You have a great product that solves a real problem for your customers. You have a loyal fan base that loves what you do. You have a solid revenue stream that keeps the lights on. But you want more. You want to grow your product and reach new heights of success. How do you do that?
Growth is not a one-time event or a magic formula. It’s a continuous process that requires a clear vision, a data-driven strategy, and a relentless execution. In this article, we’ll explore four product growth strategies that you can use to take your product to the next level, along with some examples and tips on how to implement them.
📌 More Users: Expand your reach in your current market
The first and most obvious way to grow your product is to get more users. This means increasing your market share and attracting more customers from your existing target audience. You can do this by:
1️⃣ Adding new features and benefits to your existing product.
You can enhance your product’s value proposition by adding new functionality, improving performance, or solving additional pain points for your customers. For example, Spotify added podcasts, video, and social features to its music streaming service to increase user engagement and retention.
2️⃣ Adopting a freemium pricing strategy.
You can offer a free version of your product with limited features or usage, and then upsell your users to a premium version with more value. This can help you lower the barriers to entry, generate word-of-mouth, and increase conversions. For example, Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage space and then charges for more storage and features.
3️⃣ Adding new products to your existing product line.
You can create complementary or adjacent products that serve the same or similar customer segments, and then cross-sell or bundle them together. This can help you increase customer lifetime value and loyalty. For example, Amazon offers a range of products and services, such as Kindle, Prime, AWS, and Alexa, that cater to different customer needs and preferences.
4️⃣ Partnering with new manufacturers and providers.
You can leverage the distribution channels, customer base, and brand recognition of other companies that offer related or complementary products or services. This can help you expand your reach, reduce your costs, and increase your credibility. For example, Netflix partnered with Samsung, LG, and Sony to integrate its app into their smart TVs.
📌 New Customers: Enter new markets and segments
1️⃣ Another way to grow your product is to find new customers in new markets and segments.
This means reaching out to potential customers who are not currently aware of or interested in your product, but who could benefit from it. You can do this by:
Expanding into new geographic regions. You can target customers in different countries or regions, where there is a demand for your product and where you can compete effectively. This can help you increase your customer base, diversify your revenue streams, and reduce your risks. For example, Airbnb expanded from the US to over 220 countries and regions, offering local experiences and accommodations to travelers.
2️⃣ Targeting new customer segments.
You can segment your market based on different criteria, such as demographics, psychographics, behavior, or needs, and then tailor your product, pricing, and marketing to each segment. This can help you increase your customer satisfaction, retention, and referrals. For example, Slack offers different plans and features for different customer segments, such as small businesses, enterprises, and nonprofits.
3️⃣ Create new use cases for your product.
You can educate your customers on how they can use your product in different ways, for different purposes, or in different situations. This can help you increase your product usage, adoption, and advocacy. For example, Zoom enables its users to use its video conferencing platform for various use cases, such as online education, telehealth, and virtual events.
4️⃣ Repositioning your product in a new category.
You can create a new category or subcategory for your product, where you can differentiate yourself from the competition and create a unique value proposition. This can help you increase your brand awareness, authority, and loyalty. For example, Lululemon repositioned its yoga pants as a lifestyle product, creating a new category of athleisure.
📌 More product usage: increase your customer engagement and retention
A third way to grow your product is to increase your customer engagement and retention. This means getting your existing customers to use your product more frequently, more intensely, or for longer periods of time. You can do this by:
1️⃣ Building a habit-forming product.
You can design your product to trigger a user’s internal motivation, provide a clear action, deliver a variable reward, and request a commitment. This can help you create a habit loop that drives repeated and consistent product usage. For example, Instagram hooks its users with the promise of social validation, the ease of posting photos, the unpredictability of likes and comments, and the feedback of followers.
2️⃣ Creating a community around your product.
You can foster a sense of belonging, identity, and support among your users, by enabling them to interact with each other, share their stories, and provide feedback. This can help you increase your customer engagement, loyalty, and advocacy. For example, Peloton creates a community around its fitness products, by allowing its users to join live classes, compete with other users, and celebrate their achievements.
3️⃣ Gamifying your product experience.
You can apply game elements, such as points, badges, levels, leaderboards, and challenges, to your product, to make it more fun, rewarding, and competitive. This can help you increase your customer motivation, satisfaction, and retention. For example, Duolingo gamifies its language learning app, by giving its users points, streaks, lives, and leagues, to encourage them to practice daily.
4️⃣ Personalizing your product offering.
You can customize your product, content, or recommendations to each user’s preferences, behavior, or needs, using data and algorithms. This can help you increase your customer relevance, value, and trust. For example, Netflix personalizes its streaming service, by showing its users different titles, genres, and artwork, based on their viewing history and ratings.
📌 More Revenue: Optimize your pricing and monetization
A fourth way to grow your product is to optimize your pricing and monetization. This means getting your existing or new customers to pay more for your product, either by increasing the price, the frequency, or the amount. You can do this by:
1️⃣ Increasing your product’s perceived value.
You can communicate the benefits, outcomes, and emotions that your product delivers to your customers, rather than the features, functions, and specifications. This can help you justify a higher price, increase your customer willingness to pay, and reduce your price sensitivity. For example, Apple increases its product’s perceived value, by emphasizing the design, innovation, and experience that its products offer.
2️⃣ Implementing a dynamic pricing strategy.
You can adjust your price based on different factors, such as demand, supply, seasonality, or customer behavior. This can help you maximize your revenue, optimize your profitability, and match your customer's willingness to pay. For example, Uber implements a dynamic pricing strategy, by charging more for its rides during peak hours, bad weather, or high demand.
3️⃣ Leveraging a subscription-based model.
You can charge your customers a recurring fee to access your product or service, rather than a one-time payment. This can help you increase your customer lifetime value, retention, and loyalty. For example, Adobe leverages a subscription-based model, by offering its software products as a cloud service, rather than a standalone product.
4️⃣ Creating multiple revenue streams.
You can generate revenue from different sources, such as advertising, sponsorship, commission, or licensing, in addition to or instead of selling your product or service. This can help you diversify your income, reduce your dependence, and increase your profitability. For example, Google creates multiple revenue streams, by earning money from its search engine, YouTube, Gmail, Google Play, and Google Cloud.
Growing your product is not easy, but it’s not impossible either. By following these four product growth strategies, you can increase your user base, customer loyalty, product usage, and revenue. The key is to understand your market, your customers, and your product, and then experiment, measure, and iterate until you find what works best for you.