06 May Moneyball – Just Get on Base
Its spring and baseball is underway and that always reminds me of when Billy Beane changed the way baseball teams manage their players. With one of the lowest budgets in baseball, Beane’s Oakland Athletics became the first MLB team in over 100 years to win 20 consecutive games. Since then many other teams have followed his strategy research and analysis. This approach is simplified in the movie Moneyball as “he gets on base”.
Here is a clip.
Business is like baseball in that unmet needs are often home runs. Solutions to unmet needs are often what businesses seek to launch. But just getting on base by meeting the simpler and less complex underserved needs provides excellent returns, increase sales, and greater market share. Often faster than unmet needs.
According to PDMA, the Product Development, and Management Association, less than 60% of new products launched meet their sales and financial goals and the number one reason is that they failed to meet customer expectations. Why not look to get on base more often and expand your horizons and search for underserved and unmet needs with your market research dollars.
Solutions are often as simple as offering a combination pack or a larger or smaller version. Meeting underserved needs with existing products often provides more opportunity than looking for the next “home run.”
Meeting underserved needs can often create four key completive advantages in the market.
One: Every time you introduce a new product, you have something to talk about with your customers
Two: Two or more “singles,” provides three targets for competition to focus on versus one, offering diversion and misdirection, important to keep the competition guessing.
Three: With smaller, faster-to-market products, productivity and utilization are often better.
Four: Smaller, underserved needs-focused products often help keep the attention and interest of the product development team at a high level.
A leading pesticide company that focused on new and exciting unmet needs, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars developing a new high-tech sprayer to apply their product. However, when customers were observed at retail, it was obvious, that they wanted a better value, not another expensive gadget.
Through customer observations and then interviews they discovered that a four times larger container, labeled economy size, ended up being the number one bestseller and highest margin product with only a minimal investment.
Underserved needs will get you on base. When you get on base you score. Meeting underserved needs should be part of your market research projects. Call us and let us show you how.