How to Expand in 2021 — Growing Your Product Line

As you look to grow in 2021, product expansion may be the perfect opportunity. Adding new products can help you reach new buyers, boost revenue, and deepen your customer relationships. But are you ready?

Continuing our series How to Expand in 2021, presented with Pivotree, this article digs into the factors to consider before expanding your product line — including leveraging Product Information Management (PIM) to implement your plans without a hitch.

Start with 4 Key Questions

It’s important to assess the current state of your offerings and product data before you expand. Start by asking the following four questions:

  1. Where is the customer demand? 
  2. What new products would meet that demand plus align with your brand strategy?
  3. How strong is your data quality in those categories?
  4. If it’s not strong, do you have the foundation in place to make corrections?

For instance, say you’re a manufacturer of musical instruments and want to explore adding new guitar accessories to your product line. First, you’d analyze customer preferences and determine if there’s a healthy demand. Then, consider whether adding accessories aligns with your brand strategy. Finally, you’d look at your data foundation and determine the potential positive or negative impact. 

Data Risks to Consider

As Pivotree mentioned in our first series post, expanding your business without a strong data foundation can magnify any issues. When it comes to adding new products, consider the following risks:

  • Siloed Data – Product data is held in multiple silos, often in different formats.
  • Inconsistencies – Some product lines have good data, but others are lacking. 
  • Non-Standardized Processes – Your processes for creating new products aren’t uniform, or in some cases, established or documented. 
  • Reliance on IT – If your data lives in a back-office system, accessing it requires IT support.
  • Poor Data Governance – You don’t have systems in place to ensure a consistently high level of data quality.
  • Sluggish Syndication — Syndicating data to multiple channels with disparate data requirements can be manual and time-consuming.

All of these issues can lead to slower time-to-market, compliance issues, wasted resources, and ultimately, poor customer experiences and damage to your brand.

The bottom line — as a product manufacturer, you need your people, processes, and technology to all come together for successful product expansions. Fortunately, with the right solution and expertise, you can overcome these hurdles.

Successful Product Expansions with PIM

First things first — PIM is essential to expand your product line successfully.

When you have a central data hub, you can compile data from all your sources, then use the system’s capabilities to create, maintain, govern, and share accurate and compelling product content. This is especially helpful if you’re growing your product lines through mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

A PIM platform, supported by the right processes, helps bolster your product expansion with:

Rich Content – PIM’s data enrichment capabilities help you give your customers all the data they need to make buying decisions. 

Quick Syndication Across Channels – When you launch or update a product, PIM helps you quickly and consistently syndicate data, in the exact format each channel requires.

Maintaining a Golden Record – When adding products, you can continue to create complete, accurate, enriched data records that are easily accessible in one centralized hub.

360-Degree Product Views – Not all data is customer-facing, and with 360-degree views, you can manage internal information (like SKUs, inventory, and customer-specific pricing) for new products with ease and efficiency. 

Digital Asset Management (DAM) – With the DAM capabilities of PIM, you can store any digital assets (images, PDFs, documents, videos, and more) on the same record, increasing accessibility across the enterprise.

Product Relationship Management – PIM helps you manage the relationship between products for optimized upsells and cross-sells — which is especially important with extended product lines.

Boost Your PIM’s Impact 

When it comes to reaching a fast ROI or establishing the right PIM processes, the right help makes all the difference.

With Winshuttle and Pivotree, you can leverage 20+ years of PIM knowledge, hosting, implementation, and machine learning best practices — with over 30 joint manufacturing customers. 

You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that Winshuttle EnterWorks is fully extensible to other data domains. EnterWorks empowers your business teams to go beyond PIM and glean product intelligence from your customer, location, sales, supplier, and other data. With this insight, you can drive better customer experiences and incremental revenue — all at the speed the market demands, from a single platform. 

In our next post in this series, we’ll talk about leveraging Multi-Domain MDM to pursue expansion into new markets and geographies. So, stay tuned!

And if you want to learn more about how Winshuttle and Pivotree can help you launch PIM or Multi-Domain MDM quickly and profitably, download our joint solution overview.

As Director Sales at Winshuttle, Sumit  is responsible for supporting Winshuttle's customers across industries and verticals and helping them leverage data as a strategic asset. Sumit has over 25 years of experience across functional areas including Sales & Business Development, Professional Services , Consulting, Plant Operations, Procurement and Engineering. Prior to joining Winshuttle , Sumit led teams at EnterWorks, Ennovative, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Tata Steel. Sumit holds an M.B.A in Systems and Marketing and also an Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering.