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How to sell a product?

How and when should you decide if a product will sell in the market? business management marketing business-analysis

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Stephanie’s Answer

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2007-06-24/fail-fast-fail-cheap


The best way to know if it'll succeed is to do some small tests to see how it does in a pilot setting, before you scale up to full operations. You can ask users within your potential target market to try the product and gain feedback, do free or cheap online surveys (surveymonkey.com, aytm.com, etc) to poll consumers within your target marketing on features and benefits, product concepts, unmet needs, price points, etc to see if there's a real unmet need and demand your product can solve for as well (market research on the cheap).


If you do these steps and it does appear there could be a viable market, get a prototype or minimum viable product (MVP in startup terms) and put it on an existing platform like an etsy store, or ebay, or on a shelf in a local retailer or fair/trade show where you can purchase a booth. Facebook market place with simple, affordable facebook ads are another way to test. If you get a lot of interest and traction on the initial product, or positive feedback and suggestions on how to improve the product, you know you have a viable market. Doing this pilot test and learn stage early on and for minimal cost investment will help you to either "fail fast, fail cheap" or learn the best way to successfully launch a scalable product or service. good luck!

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Ben’s Answer

As some one who is currently studying economics and advertising, I can help you answer this to the best of my abilities. Ask yourself a few questions:


Is your product ready? Functional? Do you have the proper funds? Have you shown some focus groups your product? What is their feedback, is it good or bad? Do you know if there is a demand for your product? Are you able to to mass produce your item?


The questions above can help you determine whether or not your product is ready to hit the marketplace. Only you can answer them. Do the proper market research and you have the chance of being successful. It's not guaranteed that people will buy your product that's a risk all entrepreneurs face. However, you don't if your product is successful or not if you don't try.


As for your other question how to sell you product, I can't really give you too much help without knowing what the product is. Do you want to sell your product nation wide? In your state? City? I'd recommend you look into getting an online business. Its relatively easy and cheap to set up a website where you can sell your products. For example, one of my friends has his own clothing line he uses SquareSpace to help him set up his online shop. As for advertising his products, he showcases his clothes on instagram and facebook. Also, he runs Facebook ads to promote his clothes.


I hope this helps. Feel free to ask questions in the comments if you have any. Good luck selling your product!


Ben

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Eric’s Answer

In my opinion, you can assume that people will pay you for something that provides value to them. This means that what you should be figuring out is whether your product provides value to people. To do so, a popular approach is the Lean methodology, which you can read more about in The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

The basic point of this book is that you don't build the product straightaway, but instead you do a bunch of experiments to figure out if people have a problem that you're trying to solve. The reason you spend so much time here, rather than building, is that no matter how good your ultimate product is, people won't buy it if it doesn't solve a problem they have. You can get creative with your experiments (you can build paper prototypes, wireframes, slide decks, anything to get the point across), but the most important thing is you get it into people's hands. Especially people in your target market.

An ideal outcome from these experiments might be: "yes, if you built this thing that solves the problem that this prototype is solving in this experiment, I would buy it". If you get a couple of those, then you know there's at least a small market for your solution. If you get confused responses or less-enthusiastic ones, then your experiment may not be well desgined and you should try another approach. Or maybe you're not solving the right problem, in which case you wasted a bunch of time but not as much as you would have if you'd built a full-fledged product.

In terms of when a product is "ready". If you know it's solving a problem, then you want to produce something called an MVP—minimally viable product. This means it solves the problem you know that customers have, but in the simplest way possible. This chapter in Getting Real, a very good (free) primer on building products form the Basecamp team is a great read: https://basecamp.com/gettingreal/02.4-fix-time-and-budget-flex-scope. The basic point is that you should just pick a launch date and budget, then understand that the product has to be of high-quality, meaning it works for the "happy path (define here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_path)", has no major bugs as far as you can tell, and reduce the scope to meet the deadline. Reduce scope means remove optional features that you can do later, leaving only the most essential functionality.

Then launch it! And make sure you continue to "iterate" or improve it by releasing new versions that solve your customers' problems in even better ways or add more value. And treat your early customers like family—they're taking a risk by paying you (in money or feedback) for an unproven product, so make sure you're helping them be successful.

Eric recommends the following next steps:

Read Getting Real
Read Lean Startup
Find a way to get your product into customers hands as soon as possible, even if it isn't perfect, and see what they think of it
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Nurit’s Answer

The question to ask yourself is "Does this product add value?"
Many people sell products that do not add value but spend a lot of money to advertise. Hence, if you are undercaptilaized, you should reconsider. Also, these days, it's very easy, with social media, to post pics and get feedback early on.

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David’s Answer

When I think about selling a product I think about pizza in the United States. New pizza places open daily. The way pizza shop owners deal with market saturation is being creating a niche or differentiating their product. Dominos, Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, Marcos, Mellow Mushroom are all pizza places but differentiate their product in a number of ways. Dominos is consistent and caters to delivery, takeout, Mellow Mushroom has specialized dough recipe and craft beer on site and some cool ambience. The key is to recognize if there is a market for your product and can you differentiate your product enough to beat the competition.

David recommends the following next steps:

Conduct some market research and determine like competitors in your market, ask the questions can you deliver the product cheaper, with a different twist and think of what drives motivation to buy your product versus what is already out there.
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