I have an idea and also a MVP of the same. I am sure that the safety feature am building would add lot of value to customers but it is not a cool stuff and doesn't seem to be catchy (For example, it's like an airbag in a car). So what would be the right way of branding this product? Should I look to add features that looks cool or should I keep the product focused on safety feature? IN each case what business strategy would you recommend?
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Actually, studies show that people mostly don't make buying decisions based on features, they buy based on BENEFITS. There's a significant difference in your ability to persuade purchasers when you advertise a personal benefit instead of a feature. There are many example charts you can look up comparing what a benefit is versus a feature (both describing the same thing). Stop selling features, start selling benefits. That's a much more effective strategy!
What feed back have you gotten from potential users? What have they said about the value your product adds? From their comments can you in a few sentences get the message across the value you actually will add to other customers? Adding features increase the cost which decreases value if the amount of protection does not go up. Only features that you can prove add more value then cost should be considered.
Remember that the person that actually makes the purchase decision may not actually be the person that needs the protection. I designed equipment for aircraft. The operators and maintenance employees were the end customer, but the purchase decision was made by management not involved in the daily operations. You must add value these people see. This person are the gate keepers to the actual users.
Thanks a lot for all the answers. Some points I understood I have to mention.
1) B2B or B2C: Well I can play the card either way, as Pranesh mentioned, Insurance is something that I can channelize my product through, I can try selling it to OEM or I can try it as a retro-fitment. My confusion starts here!
2) I got lot of feedback saying if your product is just focused on safety aspect, people probably wont buy it. Infact am looking at a two-wheeler segment (Motor Bikes). As of now, I do not want to add or delete to it if I decide to stay focused to safety aspect. But since its an IOT product, I can add lot of stuffs to it but that would dilute the safety aspect of it.
3) The problem I have is that the idea has existed for sometime but as a product, at least in my area, I seem to be a first mover. I need to educate the importance of this to customers.
4) To answer Dan, I would not add anything as of now to my product if its not for glamour.
5) Rob, exactly similar is feedback I have been getting from quite a few guys.
Looking at all options I feel that I will converge on to insurance companies as my target customers. In the era where insurance premium would be driving behavior based, my product can give whole lot of real time data to insurance companies to work with. Meanwhile, it can be instrumental in saving lives to a good extent which would also reduce claims of insurance. So as of now, its an IOT based two wheeler safety alert system that has potential data for insurance companies.
Fear is a tremendously powerful emotion and you can build some absolutely great business models. Given that you're playing with people's emotions, it can be a risky (ethically, physically, financially, etc) business model, but if you manage it well it can work.. And beyond the miracle do-oers and the faith healers, there's also insurance and pharma..
when you write that the safety feature would add a lot of value I believe you made research with your potential customers and found out that it's really relevant / important to them.
if you build the first car with an airbag you have to explain the safety but you can use the airbag potentially even as your USP.
So you could potentially use that for your product if your are the first doing it. If it's something that needs to be there coz all competitors do it and customers know whether it's there or not and won't accept your product if not then you unfortunately will have to do it.
I don't know what product it is and how important the safety feature is but consider using it as a marketing feature if it makes sense
KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid. If you have a viable product that you think is useful for customers, sell it on it's merits. If your customer feedback is, "it's good but..." then listen to their opinions and take it from there. Let the market decide! My two cents worth.
If you were to look at your product from the perspective of utility not sexiness, coolness or fanciness what would you add to or subtract from it?
Shankar, can you tell us more about the product and target market? for example, is your ideal customer a consumer or a company? If b2b then small or large companies? If safety "adds a lot of value to customers" AND these safety features are a differentiator then you could certainly build a marketing plan/brand around safety. Volvo has built their car brand in the US around safety. At an early stage i would focus on differentiators - things that make your product different and preferably unique in your target market. You have to get your target customer's attention so if this safety feature is obvious just by looking at you product (for example) then great. If you have spend time to educate users about this feature then not so great. consumers tend to be influenced by design or 'cool' looking features more so than companies - Apple turned the personal computer into a fashion statement and turned their dismal fortunes around. give us some more background on the product and target market.