What happened to the magic, melting golden egg that oozed flavor and oil? It was once the best part of preparing that box of dehydrated chicken noodle soup mix.
The egg shaped vessel provided some semblance that I was actually consuming a chicken like product. I don’t get more soup without the egg. It doesn’t cost any less. It certainly doesn’t taste any better. Frankly, the product has lost value, it is no longer attractive to this buyer, and I am not a consumer of the eggless carton.
Business strategy changes over time to become more efficient and profitable. Product offerings transition to meet the demands of the buyers. Consumers have the power to create demand and dictate manufacturing standards.
Customer trends and data points allow businesses to have foresight and predict future needs based on current buying activity. Market analysis paves the way for an equal distribution of supply and demand.
What happens when a business decision falls short? When the customer voice goes unheard?
How does a company recover from a failed venture?
Create “New” Value: When something is taken away, something must take its place that is of greater or equal value. If my coveted egg must be taken away, give me a bigger box, lower the cost, or increase the quality. As a business we often have to adjust to remain profitable. The key is to ensure your customers don’t feel the elimination or reduction of a good, service, or component.
Provide an Explanation: “As the maker of this mystical egg, we are sorry to announce that all of our enchanted golden chickens have perished, so we will no longer be including their bounty in our soup.”
We as manufacturers are faced with decisions that must be made due to parts shortage, qualified staff, and profit and loss analysis. We can’t build what we can’t get. We can’t afford to create and supply what isn’t selling. When demand for a product becomes scarce the resources allocated must become reassigned to continue to make the best use of available capital. Save the one-offs for the specialists.
Market the Heck Out of It: Limited Edition! Healthier recipe! Now with fun poultry shaped noodles! Turn the customer’s attention to what is new and shiny. Distraction not only works with children but with purchasers as a whole.
Suppliers discontinue products when they are no longer profitable or marketable. Rather than focus on the fact that Part Number SP-5348 Spring compressor is no longer produced, advertise the new version that costs double but increases productivity two hundred percent.
A slight product change also allows for entirely new branding. The functionality of a product may not change, but slap a new color on it and market to a new audience and your once dying inventory is given an opportunity for rebirth.
As we say good-bye to the products of yesterday, we rely on the manufacturer to supply goods that are just as satisfying as ones we will truly miss.
My hunt for a replacement golden egg continues. Until then the ramen industry will stay alive, one hungry teen at a time.