For Discussion: What Makes for Legendary Products?

In discussing what makes for a successful new product, many students will point to promotion as being the key component. They may argue that a product has no chance of being successful if people are not aware of it, and that requires an emphasis on effective promotion. They may even suggest promotion does not need to be that expensive by citing examples of products that were primarily introduced using social media. While promotion is often a critical part of a new product?s marketing strategy, students should know that often it is innovative product design that leads a new product to become legendary product.

To be considered legendary, a product must be truly different in some way so it can withstand competitors that are relentless in their efforts to undercut the product?s market (generally by offering similar products at lower prices). Sometimes they can do this by including a distinctive feature that no other product has. Or maybe they can do it with unique packaging that catches everyone?s attention. Or maybe they can cram many different features into a small box. Whatever it is, companies with innovative product design can earn healthy profits by selling at a premium price.? And, over time, if the marketer continues to innovate, the product may eventually reach legendary status.

With this in mind, a good class discussion topic is to have students identify products they believe are legendary or are on the way to achieving that status. Ask them what the difference is between a successful product and a legendary one. Then ask what it takes for a product to become legendary. Try to broaden the discussion beyond technology products and into everyday products.