Time To Market Matters…A Lot!

If you aren't focused on time to market, time may be running out for your product!

If you aren’t focused on time to market, time may be running out for your product!

In this crazy fast manufacturing age, time can be your best friend or biggest enemy. Innovation isn’t just about having the best idea; it’s about having the best idea AND getting it to the market before your competitor launches a similar product. Time to market matters, perhaps now more than ever. Here are the biggest reasons why:

The First Product To Market Defines The Market

When your product hits store shelves or starts generating industry buzz first, you get to tell the story and set the agenda. Customers think of your product first. In fact, your product might even become a household name. Does anyone ask celebrities or presidential candidates who’s on their MP3 player? No way, it’s always, “Who’s on your iPod?”

The First Product To Market Gets To Entrench

A new and open market is like an acre of lush farm land ready to be plowed. The seeds you plant will grow into an orchard that will continue bearing fruit for years to come. When you reach customers first, you can become the default option. You can also make it challenging or painful for them to switch. Let’s talk Facebook. Facebook wasn’t the first big social media site (sorry MySpace), but it is almost a perfect example of this point. When most people commit to Facebook, they go all in, posting updates, hosting photo albums, stalking old high school classmates, etc… For many, Facebook has become an inextricable part of their day.

Now, Google Plus comes along. When the site first launched, its circles concept and video chatting capabilities were considered by many to make it superior to Facebook…but people still didn’t switch over in droves. They were already too committed to Facebook, too entrenched. Plus has been struggling to pry people off of Facebook. Each customer gained is a hard fought battle, like digging up huge, overgrown trees in an orchard so you can plant a new crop.

The First Product To Market Builds Huge Brand Loyalty

When you hit the shelves first with a product that solves a problem no other product can, customers have two options. They can choose your product or nothing. If your product works well, you can instantly build brand loyalty with every purchase a customer makes. We all know that the best new customers are your current customers. Once a customer says yes to your product once (again, assuming that it works well) it is easier for a customer to say yes a second time and even easier to say yes a third time. When your competitors mosey around to the market, your most loyal customers might have purchased four generations of your product. They could even be on default purchase mode, the way many Mac users will only buy Mack computers. Your competitors will have to work really, really hard to break the strong bond you’ve already established with your clients

All of these points are not to say that it’s impossible to break through and even succeed in a crowded marketplace. The iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player and Facebook wasn’t the first social media site. But, first to market products do have an incredible advantage over latecomers.

Vendors play a huge role in helping you get your products to market in a timely manner, especially if you outsource a lot of parts manufacturing, assembly, and even product design. A vendor who comes in even just a month late on a shipment could give your competitors a full month to plant their seeds, tell their story, and start building customer loyalty. You may never be able to catch up.

When you choose vendors, make sure you find companies that can make the highest quality products AND deliver them on time. If you don’t have the time to spend months interviewing vendors, touring warehouses, and collecting bids, let me help. I can save you lots of effort, and, perhaps most importantly, time. I’ve already done all the work to find and test the best vendors all over the country. If you need to bring a product to market, don’t start a long search for a vendor. Just pick up the phone and give me a call. You can ramp up development or production right away, be first to market, and start impressing the world with your innovative product.

Contact me at (925) 516-2082 for a FREE consultation. But don’t wait too long, your competitors are already hard at work!

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