I have several prosperous clients who can trace their success to when they took a few steps back and asked themselves, “How can I penetrate specific markets whilst maintaining a cost-effective investment in production moulds?”
Instead of buying moulds for “flavour of the month” or fad products (e.g., 3-D paving with a limited appeal), they focus on serving and expanding specific markets and specific customers. Your mould procurement process grows hazy if you don’t have a well-defined strategy that supports your choice of moulds.
Things to consider
Below I list some things to consider when you are looking for moulds.
Am I likely to gain new customers?
For example, are the cost-saving installation benefits of my new copings sufficiently persuasive for the pool guys to give this product a try?
Is the new product a fad or could it become a real trend?
Does the product stand a chance to establish a new niche or standard? For example, what are the risks when introducing huge landscaping paving elements which are not common in the landscaping industry? How will I convey the features and benefits of these products to landscape architects and installers?
Does my new product make my installer’s life easier?
What are the barriers to market acceptance? Who are my likely “early adopters”, and how will I maintain the adoption momentum to establish industry-standard products?
What are the friction points in my customer’s buying experience?
Wet-cast producers sometimes overlook the peripheral things that bond installers to their suppliers, like personal relationships, prompt deliveries and ease when self-collecting.
In many cases, the overall buying experience overrides the attributes of the product offered.
What will differentiate my product?
Can I expand my new product’s fit-for-purpose applications so that it becomes the de facto standard product in its class?
The litmus test for a successful mould strategy
It is only human to hope that new customers will line up at your front gate to buy your latest product. However, breaking new ground takes solving real problems (including those that your customers do not even think they have) and a host of other initiatives that involve much more than just the product itself.
Here is the litmus test for a new product strategy:
Do the new product’s market penetration and sales graphs fully reflect the business vision that originally initiated the acquisition of moulds to make these products?
A “yes” indicates that your strategy and operations are working towards your long-term goals.