Are Your Product Introductions Based on a Shaggy Strategy?

By David M. Schneer, Ph.D./CEO

4-Minute Read

What’s a Shaggy Strategy You Ask? Well, just ask Shaggy’s best friend, Scooby Doo, a massive Great Dane.

His buddy is Shaggy Rogers, and he’s a bit of a fraidy cat. He eats constantly—especially biscuits known as “Scooby Snacks” and gets himself in all sorts of scary trouble. While he’s quite the loafer and does nothing for his food, occasionally, despite his trepidation, he prevails.”Zoinks!” Mostly, however, he is unreliable.

Let’s put it this way: Shaggy would not make a good CMO.

And as the age-old adage goes, you can pay now or pay later (Shaggy).

Pay Now (Proactive—Not Shaggy)

Some of our clients have R&D pipelines with projects to fund. They can’t fund them all, so they turn to companies like ours to help them determine feasibility. That is, will this dog hunt?

Let’s put this into perspective. If your total product introduction cost is less than a hundred thousand dollars, it makes no sense to earmark one to five percent of your overall product budget for research.

But suppose your new product introduction is going to cost you millions of dollars to design, tool, manufacture, market, and sell. The cost of a wrong decision increases without data. Perhaps earmarking between one and five percent helps to ensure a smooth debut. Think of it as insurance for a decision with high-risk exposure.

The benefits of paying now for research include, but are not limited to:

  1. Identify, analyze, and understand your customers, prospects, and stakeholders.
  2. Identify naturally occurring segments in your customer base.
  3. Determine Pricing Strategies.
  4. Differentiate your company from the competition. This helps you craft positioning strategies and the channels best suited for your messages.
  5. Prevents the launch of a product that is searching for a problem to solve.
  6. Solicit product improvement advice directly from customers.
  7. Help with forecasting.
  8. Identify effective distribution channel strategies.
  9. Identify unseen pitfalls such as regulatory or compliance obligations.
  10. Help determine where to invest in improving product performance, communications, and adoption resulting in better ROI.

Pay Later! (Reactive—Shaggy)

But if you don’t do anything, you’ve just magnified your risk. Here’s how.

  1. You develop a product that does not solve any market needs.
  2. You squander valuable time, capital, and employee resources making decisions in the dark.
  3. You leave yourself vulnerable to competitive activities without market feedback.
  4. You create strategic communications (advertising, positioning, branding, logs, etc.) that do not resonate with a target audience that you don’t understand.
  5. You miss market signals that make it difficult to steer through risk.
  6. You lose potential concepts for innovation, thereby stifling your R&D.
  7. You shorten your product’s life cycle without adequate market feedback.
  8. You risk alienating your customers and stoking dissatisfaction, leading to decreased demand.

While Shaggy is eating, lying around and generally being useless, your new product development effort just got a whole lot more expensive with a reactive Shaggy intro.

Let us help you with your next product introduction.