Whether you like Apple’s product’s or not, you cannot deny the fact that they are one of the most successful company’s in the history of the world. It is quite remarkable how Apple has managed to create new product categories like the iPhone and the iPad that only a few years ago, did not even exist. Their success is certainly not due to luck or good fortune.
Apple has applied many brilliant marketing strategies over the years to create desire within its customers for their products. Here is one of Apple’s strategies I first learned from Brendon Burchard, author of The Millionaire Messenger. It is called create an Integrated Product Suite.
What is an Integrated Product Suite?
An integrated product suite is a series of products that increase in price and provide customers a greater experience, while being connected together by a central platform. Each product provides a different experience for customers but they still remain tied together by a central hub.
The best way to explain this is by explaining how Apple has used this strategy. No one product has made Apple the company it is today. It is their suite of products that have defined them as a company.
When Apple created iTunes, they created other products that would revolve around this central hub, iTunes. They now have the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iMac, MacBooks and so on. Each product give customers a different experience but they are still connected to a central platform, iTunes. That is the genius of this strategy. In order to get the best experience out of all the products, you still need to keep coming back to that central hub.
How can this strategy be applied in your business?
If you’re an author, if you just have your book, that’s really your whole business. What you could consider adding to your product suite include:
- Audio book.
- Audio program based on the book.
- DVD program.
- Seminar/workshop/training based on the book.
- Coaching program.
- Consulting services.
The concept here is from the one product, you create a series of follow-on products, that increase in price and provide more value to your customers. This one concept has totally shifted how I think through product creation.
Here is how I am applying this strategy.
From my experience working in and with businesses, one of the foundational things that need to be in place is a strong team culture. Therefore, I wrote a book called Building High-Performing Teams which when I launched it, reached #1 on Amazon’s best-seller list. I followed the product up with the audio version of the book, a two-day training program, a facilitator kit for businesses that want to train the people in-house, and a coaching program.
I then asked myself the question, “How can the concept of high-performing teams stick within businesses?” I realised that unless there is on-going coaching and mentoring for team members, the chances of the team concept sticking is slim. So I wrote a second book called Transition from Manager to Coach that is specifically aimed at providing managers the skills they need to bring the best out of their people. This was followed up with the same products I created for my Building High-Performing Teams book.
I continued to ask myself, “How can the coaching stick?” I concluded that unless a business has a leadership culture, the coaching skills may lapse. So I wrote a third book called Sustaining a Leadership Culture. Similarly, there will be more follow-on products from this book.
That is the concept of an integrated product suite. Whenever you are creating a new product, think through this strategy and plan out what follow-on products you can offer your customers. That becomes a win-win situation for both you and your customers. You will make more money and your customers will receive more value from you.
Question: What are some of your favourite strategies for creating more value for your customers?
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