Great Business Ideas: Keeping your product offering current

Great Small Business Ideas to Start: Keeping your product offering current

Maintaining awareness of the latest market news, consumer concerns, and cutting-edge technologies will stimulate sales and build a loyal client base.

The idea

One of the most effective ways to keep your company current and cutting-edge is to cultivate an awareness of changing consumer concerns. Understanding your customer is vital to good business, but clients are not fixed in their desires. Their needs and wants change regularly, and for a variety of reasons—to claim you are truly at the forefront of your industry you must maintain knowledge of, and cater to, these changing demands.

Subaru’s 2006 marketing strategy is an impressive example of this—every buyer of selected new Impreza, Forester, and Legacy models received £3,000 worth of free fuel vouchers. Customers who purchased any other model in the Subaru range received £1,000 worth of vouchers. This deal, not offered by any of its competitors, connects with the widespread global concern of rising fuel prices.

Instead of offering a traditional reduction in price to stimulate sales, Subaru understood the changing needs and concerns of its clients, and used this to create a truly enticing price incentive. By blending innovation with a willingness to react to the latest market developments, it is possible for businesses to prosper in volatile environments.

In practice

  • Talk to your current and potential customers. What do they value? What are their concerns? What do they want?
  • Find out what businesses in other industries are doing to attract customers.
  • Ask people at all levels of your business, including the “extended family” such as retailers or distributors, how they would keep the product appealing.
  • Plan a series of product enhancements and sales initiatives. A constant series of incentives to buy is better than a desperate splurge (or a complacent lack of activity).
  • Be prepared to test a range of ideas and initiatives. Find out what works best, where and why, and see whether it can be replicated elsewhere.