The biggest mistake I see sellers making is stopping with their initial product and not moving on to working on the next one. Each product has its own life cycle consisting of four phases; introduction, growth, maturity and decline. It’s good practice to start working on the next big idea shortly after your first launch to ensure you have new products ready before your product hits the decline state.
There are a few ways to begin expanding your new private-label brand. These can include iterations of your existing product, including improvements to the original, designing complimentary products or even launching a whole new product line in a new niche. I’ll explore each of these methods in-depth below.
Improving Upon an Existing Product
This strategy is the simplest way to begin expanding your product line. It can include offering new flavors, colors, sizes, etc. You could also start finding ways to improve your existing product, with better ingredients, new features, and so on. As the marketplace changes, new competitors pop up and consumer needs evolve. It’s important to continue to improve on your original offer.
One of the best ways to determine how to improve and expand is by analyzing your product reviews. Product reviews offer a wealth of information and provide extremely valuable feedback. Customers will tell you what they like, what they don’t like, what features they use and what features are lacking. Look at competitor pages as well and find out what consumers are saying there. Find something that others are not offering but that customers are looking for and use that to create a new product variation or an upgraded version.
This is another natural strategy for expansion. What products go well with yours? For example, if you sell phone chargers, add phone cases, screen protectors, etc. If you sell resistance bands, consider adding other exercise equipment that would go well with the bands. This is a great way to start creating some brand loyalty and bring customers back to buy more after their initial purchase. You may also want to consider creating bundles or kits with related products.
Again, you can look at reviews and competitor listings to find out what customers want and what products they buy together. Another great source is the “frequently bought together” section of the product page. This will tell you exactly what customers buy with your products. Take a look at product reviews for that item and figure out how you can improve upon it.
New Niches in Your Category
The last expansion strategy would be to start selling in a new niche and expand your customer base. Staying within the same general product category will keep the branding more cohesive and leverage any experience you have already had in that category. For example, if you sell dog toys, you could stay within the pet category and start offering fish supplies.
Use the same strategy here you that you used to initially launch your brand, as I outlined in a previous article. Look for opportunities in the marketplace with high demand and low competition where you can easily differentiate yourself. Also be sure you cater to your strengths and experience. If you sell rubber dog toys, glass fish bowls will require a different type of product development and sourcing and will require a bigger leap than another product made of rubber.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security with the success of your initial product launch. I’ve seen sellers enjoy crazy success with a particular product, then wonder what happened a couple years later when sales begin to decline. Your best seller this year will likely not be a best seller next year. So get right back to work and find your next big revenue generator.