We’ve all heard it said: “I have a great new product idea and I know it will be successful if I can just get it to market! “ One entrepreneur who took all the necessary steps to bring more than one product to market is Peter Champe, creator of the highly successful Baby Comfy Nose nasal aspirator, www.babycomfycare.com now available at all Walgreens stores nationwide.
“What surprised me most,” said Champe “was not the challenge of creating the first product, but the pressure to quickly launch a second product!”
He explains that he encountered this expectation when he attended his first All Baby and Child (ABC) trade show in Las Vegas.
“I proudly presented my one-and-only product, Baby Comfy Nose nasal aspirator and a buyer from a large national baby store stopped by with only one question: When are you coming out with your next product?” explains Champe.
He says that seemed to diminish the value of the inaugural product. But he says it was one of the most valuable business lessons he has learned. Now with the launch of the revolutionary Baby Comfy Nail Clipper, the parent company Baby Comfy Care continues to expand its line with new, innovative baby products. Here are 5 helpful insights into 2nd product launches for entrepreneurs:
1) A Cleared Path. When launching a second product, the good news is that a lot of the work is already done. Graphic design and branding, sales representation, distribution and marketing relationships have already been established. So all you need to do is plug the new product into the existing framework and sit back. Of course it is never that easy, but the point is that if you are not bringing on new products, it is like hacking a path through a dense jungle forest and then never using that path again.
2) Branding. The launch of a second product is a great time to review and update your branding, packaging and website design. This is the point where a company evolves from being a single product to being a brand. The brand is what people recognize immediately and why it’s important to create a cohesive look and feel across media and products and packaging. By finding a cohesive branding design that works among all of the products, one product leverages brand recognition of all the products, therefore promoting sales.
3) MVP – Minimum Viable Product. The minimum viable product is about getting the product quickly into the hands of consumers rather than getting it “perfect”. Baby Comfy Nose nasal aspirator went through several rounds of improvements before it was ready for a nationwide retail chain such as Walgreens, and is now available in 7800 Walgreens retail locations. The source for many of these improvements was Amazon reviews from customers who do not hesitate to offer product feedback. Amazon is a great testing ground for new products to get them quickly into the hands of consumers to get exposure and feedback, says Champe.
4) Create a New Category. The goal is not to create a new product but to create a new category with your new product. Competing in a category with established brands, companies or products is like pushing a boulder uphill. Instead, create your own category. Champe says his company took this principle to heart with a unique new product Baby Comfy Nail clipper. Up to this point, baby nail clippers had just been smaller versions of adult nail clippers, which only made operating them more difficult and did not protect baby’s skin from getting cut. Baby Comfy Nail creates the new category of specialized baby nail clipper because of its unique design that uses only one blade. The bottom cutting surface is not a metal blade as it is on adult clippers, but is a plastic ledge that pushes the skin back and safely out of the way so that it will not get cut. New category: a true baby nail clipper.
5) Define the Category. Sometimes new product ideas come along that don’t fit neatly into the product line. For a large company this is not a problem as new marketing and distribution channels can be developed without too much trouble. But for a small business with between 1 and 10 physical products, it is more efficient to stay within the niche that you have already created. Champe of Baby Comfy Care says that he frequently considers new product ideas, but if they are not firmly in the baby care category, it is unlikely that he will pursue them.
“I have passed on a few otherwise great product ideas because I simply did not have the resources to create new marketing, sales and distribution channels for a different product category” says Champe. “That is one of the downsides of being a small company. On the other hand, we are highly focused on the baby care sector and we take a lot of pride in innovation.”
In addition to the Baby Comfy Nose aspirator, the company has also created a sun poncho for children (Baby Comfy Sun), and a new revolutionary safety nail clipper launching end of August (Baby Comfy Nail) as well as a teething product coming out in September (Baby Comfy Gummi.) The Baby Comfy Care Products are sold online at the company site, while the aspirator is also sold at all Walgreens retail locations. For more information on the product or to purchase it, visit the site at: www.babycomfycare.com.