategy. We need to look at business outcomes, data and measuring success – or failure.
Where Do You Want Go?
A key component of determining your product optimisation strategy is deciding what you want to achieve overall, whether that’s increasing overall revenue, average customer spend, market share, or whether your item is a pillar product or not. You’ll need to decide on what good looks like and how you’ll measure success, as it’s critical that you’re driven by the data.
Driven by Data
Data should fundamentally drive your optimisation strategy. This includes customer research, competitor research, marketing research, and even internal research. It may be tempting to make decisions based on gut feeling or think that you already know the market, but being driven by data allows you to remove the guesswork and minimise risk.
Measure, Optimise, Then Measure Again
What’s really key about your product optimisation strategy is that you constantly measure, iterate, and then measure again. You have to have constant visuals of where your business and product are headed, and this ties in with being driven by data.
Ultimately, you should build your product optimisation strategy into your product’s lifecycle. The work is never finished with any product, and the goal with every product should be to extend the lifecycle for as long as possible. If you know your product inside out, have done your competitor research, and know your customers, then you’ll be well on the way to optimising effectively.
A good sign of a solid product optimisation strategy is if the value of the product is maintained or even increased over time. By achieving that, you can ensure that your customers will stay in tune with your business – and remain loyal.