The tech market is a crowded one these days. For an above-and-beyond product, however, there’s always a little extra room.
While it feels like there’s nothing new under the sun, there are always ways you can differentiate your product from the pack. Use these nine tips to claim your own little slice of the sector.
1. Zero-In on Your Target Audience
Different demographics have different needs and interests. Instead of marketing your tech product to the entire population, narrow your focus.
Which audience needs your product the most? Why don’t generalist solutions on the market make sense for them?
For example, there are dozens of everyone-and-anyone smartphones available. If you’re trying to break into that market, why not design a phone for kids? What about seniors or people with disabilities? With some marketing, your niche will appreciate that your solution is tailored to them.
2. Focus on Form
First impressions matter when it comes to attracting consumers’ attention. Does your product look like it’s worth the price? Appearance is one of the best tools you have for making it stand out.
Again, keep your audience in mind. If you’re catering to tech gurus, a next-generation look might be your best bet. But if you’re selling to an audience that doesn’t spend all day using tech, a simple, sleek design is probably a better choice. People who use your tech professionally are likely to prefer a look that says “sturdy and dependable.”
3. Highlight One-of-a-Kind features
Remember iTunes? The music software was incredibly popular — until Apple decided that it needed every feature under the sun.
Rather than trying to be everything to everyone, highlight what your product does better than any others on the market. Build out that one, de-prioritizing others that aren’t so special.
Beware, however, that one-of-a-kind features don’t stay that way for long. Copycats may flood the market, trying to push you aside with your own innovation.
While unique features are a great way to set your product apart, you can’t rest on your laurels. Make sure your product is solid in other ways as well, such as your user interface and warranty. Start working on a new standout feature as soon as possible.
4. Make Room for Integrations
Your tech product isn’t the only one your customers will use, and that’s OK. Use integrations to fit it squarely into their existing web of tech tools and services.
Integrations support not just the user experience but also your marketing efforts. For example, if you’re developing an app that specializes in creating and storing cooking recipes, you might hook it up to popular messaging apps. By helping users share their favorite recipes with their family and friends, you promote your app to new audiences.
5. Deliver a Stellar User Experience
Nothing matters more to your product’s success than its user experience. Who wants to buy something they’ll struggle to use?
With that said, ease of use is just one component of the user experience. How does your product make people feel when they use it? Make sure your users actually enjoy the experience.
To do that, think about how your product will be used. If it’s an e-bike, is the seat comfortable? Will people want to be seen cruising down the boardwalk on it? How’s the battery life?
6. Highlight Your Front-Runner Status
Are you the first member in a niche market? If not, is your product the first of its kind under $100? Does it have state-of-the-art security? Don’t be shy; share your front-runner status.
First-mover advantage isn’t everything, but it can lead to a real bump in market share. Just beware that the effect tends to be short-lived: Parlay the press you receive into other opportunities, such as trade shows and recruiting events. Just as people like to purchase pioneering products, top talent tends to gravitate to the companies that build them.
7. Patent Proprietary Elements
If your tech product contains proprietary technology, don’t take the risk of someone scooping it. Patent any feature, application, or process you developed yourself.
Patents protect your intellectual property. They also, however, serve a second purpose: They prove to your target audience that what you built really is distinct. Much like how publishing content on an external site says more than posting it to your blog, patenting provides better proof than you ever could of your product’s differentiator.
8. Think Through Your Sales Strategy
Where will your target audience find your product? Is it an app they can download on any device, or a piece of equipment sold exclusively by a single retailer?
With most tech products, more accessibility is better. With that said, selling exclusively on your site can boost your brand and reduce sales costs. For tech products like cameras, selling through specialty stores can reinforce a product’s “high end” vibe.
Another important part of your sales strategy is pricing. Balance is critical: Set your price too high, and you risk losing potential buyers; set it too low, and your product might come across as low-quality. Settle on a price that is affordable yet appealing to your specific audience.
9. Cultivate a Reputation for Customer Service
Especially when your product is the first of its kind, there will be hiccups. Customers don’t expect your tech product to be perfect, but they do expect you to make things right.A stunning 96% of customers say customer service is key to their brand loyalty. If you don’t support your tech product post-purchase, any market share you gain won’t be yours for long. Word gets around, especially when your product is the “next big thing” in its market. If you want that word to be positive, make sure you always err on the customer’s side.
Fix bugs customers report promptly. Provide refunds or credits to customers whose products malfunction. Encourage representatives to be empathetic, whatever the customer’s situation.
Developing a new tech product is a feat in and of itself. Differentiating it in a crowded market takes an even greater effort. Plan your approach carefully, set ample money aside, and watch your market share skyrocket.