10 new product questions to ask yourselves

Do you have new products or services planned or ready to go? If not, you may be able to hear a warning klaxon going off in the background.

Products and services go through a natural life cycle. They are thought of, created and launched. Some of them succeed and go onto maturity, before eventually declining and being removed from the marketplace.

If you have a number of successful products / services on your hands, it is all too easy to forget about the future. After all, the cash is rolling in, customers are happy and you have a successful business, don’t you?

The challenge is that technology keeps changing, new competitors are eyeing your success with great interest and new threats are materialising, either around the corner or around the globe.

At least once a quarter, take some time out to think about new product ideas. Incidentally, I believe that services should be ‘productised’, so we will use the term products to include services.

10 new product questions

1.  Current products: could they be made smaller or larger?
2.  Could you combine two of your products together?
3.  Could you adapt one of your products in a new way?
4.  Could you substitute a component or service element?
5.  Could the product be put to another use?
6.  Could you rearrange the product in a different way?
7.  How would the product be used in a different country?
8.  What if we doubled the price?
9.  How could we add value this product?
10.  What could be removed from it?

When I run a new product workshop or a product marketing in-house training session, I ask the delegates these questions. We use Post It notes and Mind Maps to create a flurry of ideas. Typically, 1 in 10 of the ideas are interesting enough to be taken forward. Some famous name products have been created as a result of these workshops.

Creative thinking for marketers

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