I’ve never been one to rush into new technology…probably my age or the fact that too much technology requires thinking logically. I’m an artist and by nature thinking analytically and logically isn’t my default. So I must report that I’m new to the iPod. What I have is the iPod Nano, a purple one, and I must admit I’m amazed at the sound that comes out this bitty thing. I bought one of those little amplifier things for the iPod Nano, a miniMove Boombox – and I got a pink one because you’re never too old for pink!
What’s taken me awhile to figure out, however, is how to use the iTunes store. I know that millions of people buy and download music, tv show, movies and more at iTunes, but for this old gal, it’s not intuitive. I got in the mood yesterday for the music of my younger years, Simon and Garfunkle and Heart. I made the purchase but then had a difficult time figuring out how to do the download and syncing…as I said, not intuitive. Probably logical.
So what does all this have to do with business and my title of “A Sweet Song of Success?” For any size business, from the tiny solo-preneur to the mega conglomerate, success is a matter of tonality. Of chords that make sense and lyrics that speak true.
The iPod is a successful product for the Apple company because it provides (1) exceptional sound, (2) multi-functionality – you can listen to music, you can listen to books and podcasts, and you can view tv shows and movies, (3) portablity, (4) variety of options – everything from color to features, (5) accessories to tailor its use for the consumer and (6) value for pricing. There are other provisions but these are good ones for any product. Measure your product:
- Is your product exceptional? Is it constructed well? Will it hold up under ordinary useage? Is it easy to use? Does the paint chip? Will it sun fade? What is the shelf life? If you have competitors who make something very similar, what is different about yours?
- Is your product a “do only one thing” product [nothing wrong with that] or does it have more than one function? Multi-functionality can offset a product that generally is a one-time purchase rather than a repeat purchase item.
- Can your product be used in more than one location? Is it easily transportable?
- Does your product have options? Does it come in various sizes, colors or flavors? Can you do more than one thing with it?
- Can the consumer purchase add-ons to extend the use and functionality of your product?
- Is your product priced competitively? Do you believe your customers receive equal or greater value for the price charged for your product? Do you offer any added value?
Interestingly, my iPod doesn’t replace anything – I have not gotten rid of our cd player…it has its place. But I am enjoying both the small size of the iPod and, because of its size, the many ways and places I can use it.
As for my mention of the musicians, Simon and Garfunkle and Heart, they are proof that some “products” retain their “flavor” long after they are first produced. How sweet is the success of having a product that retains a marketshare for decades.