Changing a product or program can be a significant undertaking. Not only can it cost a lot of money, but it also creates a lot of risks. A company must carefully evaluate the potential risks, creating a solution for every potential problem. This will allow the company to assess problems before they happen, setting you up for success. If you are prepared for the worst, you will have a better outcome, especially if there’s a problem.
The market dictates whether a new product or program is viable. It might seem like a great idea to try something new, but there are steps that need to be taken before the company embarks on this kind of venture. Companies must have entire teams dedicated to vetting ideas and deciding which ones are worthy of potentially moving forward. Businesses can have many ideas swirling around at any given time. These ideas must be harnessed, discussed, and either tabled or reserved for consideration at a later time. Using product roadmap software assists companies in keeping everyone on the same page with ideas. This kind of proactivity helps condense the amount ideas to a reasonable rate and prioritize viable ideas.
Finding out if customers are open to changes is one of the biggest factors to take into consideration. This can be accomplished, in part, through consumer feedback. If you do a test market and find out that customers are not receptive to your new product or program, there must be a serious reconsideration of the venture. For instance, when Coke decided to release “New Coke,” they expected happy customers. Unfortunately, when they were doing their market research, they forgot to ask people how they would feel if New Coke replaced Coke. This was a devastating mistake. Customers looked at Coke as part of their identity and when it was taken away, they became angry and the company lost a tremendous amount of business. The outcome probably would have been different if they offered New Coke as another product, not an upgrade from the current product. While Coke earned back most of its customers, it lost millions of dollars in research and product. In fact, when a company fails with a huge loss, they are considered to be suffering a Coke failure.
Companies must also decide if they want to introduce a new product (which is what Coke should have done) or if they want to augment a current product (which is what Coke did). These decisions will have an impact on every department in the company, from marketing to production. Sometimes disasters hit and demand a change and other times, the changes come as a result of consumer desires.
To prevent a failure, companies must be able to adapt quickly. Sometimes changes are dictated by an emergency and result in an upgrade that is welcomed by the consumer. For instance, when Tylenol suffered a devastating blow because of the Tylenol cyanide scare, they ended up revamping the packaging and added tamper resistant measures to all its products. This resulted in product upgrades and gave the consumer a better sense of security.
Therefore, whether you want to upgrade, change, or add a product, it is important to do your research. Additionally, you must have a plan for every scenario the team can conjure up during the infancy of the idea. Identifying and addressing the issues will help a company avoid a disaster and potential bankruptcy because of errors that might have been avoided.