. . .the hard part is selecting the ones to develop.
Identifying new opportunities has always been an easy task. The difficulty is selecting the ideas you are going to
move forward before committing major capital investments.
One of the first questions I ask is, "What right do we have to be in the business? What is it about our company
that says we are the ones that should own this market?" To answer the question, I look at eight categories,
company heritage, market, consumer, technology, resources, competition, product and pricing. It is not easy; it is
time consuming and necessary. Following are just some of the questions that need to be addressed.
- Company Heritage - Lets face it, there are businesses that the corporate powers to be will not get involved in,
regardless of the opportunity.
- Market - Define the unmet consumer need. What is the size of the market, currently? How is it segmented?
- Consumer - Who buys the products? Why? Why not? How do they use the products (habits and practices)? What are the results? Why do they use what they use? How much brand switching exists among the
brands? What motivates the purchase of these brands?
- Technology - What technology exists? What is being developed? How does it match our expertise? Who are the
experts in the area? What is our patent strategy? Can we create a proprietary position in this market?
- Resources - Do we have in-house the required technology? Does the idea require special handling, such as
transportation, storage, safety laws, distribution, etc.? Dowe have the production resources or the resources to acquire them?
- Competition - Who are our competitors? What is their financial status, patent technologies and apparent
strategies? How will they react to us entering the category? What are the brands in the category? What
are the brand's positioning, image, and strengths/weaknesses?
- Product - Do we have a product that solves the consumer need? Does the consumer see and appreciate the
- Pricing - What are the pricing boundaries? Will our product fit within these boundaries and still yield the expected return?
The above are just a few of the questions that need to be addressed as we move from product to brand.