Choose your own adventure:
- skip ahead to learn what an infoslogan is
- read on for an example of when to use one
Eventually, you may split your single product into a suite of multiple products – almost always 3, in my experience((If you don’t have a product yet, make one. Even if you think of yourself as a services provider. Make things.)).
I’ve been through this exercise multiple times in the past year with clients – each a B2B tech firm combining targeted positioning and emerging technology to solve a business problem in a new way for the same audience.
So this is the pattern: start with one, your flagship product, sell it for at least a year or two, then balkanize the one into three.
Some basic principles:
- This is the process of retiring one product and creating three new ones
- New products often begin as “features” of the flagship product
- When some customers are more interested in a feature of your product than its core functionality, that’s a good time to balkanize it((No one in the digital world says “balkanize”; I’m just a history geek who drank Bosnian Slivovitz (apricot brandy) with an Albanian warzone-journalist in late 1991; I got a graphic lesson on history repeating itself in the Balkans and so I look for opportunities to use the word 🙂 )).
- To be clear: 3-tiered pricing is not the same as a 3-tiered product line, each at a different price. Don’t confuse tiered product pricing with having multiple products.
- A second-order consequence of having multiple products is you have to do more branding and marketing homework((On the opposite end of the spectrum, 37Signals went from managing 5 brands to one. They started with a product called Basecamp and made new products that were separate, like Highrise, but later sold off the other products or merged them all into one – thereby merging their corporate branding and product branding into one entity: Basecamp. Definitely worth it if you have a bestseller on your hands; but, hey, they are at it again, creating a new product brand))
- Don’t stint on the homework – offer a little bit more information than your customers want, so they are reassured that there’s deep thinking behind the product.
- As you unveil your new products, also rewrite and redesign your website, creating a new company tagline that reflects your new status as a provider of multiple products
- Name your products and, sometimes, put a little trademark symbol after them™.
If you read this far, you deserve a free brand messaging hack: bolster the brand identity of each new product by making sure you give it what I call an “infoslogan”. An infoslogan is a concise, utilitarian description product description that feels and looks like a normal slogan.
Enjoy your weekend,