Everything is a solution or there is no such thing as a point product. Here, I don’t use the term “solution” in marketing spin lingo. I’m not calling a “white paper” an “e-book”. The point is that every product fits in to a larger context and it must be designed with that in mind.
Take soap as an example. Just a bar of soap. Is that an exception to this rule? Consider this scenario; a company was formed to create some super organic, environmentally friendly bath soap. To further differentiate their product the decided to sell it in a nine inch long bars complete with ultra hip packaging. Sound cool right, a sure winner in certain market segments. Eco-conscious consumers purchased it, felt good about the buying experience. Then, they took it home, unwrapped the cool packaging carefully, to recycle of course and brought it into their bath tub and/or shower. After enjoying the ethereal qualities of the aroma they tried to place it on their tub. What happened? They spend many minutes trying to find a place where a nine inch bar would fit. Guess what? They couldn't. The majority of bathrooms in the U.S. are designed for a roughly 4 bar of soap. How many people bought a second bar? Not many since the nine inch bar didn't fit it the overall system.
So, if a simple bar of soap fits in to a larger system or solution space consider how a technology product does. I’ll expand more on this in future post and in my upcoming book on Strategic Technology Marketing.