What’s the DNA of your company, and how do you pitch it to your customers? Are you product-driven, or business (customer)-driven? And why is that important?
Business Insider reports this week that Apple—the consummate product-driven company—is expected to announce a new iPhone with a smaller screen, running counter to its large-screen predecessors. Analytics have shown that while the larger iPhone models (4.7” and 5.5” screens) are still wildly popular, a full 33% of all iPhone owners are hanging on to their older phones with the smaller 4” screen. Apple didn’t miss this.
Recognizing that there is still a desire for smaller screen phones, the company is betting that the market is ready for a smaller iPhone but with all the features of the updated models such as a higher quality camera, Apple Pay, and Live Photos. So a powerful product-driven company is responding to the market analysis by bringing out a phone that will get their customers to ditch the old phones and replace them with the newer versions without sacrificing the screen size.
Is Apple making a hard turn to a business-driven pitch? We don’t think so. The revamped smaller-screen model still holds to the product-driven tilt of their business but recognizes the desire of the marketplace. The product itself, though, is still the focus.
When you make your pitch, consider the product first and focus on it. Apple, the innovator in design and function, isn’t used to following customer whims. In the new economy, product-driven pitches are king (or, not to be exclusive, queen). A great product, one that you believe is the highest quality and the most useful to your customers, stands strong on its own. Customers are looking for something that will make their lives easier, make their households better, or bring the greatest ease and pleasure to their lifestyle. In a product-driven business model, the business steps aside and puts its product in front of it.
While most of us associate Apple (the business) with quality and innovation, that is secondary to the strength of the product itself. So the product drives the market rather than vice-versa. Apple didn’t wait around to see what the public wanted; it created a unique, impressive, and singularly delightful product that attracted customers by the millions. That’s 21st Century thinking, and it used every tech-forward marketing tool to present those products to the market.
That runs counter to the 20th Century model of casting about for what the public wants. Ask yourself: what are the best features of your product that make it better than the competition? How can you market the product in front of your business? What are the benefits of your product over all similar ones? And how do you link your premier product with other quality products in your company’s line so that your customers are drawn to the innovation rather than the brand?