It isn’t only new products and services that are needed to breathe life into your company and extend the upside of the business. Existing ones need to be enhanced. Let’s look at two real world examples:
Case One – Product – Online Storage
We’re not talking about online backup, where data folders are automatically backed up in case a server or workstation fails. We’re talking about the many online storage providers who want you to consider their cloud-based repositories to be active, external hard drives for your computer.
Originally, these vendors let individuals (often consumers who didn’t want to buy and learn to install new physical devices on their PCs) store and archive files for which there was inadequate space on the user’s device.
Then, there was the ability to share files with friends, relatives or co-workers. Access was assigned by the original file owner.
Suddenly, security became a major issue. There was intellectual property to protect, as well as industry secrets. HIPAA guidelines for medical records and others (like financial institutions) who had to ensure their customers could trust that personal information was safe.
Today, there are significant next enhancements that are “needed” by customers and will soon become “must offer” features from vendors. (We’ll see which vendors figure this out first.)
Case Two – Service – Streaming Music
Initially, the Internet began delivering streaming music by having radio stations post “Listen Now” links on their websites. Before long, non-traditional stations (with no ground antennas serving local markets) appeared.
The market place advanced (iHeart, Pandora, Groove Shark, etc.) to sites/services offering songs by genre (jazz, classic rock, gospel, etc.). Along the way, these streams were delivered not only by HTML browser, but also by smartphone/tablet apps.
Even these services are losing their appeal to repeat users. I personally like the tweet from one customer who asked “What do I do once I’ve listened 10 times to songs I remembered liking years ago?”
Current services have expanded their options for that type of listener, playing songs that are from artists whose music is similar to other performers whose recordings you previously preferred.
Now, we have companies, such as Spotify, who can help set moods for you with channels like “Summer Party”, “Workout” and “Your Favorite Coffee House” (my personal favorite).
Never assume your product or service is maxed out, or that current market niche leaders can’t be defeated with innovative thinking.