Product Courses are common in any organization’s training plans because they give everybody involved a clear idea of the nature, aims and strategy of a product, as well as its importance within the company. Like to find out how to set up a perfect Product Course? Just follow these 5 steps!
1. Ask yourself: What exactly is your product?
The first thing you need to do in a Product Course is to explain the main features of the product. It’s important to have a clear idea of what they are, and know how to put that over in your course. To test yourself, try answering the following questions:
- What is your product and what is it for? What are its advantages? Briefly explain what it is, using images to help you.
- What are its main features? Does it only come in one format or in various versions?
- Who uses it? What needs does it meet? Are these physical or emotional needs?
- Is it a new product or one that’s been on the market for years? The life cycle of a product will be important in justifying your strategy for it in the future.
- Is it a seasonal product, or can you use it all year round? For instance, a sweater is only really for winter, so marketing campaigns focus on just a short time in the year.
- Does your product need to be used along with others? For instance, if you’re selling bolts, you’ll need nuts and a wrench.
2. Who is your main competitor?
Using your course to explain the competitive environment will give students a clearer idea of the strategy and sales pitch they should use. For example, a product with a lot of competition and a small market share will require a very different strategy from an industry leader with little competition. To help you fully explain your competitive environment, try to answer the following questions:
- Who is your direct competition? I.e. products that are exactly the same as yours, but sold by others. If you sell tubs of ice cream, your direct competitors would be other companies’ ice cream tubs.
- Who is your indirect competition? This refers to products that aren’t exactly the same as yours, but could serve the same purpose. Sticking with the ice cream tubs, your indirect competition could be popsicles or slushies – products which meet the same need for something cold and sweet.
3. What is your product strategy?
All products in a company have a role, and it’s important to define these roles clearly. If all employees understand and follow this strategy, the company is more likely to achieve its business goals.
To put your strategy across, you need to explain where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. Try asking yourself the following questions:
- How does your product fit into your company’s overall strategy? Is it an established product or a new one? Is it a lead product and therefore a priority, or one that comes second in terms of company goals?
- What key figures do you need to keep in mind? Share the figures about your product: its market share, predicted revenue, planned investment, return on investment – everything that shows students why the chosen strategy is pursued.
- Who is your target market? Remember, don’t just include people who already use it. For example, your product may currently be used by older people, but you’d like to make it popular among teenagers too in order to increase your market share. This will, of course, affect your marketing and communication strategy. Think about the people you are aiming at, not only in terms of socio-demographics, but also of lifestyle, habits, needs and interests.
- What is the SWOT analysis for my product? A SWOT analysis describes your product’s main internal (Strengths and Weaknesses) and external (Opportunities and Threats) features, which will help you explain clearly why you follow the strategy you’ve adopted.
- Lastly, think about your sales pitch. What are the main messages you need to stress when selling the product? How can you dispel client worries? Some products require a rational sales pitch (cheaper, durable) while others need a more emotional appeal (nostalgia, lifestyle, convenience).
4. Let’s talk about marketing!
Marketing is very important in any Product Course, as it deals with how to present a product to the market. Consider the following points which you’ll have to answer in the course:
- How much does your product cost? Where is it sold?
- How do you advertise your product in the media? Include ads on TV, YouTube, the radio and in the press – everything that helps you understand how to promote your product. Make this part as visual as possible so students understand how to communicate it, and above all, how your product is viewed.
5. Put the knowledge you’ve acquired to the test
The purpose of any product course is to embed knowledge, so include activities after every couple of sections so students can put what they have learned into practice. At the end of the course, set a test that covers everything that has been taught. Remember, when writing a test it’s important to assess all of the main ideas in the course: follow this link to find out how!
If you can answer all these questions, you’re ready to create your Product Course. As you know, at isEazy, we love making life easier, so we’ve designed a course template to fill in and prepare a dynamic, informative and fun course in no time at all. You’ll find that the template is based on a course about coffee, but you can adapt it to any product you like!
Tell us about your experience creating a Product Course. Anything you would add? Anything left out? How did your students find it? As always, we’d love to hear what you think!