The commercialization process is an end-to-end go-to-market process. Critical steps take a product from market research and validation, through financial modeling and profitability analysis, to productization, support and delivery to launch. It is exciting to see a product evolve from an idea to reality. Orchid’s commercialization starts with a Quicklook Assessment that surveys the market opportunity, value proposition, customers, competition and barriers to entry. The quicklook is a “go/no-go” assessment and is often the essential step that gets skipped. A positive Quicklook lays the groundwork for the rest of the commercialization process.
Research includes market research and validation, competitive intelligence and validation. A poorly understood market can lead to great expense and ultimate failure. Establishing clear market goals and parameters is invaluable in bringing the product to market effectively.
Planning is an end-to-end calendar with milestones, validation points, and outcomes. This first serves to provide a reasonable timeline for getting a product to market. Unrealistic or under-developed timelines can up-end a product with unrealistic or unclear expectations. Establishing a proper plan and timeline must take into consideration market-specific calendars and funding patterns, key dates, and trends in market uptake.
- STRATEGIC PLANNING
Strategic planning is also part of the process and distinct from commercialization planning – strategic planning is the approach to market penetration and scale. Which sub-market to approach. What successful penetration and uptake looks like. How to roll-out and where – are all strategic planning. Central to strategic planning is a vision for the product, measurable goals, and initiatives – all of which are aligned with strategic objectives.
- FINANCIAL AND RISK MODELING
and product profitability analysis is another critical piece of the puzzle. The expense of supporting, maintaining, and training an online product must be born by the business model and still maintain a reasonable rate of return. After baseline costs are determined, profitability must scale in advance of any operational needs. A successful product will maintain an operational margin of 30-70%.
is a comprehensive analysis of the existing technology and what needs to happen to make it road-worthy. User interface and interaction, device display, privacy, compliance, roles, security and aggregation and reporting are all critical aspects. Our productization process follows a modified agile methodology that iterates the product over time; constantly delivering serviceable architecture to the user for review and modification.
- MARKET PREPARATION
Market preparation includes developing all basic brand and online assets. Typically this includes a corporate website, logo, brand colors, design directives, user interface aligned with the primary product, whitepapers, use case analysis (where appropriate), one-page brochures, business cards and other printed collateral (as appropriate).
A complete and comprehensive support rubric is essential to a professional, low-cost, high-margin, online product. Support includes pre- and post-sales, in-product support, and traditional support mechanisms including user guides, helpdesk, knowledgebase articles, tutorials, troubleshooters, and videos. Without a comprehensive support process, users can feel neglected. Neglected users fail to renew.
Service delivery is perhaps the most important aspect of commercialization. The goal of any profitable online product is to have the lowest possible overhead. Automated delivery is the key to this metric. The user’s experience – from initially learning about the product, through signing up, use and renewal should be smooth, friendly and clear. While at once totally hands-off and personalized, the product can scale in the hands of a small team. Thus invariably increasing its value in multiples, directly proportional to how smoothly the product is delivered.