Sounds obvious right? But having great product really IS the key to a successful independent creative product business and I'm absolutely passionate about this aspect of building a creative product business.
I mean, why do it? Why bother starting in business unless you're going to create, or curate really amazing products that will wow your customers.
The first reason is encapsulated by one of my very favourite sayings, 'the best sales strategy is to have a great product strategy'.
In other words, a great product will sell itself. There are lots of stories of people whose friends have absolutely loved what they have created and encourage them to go into business or people who've been stopped in the street and asked where can they buy 'that' from.
When you create something that's exceptional, that creates a buzz - people just want to be part of it.
Exceptional doesn't have to mean that it's never been seen before - but it's just something that is perfect for your ideal customer.
Another reason product strategy is so important - is because of word of mouth marketing - your customers become your biggest advocates!
It's the most powerful marketing that there is out there. Customers trust other customers far more than they trust anything that you as a business say.
You'll get the people who will buy your products to give to others as gifts, or they'll tell their friends to go check out your website and all of those things happen not through clever marketing, but through amazing product.
The best way to create 'word-of-mouth recommendations? Have products that people absolutely love!
The best marketing in the world cannot make up for a mediocre product. That's not to say we ignore marketing - marketing is, of course, an absolutely vital activity small business owners need to be doing constantly and pushing ourselves all the time to improve our marketing.
However, if you focus on your marketing to the detriment of your products, then you can end up with this sort of upside down situation where you've got great marketing, but actually the product itself isn't as inspiring as it could be.
Spend time really digging into what your customer wants. If you know what they want then you'll create or find those products that lights your customer up, makes them excited, makes them feel amazing and excited to purchase it.
Once you know what your customer wants everything else becomes easier. The marketing's easier because you can share wonderful testimonies about how much people love your product.
The PR is easier because you can share how popular your product is.
So here's the challenge - you must ask yourself 'is my product good enough?' This is especially hard if it's something you've created yourself but an essential part of running a product business.
Is it good enough? because after all your product is only as good as its ability to persuade your customers to buy it. Good Luck!
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