New Products as New Brands

"What a new product can do is often less important than what it represents."
Aug. 16, 2010 - PRLog -- "What a new product can do is often less important than what it represents."  That's the telegram from Steve Nubie, CEO of the brand consultancy The Steve Nubie Company.  
   "There are great ideas for products and services everywhere, but until they make a connection to a consumer's life and lifestyle they fall into the category of commodities."  Nubie said from his offices in the Chicago area.  "The biggest problem with a commodity is cost.  If you want to compete at the commodity level you have to invest heavily in marketing and cut the cost of the product.  That kills margins and leaves you open to imitators and rip-offs that can undercut you with cheaper labor or established distribution channels.  That's why you need to develop more than a product.  You need to develop a brand. "
   Nubie has been advising both established and new businesses on the subject of branding for more than 35 years.  His company's approach to brand development takes a classical approach with a new twist.  "Everything is happening faster and few companies can afford to be 'late to market.'  We turn on a dime and pull together brand platforms fast.  Not just because of the competitive landscape, but because of how rapidly data and insight becomes irrelevant in an age of new media and instant information."
   With more than 500 new product launches under his belt, Nubie is no stranger to the need for speed.  "It's not just about being first-to-market, it's about being first to brand."  Nubie said.  "Everyone has heard about the high failure rates of new business and new ventures.  What's unfortunate is success and failure don't happen overnight.  Both take time and too many people learn too late that some fundamental errors in the formative stages snowball over time."
   So what's the key?  "A business plan is the most fundamental and important step for any new venture.  That, and a brand plan and a marketing plan.  The obvious platform here is 'planning.'   The conundrum is finding the time to effectively plan while racing to get the product to a prototype and proof-of-concept.  Too often the product development stage overwhelms the planning stage and mistakes are made as a result of assumptions and wishful thinking."  
   So what's the solution?  "Develop your business plan before you develop your product.  Develop your brand plan while you are refining the prototype.  Develop your marketing plan prior to demonstrating proof of concept to investors and partners.  Develop your marketing communication before you go to market and then be prepared to practice patience and perseverance. Everyone wants the 'Cinderella story' where a new business or product explodes overnight.  Few have actually achieved that and quite often there have been many stops and starts before those Cinderellas have shown up for the Ball."
   Nubie's company at offers advice, tips, articles, books and consulting services to new business and venture startups to provide the fundamental platforms for new product success and effective brand development.  "If there's one piece of advice I would offer it's to think more about the people who need or want your product than the product itself.  That's the fundamental flaw that every entrepreneur has to be overcome.  It not only guides effective development of the final product, but sets the stage for a powerful and memorable brand."

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The Steve Nubie Company is expert at developing brand position for new start-ups and companies confronted by transition or growth. We use a proprietary 4-step process that is efficient and precise. We strive to make immediate progress efficiently.

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