The Big Think – Part 3

As mentioned earlier, I do see a wider market for my app, if I build and market it correctly I believe I can grow it to encompass other similar web apps (and there are many) that rival my current core vendor’s product. I’ve yet to decide whether this is a good idea. Should I concentrate on making it a niche product that meets a very distinct need? Opening up the app to be compatible with a number of vendor’s competing web apps may just pollute the brand weakening it. If I open up the brand in this way I’m sure to get a few extra sales, but probably at the cost of sales in the initial market. It’s an age-old quandary. If I keep the brand intact, and very focused, there’s nothing to stop me creating other versions of the app for other markets, and branding them differently I suppose. There’s a lot of talk in The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding and Marketing about just such things, their advice definitely seems to be to keep each product very focused and not to line extend. This brings me back to the naming problem; do I keep it very focused on the core vendor’s product name as it currently is? I guess from what I’ve just said the answer is yes. Maybe there isn’t the market for the other platforms anyway, maybe I should just concentrate on the one I know and believe there is a demand I can satisfy.

The only competition there potentially is for my product is the vendor itself if it adds features that negate my advantage, and some much more expensive and un-focused apps that take a lot more setting up and tweaking to get productive with. But am I deluding myself? Is there really a market here? Why has no-one else got an application that does what I’m planning to do? It’s not anything really complicated, so is it just a case that no-one can be bothered with such a small market, or do they see that there really isn’t a market at all?

Maybe I’m worrying for nothing, maybe I’m really just procrastinating. The fact is that when I do get a chance to do some real coding on this project, I really do enjoy it. I love programming in RealBasic, it’s really fun, a real blast, and a real breath of fresh air compared to my current full-time occupation. Really :-)

No comments.

  1. Develop for the market leader core product first and plan to develop for it’s competitors (unless the first version is so successful you don’t have time).

    My marketing expertise is non-existent but personally I like the idea of a single brand with multiple lines, with product names like “GeeWiz for ABC”, “GeeWiz for XYZ”. I’m not sure of the legalities of using the core product’s name as part of another product’s name though. A topic for a future posting on my blog.

    Interesting that you say the competition for your application is sub-standard but higher priced. I don’t feel qualified to speak with authority on this issue but I’d recommend you read more on this. Here’s a couple of sources I found quickly in my records.

    Also have you looked at joining the Association of Shareware Professionals ? I joined recently and it has some very good resources and very active and helpful private newsgroups.

  2. Aargh. Lost a comment to a server failure.

    Short version. Take a look at the Association of Shareware Professionals. I joined recently and there are quite a few good resources and very active private newsgroups.

  3. “GeeWiz for ABC” is exactly the naming convention I’m thinking of using, allowing some extension of the brand within the same domain. I like it, but I too am not sure about the legality, haven’t looked into it yet but expect it shouldn’t be such a problem.

    The potential competition aren’t neccessarily sub-standard, they’re just not as easy to use as they aren’t focused on this one app, or even in this domain. This means I can hopefully sneak in with a very targetted app that meets some users needs without any fuss and with very little setup time (the database access issue mentioned earlier is still my biggest concern in this area).

    Thanks for the links Lachlan, I’ve read everything by Eric Sink, it’s good stuff, but I’ll have a look at when I get a chance, looks interesting.

    Joining the ASP is on my todo list, not quite sure why I haven’t yet, maybe it’s just another of my procrastination areas!

    PS: Your first comment was put into the approval queue because of the links, I’ve relaxed that rule a little more, sorry about that.

  4. How about being a little less coy about what the product is. Have the chat with the platform vendor you mentioned in your previous post and then announce the product. That way you’ll answer at least one question – are you going to have a problem with the platform vendor – and maybe two – is there a demand. If there is a demand you might also get some useful input from the community to feed into your release schedule.


  5. Gordon, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about talking with the vendor, but I’m just not quite ready yet. The vendor’s on the verge of a major release too, I want to see what’s in that before I start the ball rolling because I expect I’ll have to make a few changes to my app.
    Same goes for announcing, I’m not happy about announcing until I have an app that is meeting my basic needs and is ready to go out for public Beta. I think announcing too early is bad, you’ve got to have the app ready to roll before getting any interest, otherwise you’ll lose the momentum.