Bringing a new product to market is hard work.  It’s a lot harder when you’re a small company.

Big companies, they have a lot of money on hand, and failing that, they have assets as well. They can afford to have a huge team of people working on designing something new and exciting that will sell like hotcakes.  However, that’s not the biggest advantage they have (although, let’s all be honest here, having a lot of money is a huge advantage in almost every facet of life, and that’s the truth); they also have a team of people who work for them, are likely all salaried, and have but one purpose.  Marketing.  Get the product out there and help it sell.  That’s all these people do, day in and out.  How is a smaller, more nimble, more innovative business with less staff and less money to compete with that?  Well, that’s where product development agencies come in.

You see, product development agencies are basically the same thing as their development team, except you don’t have to put them on your payroll or offer them benefits or anything, which allows you to hire the same kind of expertise at a fraction of the price.  This is what’s widely known as ‘a good deal’, and you shouldn’t pass it up, because they can assist you.  Here’s just three ways in which they’ll help develop your product while you’re busy designing it.

1.  Marketing strategy

So, let’s say you’ve brewed a beer.  It’s an amazing beer.  A beautiful beer.  We’re going to call it Hooligan Stout, because I can’t stop watching soccer (I have a problem, and I’m dealing with it my way).  This stout of yours, it’ll knock people’s socks off, if they put it in their mouths.

the process of product developmentBut not everyone is going to want to drink it.  For one thing, you sell it in 12 oz. bottles that cost about three dollars apiece to purchase direct from your brewery, meaning it’ll be something like 6 or 7 dollars at local bars.  For another thing, it’s a stout, and classically, people don’t like stouts. How do you find the right people, then, to market to?

Well, first, you need to find a product development agency, preferably one that’s done something like this before, so they know what they’re doing.  Then you work with them, and you look for the kind of person who’s willing to spend 7 dollars for a 12 oz beer (for the record, most beers you order in a glass at your local bar are 16 to 20 ounces, depending on what country you’re in and what you order, although some are served in smaller snifters of varying size).  Long story short, the kind of person you’re trying to sell this beer to is likely a hipster, people willing to spend a lot of money on a beer because it isn’t their money and because it’ll give them some sort of street cred.

2.  Advertising Campaign

So, you know who you’re targeting with your marketing, now you need to craft the ads that they’re going to see!  If you’re targeting hipsters who need to taste your hooligan stout, you’re going to want to  get your advertisements put places they’ll see; perhaps on websites that cater to people with ironic tastes, record store websites, and places that sell things that nobody needs, but that hipsters can’t live without.  Maybe sponsor a couple of podcasts that’ll talk your beer up for you.  Whatever you do, you also need to figure out how to present the beer.  You’re going to need to craft this, as well, toward the people who are your target market.  For hipsters, then, you’re going to want to make it sound like an experience, and maybe even go so far as suggesting that it’s a rare beer that is made in limited runs, so very few people will enjoy the beer in question.

3.  Website and Social Media Presence

Once you, and the professional product development company you’ve hired, have done all the marketing and advertising, now it’s time to give them somewhere to go to connect with the product on a ‘personal’ level, somewhere they can keep up to date with the newest happenings with your stout.  Maybe Hooligan Stout decided to get mixed in with some bacon grease, and it’s now Hooligan Stout (with BACON)?  Let them know over the various social media accounts, and tell them where it’ll be, and use that website to keep them updated on new happenings with your brew.

With the help of a product development company, your tiny brewery can compete with the giants who control a majority of beer sales.  The key is marketing, so if you need to rent someone else’s experience, do so!