Following the market research you conducted, you probably reviewed your business model and therefore, perhaps your offer. In any case, you have made progress in defining your marketing and operational Product Strategy by brand strategist: you now have all the information necessary to define your offer precisely and to define your sales objectives.
Product policy: the elements to be defined
The product policy is an element of the marketing mix. It involves making choices about several aspects and characteristics of your product or service:
- the brand.
- standards or label(s).
- any associated services.
- the range policy (*).
(*) A range is made up of a greater or lesser number of products (or services) that can be grouped as follows:
- The width of a range refers to the number of product lines.
- The depth of an assortment refers to the number of products you can find in a line.
- The length of a range refers to the total number of products present within all the product lines.
The decisions you make at this stage must be based on you analyzes following your market research.
Identify the product life cycle
It is also about being realistic and thinking about the life cycle of your product to anticipate the end of the cycle. Indeed, there are always four phases:
- The launch phase during which sales do not cover your expenses.
- The development phase during which your sales will progress and will allow you to reach your breakeven point and start earning money.
- The maturity phase during which sales will stagnate or even begin to decline.
- The decline phase during which sales will decline.
These four phases take place over a more or less long period of time and depend on the innovations you will create over time. On the other hand, if you sell gadgets, the cycle goes very quickly from launch to decline. This is the case for all “fashionable products”.
If you launch an innovative product, this cycle also exists but it is influenced by the innovation diffusion curve which considers:
- Innovative consumers (about 2.5% of consumers) who will immediately buy your solution.
- Early adopters (13.5%).
- Majority consumers (early or advanced).
To anticipate this cycle, the best solution is to monitor trends and listen to customers.
Innovation and sustainable development: new models to use
You have already worked on innovations when designing your business model and when analyzing your positioning in relation to competitors… but have you ever thought of innovations around ecology, sustainable development more generally?
The circular economy
As its name suggests, it is an economy that operates in a loop: it involves producing goods and services while limiting waste and reusing the waste created as much as possible.
You can also, in the same spirit as the circular economy, eco-produce. Beyond the ecological aspect, it is possible to make substantial savings!
Create a brand
Define your brand
Whatever your offer, to communicate, you need a name, a brand on which to communicate. In addition to the name of your company (called name or company name), you can have:
- a “commercial sign” if you have a shop.
- one brand per product or service.
You can communicate only on the brand of your products or on your commercial sign. The name of the company will then appear only on the official documents of the company (quotes, invoices, legal notices of the website, etc.). The name of the company, its denomination or corporate name only exists for companies: it identifies the company as a legal person and is freely chosen.
It’s up to you to decide if you want to communicate on it or not. If this is the case Product Strategy, follow the indications given for “the commercial sign”.
- A brand can be:
- a geographical name (example: Evian).
- a family name (example: Bonduel).
- a fancy name.
- a set of words.
Principles for choosing a brand or trade name
To be easy to remember, it is best to choose a brand:
- pronounceable (if you plan to sell for export, beware of words that can sound “strange” in English, for example).
- easy to understand. Example: Velib’ is a component of “cycling” and “freedom”.
- without misunderstanding. For example, “Boldness” for a magazine might suggest a boutique magazine or a magazine that deals with a particular topic with boldness.
- which eventually includes the benefit provided. Ex: a pizza quickly.
- short and dynamic. Example: Nike
Now that you have a brand name, consider
If your brand is an essential part of your industrial and commercial strategy through trade advertising, then you must protect it. This avoids giving your competitors the opportunity to seize it and benefit from your efforts to make it known.
To file a trademark, complete the INPI form online or by going to the headquarters or by mail and pay the fees Product Strategy. The INPI examines your request. There may be objections from third parties. If everything is in order, the INPI registers your trademark which is then protected for 10 years. Then follow all the explanations of the INPI.
Several possibilities exist to protect your innovations:
- The patent protects a technical innovation Product Strategy, a product or a process which brings a new technical solution to a given technical problem.
- Designs protect your aesthetic innovations
- The Soileau envelope makes it possible to date with certainty the creation of your work and to identify you as the author.
To find out how to protect what, read the advice of the INPI.
The INPI also puts a list of advice online in each region.
Note also that your product may have certain constraints Product Strategy, so you will need to explain them and indicate how you will overcome these constraints. For example, your product/service/offer could be:
- perishable: this leads to frequent renewals and, possibly, losses in the event of insufficient sales.
- fragile: this will have an impact on the distribution.
- dangerous / polluting: this will have an impact on standards, guarantees, possibly on insurance.
- easily copied: this will have an impact on the competition
- seasonal: what to do during the off season
- very “fashionable”: what to do when the fashion has passed?
- … and other constraints that you must identify before sales to better overcome them.