7 ways to tell your product’s ready to scale
Part 4 of The HurryCane Story; From Napkin to the No. 1 Selling Cane in America
You’ve created an amazing product and brand name, found powerful product messaging through creative testing and identified how to effectively connect with your target audiences via specific media channels. Okay, so you’ve got the direct-to-consumer sales down. Now what?
At this point, a lot of business owners decide that it’s time to take the next big step: scale. Before Marketing Architects made the leap with HurryCane (the No. 1 selling cane in America), we took into consideration seven very important questions:
1) Do you have a scalable message?
Do you have a scalable message that resonates to a large enough population? And if you do, does your message drive conversions? These are the types of questions you need to begin asking yourself (and finding the answers to) before you decide to put your time and money into scaling your product to a larger market.
Through several rounds of creative testing, we found that the “Cane That Stands Alone” messaging resonated best with our target audience, so much so that it outperformed the opposing concept 4 to 1!
2) Do you have a good enough offer?
An offer not only needs to be enticing enough to convert consumers into customers, it still needs to be profitable for your company.
In addition to creative testing the HurryCane product messaging, Marketing Architects did some price and offer testing to learn what customers would and would not respond to. Our goal was to preserve the integrity of the high-quality product through a profitable price-point while ensuring it was still attractive to target audiences.
In the general cane market, products go from as low as $5.95 to more than $99.95. With the HurryCane, we tested pricing as low as $19.95 all the way up to $59.95. We found that $39.95 with free shipping and handling seemed to be the magic price and offer combo.
3) Do you have a great product?
If you decide to scale without taking into account what your current customers are already saying about your product, you could be setting yourself up to fail. Social media platforms and other sites known for customer feedback are the places you need to be looking for input from the people who are actually using your product. As well as simply asking your customers for feedback, and understanding the reasons for any returns.
If you send a mass amount of product out into the market that your customers aren’t completely happy with, you WILL hear about it online, considering 92 percent of consumers now read online reviews, according to BrightLocal’s 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey.
When HurryCane initially went on the market, we found that the overall product returns were too high. After looking into customer feedback, improvements were made to the HurryCane (including adding extra height settings, as well as making the base more stable).
Now’s the time to make any additions, adjustments or improvements, before you go big and you can’t go back.
4) Do you have a hero intersection that proves you can scale?
Have you found a specific scenario (right media, right audience, right time of day to run an ad) that is ripe for consumer conversions? We found a couple of ideal intersections for HurryCane before the decision was made to scale. One included running our ad during a popular college football game that was nationally aired, while the other was a TV network that consistently provided engaged consumers ready to convert.
5) Are you operationally ready to scale?
Do you have enough horsepower to scale your product? You won’t know unless you’ve taken into consideration all the elements in place right now. Marketing Architects had already found out that a large portion of our customers were using the website to buy products during our testing phase. Because of this, we ensured that our site would be stable enough to take on additional online purchases. We also made sure there was extra support for cane production and shipping, as well as more robust customer service (increased from five to 50 agents).
Don’t underestimate an increase in sales growth or you won’t be able to keep up when you really need to. Once again, if you’re not ready, social media will kill any momentum your product gets because people will post bad experiences online. This will ultimately work against your brand message when you try to scale.
6) Will scaling to retail improve your bottom line?
Simply stated: when you add retail to your scaling strategy it needs to incrementally add more sales. Yes, you can expect your direct-to-consumer sales to dip, but retail sales need to be able to offset those sales and still improve your bottom line.
7) Do you have control of your product?
Once you scale into retail, it’s vital that you still remain in control of your brand. That means working with retail partners you can trust—partners who won’t compete with you online and who are committed to maintaining the value of your brand. You don’t want retailers you’re working with bidding against your own branded terms or selling your product at lower prices. You should be focusing on incremental sales, not competitive sales.
After taking these seven questions into consideration, HurryCane was able to scale appropriately and effectively. In fact, we acquired 1,000 independent retailers within 12 months, with a projected total of 2,000 retailers within 18 months!
HurryCane is now the No.1 selling cane on Amazon and the No. 1 cane brand in Google Shopping search.
We scaled HurryCane successfully; now it’s your turn. Marketing Architects invites you to call to discuss your scaling strategy today.
Read more in our series about how Marketing Architects created the No. 1 selling walking cane in America:
Part 1 – How to Name a No. 1 Brand
Part 2 – How to Test Your Way to the Top