The 3 "R's" That Reveal the Quality of Your Product
If you’re in the diamond business, or if you’ve purchased a diamond in the past, you’re probably familiar with the four "C's" that determine a diamond’s value: cut and clarity, color and carat.
As a consumer, business writer and entrepreneur, I am in the habit of assessing the value of products that I buy, writing reviews about them, or critically observing them in my spare time.
Over the years, I’ve developed my own system of three "R's" that helps me effectively evaluate the quality of a product -- whether the product a physical or digital. I look for: recognition, repeat sales and referrals.
The beauty is, you can also use the three "R's" to decide whether or not your product is appealing to your targeted market. Let’s break down how to capitalize each of these factors when building your product.
Sometimes I buy a product from a new company, and I get disappointed. The value that I thought I’d enjoy is missing. The satisfaction that I should feel is not there. The product’s flavor is nowhere to be found. If a product is not satisfying, the entrepreneur hasn’t spent enough time researching and refining the idea at the initial stages of the development process.
Similarly, a founder may have a brilliant idea for a product. However, because he wants to maximize profit, he dilutes his original idea with low-quality products that aggravate rather than satisfy. Or, he follows his whims to remove a part that the consumer needed or to include a feature that the consumer didn’t want.
We’ve all done it -- even me. For instance, I failed fast at my earlier startup. My coaching program taught new writers the practical art of writing and then bought the articles they had written after a back and forth coaching session that included editing and a series of comments.
When I had spent close to a thousand dollars on the product, I shut down the business altogether. I no longer had the money to buy the articles. Then people stopped writing when they realized that I was not keeping my promise.
After you’ve come up with an idea for your new product, answer the following questions:
- Does my product deliver on its promises? Make sure your product fulfills your value proposition.
- Does my product truly solve my customers’ pain points? Your product has to solve your customers’ problems. They have to need it. Only then will they buy it.
- How much are my target customers willing to pay for this? Eliminate the guesswork. Go deep into your customer development research to find out whether your buyers will pay your proposed price for it.
Once you’ve designed your product in a way that will draw more recognition to your brand, you can move on to the next "R."
2. Repeat Sales
This "R" validates your first proposition -- whether your customers recognize your product. It answers the question: How do I know that my customers truly appreciate my product?
Here are three ways to answer that question:
- Sell 10 times the value of your product. If you’re selling an online course, for example, ensure that the value is more than the price tag.
- Exceed your customers’ expectations. If you want to wow your customers and make them repeat buyers, you’ve got to exceed their expectations -- give them something they’d never expect. A gift, a bonus, a speedy delivery -- some positive experience they will remember.
- Customer experience is key. Make the whole relationship with your customers a memorable one. Always keep your customers delighted.
In short, your product needs to connect and engage with your customers on a personal level, so they can fall in love with your brand and not only buy from you again, but also refer others.
This final "R" is the key to launching a product that your potential customers will buy and recommend.
It doesn’t matter how alluring your product looks, how charming and colorful it is, or how many features and benefits it has, if your customers don’t enjoy it, they won’t feel compelled to share their experience with their friends.
The fastest path to word of mouth advertisement for your product is focusing on value. What’s the easiest way to deliver value? Be customer obsessed. Put all your assumptions on hold and build for your customers.
Before building a product, start by researching whether it will appeal to your customers, and then build it for them. As Jeff Bezos said, “Start with the customer and work backward.”
The three "R's" remind you to remain focused on your prospects when building a business idea and to become customer-obsessed when inventing new products. You can use them when you’re testing your new products and when you’re analyzing your existing ones. They’ll help you sell more and expand your customer base.
You have got your tips. Now all you need is to put them into practice.