Last editedNov 20222 min read
You’ve worked hard to get your small business off the ground, but what comes next? It’s time to branch out. Product expansion can be a daunting prospect, but with some appropriate strategies in place you’ll be able to take your business growth to the next level. Here are six ways to improve your product expansion and grow your customer base accordingly.
1. Segment your customer base.
Any successful product expansion requires a sound understanding of your target market. Whether you’re interested in reaching out to your existing audience or expanding to a new demographic, it’s helpful to segment your customers into groups. How will the new features help each segment of customers? What are their needs and desired outcomes? What overlap exists between segments? This will help you engage your community more effectively with a targeted marketing message.
2. Expand your digital reach.
Once you’ve completed the research and development phase of your product expansion, it’s important to work on its digital presence. You can use your existing social media profiles to generate interest in the new product, or create a new, dedicated website for it to access a new market. With a digital storefront and profiles, you’ll be able to use tools like SEO and targeted online advertising for greater outreach. For small businesses, a unique digital profile also helps make your brand personality stand out from established competition.
3. Research a new market.
Market segmentation and a stronger digital presence can help expand your existing customer base at the local level. But what happens when you need to expand into a new market entirely? Whether branching out into a new region or targeting a completely new demographic, research is key. Look carefully at existing use cases in your target market, with early user testing to get the development right. It’s often a good idea to roll your new product out slowly to test the waters before going forward with a full launch. You want to get the product fit just right for the market.
4. Diversify your product.
If you already have a solid product offering, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, your product expansion strategy can focus on diversification. You have access to a ready-made market, so find out what features make your current products so successful and retain these. With a combination of market research and customer surveys, you can branch out with a new and improved product to satisfy your existing client base.
5. Stand out from the competition.
Part of market research is understanding what makes your competitors successful. Read online reviews, solicit views from customers, and speak directly to sales representatives of your top competitors before expanding into the market. Look for gaps that your business can fill to differentiate yourself. Define your new product’s unique selling point and highlight this in all marketing materials. Apart from USP, you can also stand out with aggressively low pricing.
6. Rebrand existing products.
One product expansion strategy is to create new products for existing customers. Another option is to roll out your existing product to new customers. Try rebranding to attract a different demographic. For example, Coca Cola expanded its diet cola into a new market by offering Coke Zero in addition to Diet Coke. Both offer the same no-calorie benefits but attract different customers due to the difference in branding. Try finding a new angle for your existing products that might appeal to a different target and create a strong advertising campaign to highlight these new benefits.
Finally, don’t forget to take your time and analyze the data as you roll out your new services. GoCardless integrates easily with over 300 software partners to give you full visibility over invoicing, payments, and accounting. By tracking transactions from a central dashboard, you’ll be able to make sounder financial decisions that impact product expansion and growth.
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