Question: I have product that I have launched through medical distributors that uses a gas cartridge to blow up a sleeve that fits around a possible sprain, break or fracture that immobilizes the part of the body that is injured. My distributors have asked for enhancements and I think that is a great idea but how would suggest that add enhancements to my product.
Answer: The one thing you don’t want to do is obsolete a product that is your flagship by advertising that you are coming out with a product that will not only do what the original will do but in addition perform the following functions. You would have to eat the inventory as your distributors would not sell the existing inventory knowing that a new product is coming out with added features at a similar price structure.
Sit down with your staff and formulate a strategy that will accommodate your distributors need for additional family of products while not obsolescing your current money making products. I wold suggest that you differentiate your products by addressing the specific benefits that each of your products will offer. Example: The current product addresses the need to hold the injury in place by immobilizing the injury. A second product might be adding a feature that would benefit the injury by keeping it cold while immobilizing the injury. You could add different sizes and change colors for masculinity and femininity.
Consult with your distributor through a non disclosure and ask for their advice and to find out what they would be willing to commit in initial and forecasted orders. You also need to look a your competitors to ensure that you are infringing on any patents.
Examine the pricing structure, how you would advertise, key reference customers or league endorsements.