Should you build a product without a channel? If you build it, will they come?

It’s a rare few these days who would take the risk based on the Field of Dreams riff “if you build it, they will come”. Most of us spend at least some time looking at market opportunities, niches or areas where products/services could be made better/faster/cheaper. 

What would incite you to take the risk? I asked this around my network and received a few ideas back:

  • Belief that the market or technology would evolve
  • Large marketing budget  
  • A strategy for intersecting of two industries creating a new customer pool

Certainly all worthy considerations. I also think it depends on how much risk vs overhead is involved in producing the idea to get out the door. 

However, as Allison Bradley notes, you could also run the risk of devaluing your current brand in the process.

Since I don’t assume to have all the answers, I’ll leave you with a recent real world tale:

A friend of mine works for a company manufacturing high end consumer home products. Hard goods. You would spend close to 5 figures on one of their products. They’re a small company, and they’ve been spending resources to understand where their market opportunities lie at that price point, creating relationships with resellers and retailers, all things to ready for a larger distribution jump.

A few months ago the CEO walks into my friend’s office and says “I’ve commissioned 5,000 lower cost units to begin assembly next week for to sell at 1/4 of what we’d retail our main product line. We (you) need to figure out how to get them into the marketplace and sold”. 

Whoa, right? The effort and market positioning to date has been focused on a much higher end.Cross selling can be tough, Ian Smith offers some practical actions. 

I’ll post updates as events transpire.

What steps would you take to get this product out of the warehouse? 

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