Every now and then you have to ask yourself if your products still have their window of opportunity for the company you are working in.
The window of opportunity relates to your company size, image, market share and maturity of the market.
The question you should answer:
As the market evolves, is your company still capable of keeping up with the changes ?
Not all companies are fitted or suited for all stages or generations of a product or solution.
Young small companies or start-ups need to come up with innovative products or solutions in an emerging market or emerging industry.
- New emerging market
- Selling the uniqueness of the products
- Buyers are the early adopters
- People care about the manufacturer and can feel involved
- High production costs
- High sales price
- Small quantities for specialized or advanced technology.
- High margins on relatively small revenue.
The market expansionists
Once the market grows the technology is more widely available which leads to a decrease of price decreases whereas the quantities increase.
The smaller companies or start-ups need to be able to handle the increase in production quantities and be able to lower the production costs. This requires growth of the organization and management, but will also require additional funding.
In any case other larger companies will become competitors and will take market share.
If the organization isn’t capable of handling this change it has to move on to other innovative products.
- A real market
- Selling on function and features
- Buyers still consider themselves taking some risks with these new solution products
- People chose a manufacturer driven by their passion for the products or manufacturer.
- Lower production costs
- More affordable sales price
- Larger quantities
- Good margins
The marketing companies
As the products become widely spread and more commonly accepted, the larger manufacturers will step in having redesigned or simplified the products capable of being produced in very large quantities at a low cost.
Again the vendors of the previous generation will have to grow or get out of this market.
- Established market
- Marketing makes the difference – including branding
- Selling on small differentiators supported by marketing
- Buyers are followers – the innovators have already found other solutions
- People can be influenced by the brand name for its’ quality (risk avoidance)
- Low production costs
- Fair price
- Large quantities
- Minimal margins
The common good manufacturers
The last step is when a standard is being defined for a solution or a type of product. An international commission or specialists or an important country (US, Germany) define and impose their standard to the market.
From this moment on almost any manufacturer in the world is capable to produce this type of products in line with the standard.
Typically the manufacturers of emerging countries including the BRIC countries: Brazil Russia China India.
- Marketing becomes less important
- Selling on price as there are hardly any differences between the products
- Buyers just follow the specifications required to buy
- People aren’t interested in the manufacturer: they don’t care at all
- Ultra low production costs
- Mass quantities
- Minimal margins
Change or get out
Most products go through these different stages. Some companies can grow with the product from innovator to mass manufacturer.
However in most cases companies stay within their normal battlefield as each stage requires different organization, production capacities, marketing, sales and after sales. These changes impose big financial investments and risks.
This is why in management or in sales you have to ask yourself if the window of opportunity for the products and the company is still present.
Is the company capable of growing to the next level or should it leave the market and seek other solutions?
Change is the only constant in live and in business. This means also the company should be able to change with the market adoption and market penetration of the products. This has implications on every part of the company – every function and job in the company.
If not then start looking or start cooking a new solution as larger manufacturers will take over the market.
If management of your company is too blind to see due to their current or previous success, then you need to take action yourself and start looking for another opportunity in a different company.
What type of company do you work for ?