Wouldn’t you agree that something that lasts for 65 years could be called reliable? Then it’s very fitting that our client is called Reliable Corporation – because, you know, they’ve been around for 65 years. Their Director of Product Marketing, Jamie Libregts, joined us on our product development podcast, the Product Startup. Kevin Mako, President and Founder of MAKO Design + Invent hosts this podcast. In this episode, Jamie shared his thoughts on how small manufactures compete in an open market. This is especially for inventors who want to introduce a new product or upgrading an existing one.
Owning a Niche
You’ve ever heard Kevin talk about successful product businesses, one of the things he loves to tell our clients is to focus on a niche. Yet, it’s still worth repeating. We’ve said this plenty of times on our product development podcast: don’t give in to the fear of missing out on potential customers. Focus on ensuring your product functions really, really well. A well-functioning product with fewer features will almost always be more successful than a product that seemingly does a lot of functions, but none of them very well. But don’t think of it as a direct trade-off either. “Never lose sight of the additional features you want to have, the second version of the product,” Kevin explains early in the episode.
As Jamie explains on our product development podcast, our client wanted to target a very specific niche for their product, the UberLight. They wanted to capture customers in the sewing market. What was the problem worth solving? Everyone was using old bulb lights that were damaged easily because they weren’t very strong. With the UberLight, they were able to introduce (no pun intended here… seriously) a reliable sewing light. And to put it simply, the UberLight was the best lighting option for sewing at the time.
Scaling Your Product
Building on their success with UberLight, their next objective was to release an upgraded product. That way, they could retain and grow their existing market share. However, they already solved a problem, right? So what else can they do to meet consumer demands? As you’ll hear on our product development podcast, it starts by getting answers to questions about what the client likes and dislikes about the existing product.
It was an opportunity for Reliable Corporation to capture more customers. For example, they identified that audiophiles with high-end record players loved their product. Indeed, it allowed them to take the time to admire their records under the light to appreciate all the unique grooves of the record. They also took a close look at new technologies available to them to address some of the concerns existing customers had about the product. And by leveraging new technologies, our client’s upgraded UberLight is much easier to position and clamp, features customizable lights and universal USB charging.
You can listen to the full episode of our product development podcast here to learn how to scale your product with Jamie and Kevin here.
Interested in becoming a guest on the show? Contact us here!
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!