There is a reason even large corporations commit significant resources in research and development of new products/services. Relevance. The moment you stop innovating and creating, your gradual slope down the relevance valley begins. You may not know it then but you would be in similar situation to that of someone threading against the escalator.
Apple was winning with Macs, iPods, iPads. They didn’t stop there. Today they have the Apple Watch. Every year improved itineration of the iPhone gets released. There is Apply Pay. Also a cloud storage and computing service is in full force. What do we say about Amazon? They started selling just books. Now they sell almost everything one would need in a home. And they didn’t stop there. They are now a major player in the cloud business with Amazon Web Services.
These are just two of the biggest companies in the world right now. Coming back home to Nigeria we have a problem where many companies do not just do enough in committing to product development (or re-development). However there are still examples of companies here who get the need to remain super competitive. The FMCG and beverage sector probably understand this more than most others. Every few years we get new beers, drinks, detergents etc each claiming to provide the value and satisfaction that others don’t. They do this to stay in the game.
Coca Cola leads the soft drinks industry but they get challenged all round. New entrants will chip away at your market share. Rite Foods are there with Bigi Cola. RC Cola just came in. Coca Cola does this well as over the last 10 years they have tried to maintain overall market share by tickling the fancy of consumers with new products. CWAY Foods was not content with having products like Nutri Milk. They added Nutri-yo a yoghurt drink and also recently moved to launch mixed spirit drinks. Chi Ltd expanded its Chivita juice brand with new additions – Chapman Happy Hour and Frooty Happy Hour. In technology to stay relevant you must constantly reinvent, look to tap new market opportunities.
In another post I’ll stir the hornet’s nest on how ambitious companies can create their own winning product development approach and ensure they tap into evolving market opportunities.I