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Consulting

Taking Imaging Products to Market

Alternative Vision offers a full range of marketing services for imaging products.  In addition, we can help locate and qualify technical vendors who can supply the parts and processes critical to your product.  We can develop technical sales force training materials and present them.  And we can facilitate integration of current and proposed regulatory requirements and standards into your designs and marketing strategies. 


Market Research

Market Research Services

A brilliant idea flawlessly converted into an elegant product but lacking a receptive market is only a design museum exhibit.  Products can fail for large or small reasons - timing, price, usability, compatibility, appearance, reputation.  Market research is difficult and often inconclusive for genuinely new concepts but skillful examination of postulated markets and the buyers who might constitute them can often uncover serious barriers not immediately obvious.  Perhaps market research can't guarantee success but it can often identify avoidable paths to failure.  We can assist in your market research with
  • Research Planning - Determine which research elements are appropriate to your product - surveys, literature studies, sales histories, competitive analysis, focus groups and the like and select experts as necessary to execute each of these.
  • Competitive Analysis - Identify and survey competitive offerings, sales strategies, pricing history, and customer reactions and forecast the next moves of competitors.
  • Demand Forecasting - Analyze past buying patterns and project these into the future using published and purpose-collected data and potential changes in related behavior.
  • Market Segmentation - Separate the total market into coherent segments based on cost, application, maturity, company mindshare, geography, and other discriminating factors.
  • Influence Identification - Determine what external factors - regulatory, cultural, supply, financial, professional,, technical - must be understood and accommodated to facilitate market entry.

Product Definition

Product Definition Services

Whether you're entering a new market or planning to offer a new product to a market you've served for years, properly defining the new entry is essential to success.  As new products need to be more and more capable, decisions about functions and features and how to implement them become increasingly complex and difficult.  Comparisons with existing products - yours and your competitors' - made by both you and your customers must be evaluated and converted to meaningful requirements for performance and cost.  Patent ownership, vendor capacity, service capabilities and many other external influences should be considered for potential impact. We can assist you in defining the best product by undertaking projects for
  • Value Engineering - Design and execute a QFD program in whole or in part to determine what functions and features your customers need most and what they will pay for them.
  • Technology Assessment - Survey and assess technologies that might be applied in the product or its manufacture and determine cost and availability.
  • Continuity Planning - Configure the first new design to facilitate product line extensions, expansions and replacements.
  • Regulatory Implementation - Obtain the broadest jurisdictional compliance at minimum cost.
  • Design Coordination - Organize all functions you plan to outsource: specialty engineering, industrial design, performance and compliance testing, user documentation.

Product Marketing

Product Marketing Services

For many new products, the customer base is obvious.  Especially in OEM markets, traditional product marketing may not even be necessary at the outset - there are products for which the list of customers can be identified in advance.  Most often, though, products need to be presented to prospective customers widely and often in ways that distinguish them from the competition and clarify the need to buy.   This process should start as soon as the market is identified and the product availability date is set.  Whether you need to start taking attention from your competition or smooth the transition from your old product to the new, we can help with assistance in
  • Strategy Planning - Analyze each targeted market segment and develop individual plans to reach them considering constraints from budgets, publication schedules, trade events and availability of product and collateral materials.
  • Collateral Production - Research, develop and produce technical articles, brochures, white papers, user manuals, and other complex documents generally beyond the scope of advertising and public relations agencies.
  • Agency Coordination - Coordinate the work of ad and pr agencies with production of technical and other complex documentation and with samples and technical displays for trade shows.
  • Lead Management - Define and implement lead management systems involving mailing contractors, custom and commercial software, custom coding systems, and field sales interaction.
  • Partner Identification - Research and identify other organizations sharing a common interest is the success of the new product and develop strategies and tactics for joint action.

  


Vendor Identification

Vendor Identification Services

New products often depend for success on sole-source vendors.  Sole sourcing may arise when the required expertise exists with only one vendor or when tooling or other startup costs make dual-sourcing prohibitively expensive.  Selecting sole-source vendors requires analysis of not only technical capabilities but also financial strength, capacity limitations, conflicting commitments, stability of critical personnel, regulatory status and many other factors that could interrupt production.  Further, because technology is developing so rapidly, alternative solutions should be examined to prepare for efficient source changes in the case of vendor difficulties or significant cost improvements.  


Technical Sales Training

Technical Sales Training Services

Your sales manager is undoubtedly prepared to train the sales force in selling skills but do you really want your engineering staff to take the time to train them in the technology and application of your products?  Applications engineers providing technical support are one solution to the technically-starved sales force but even these engineers rarely have the time or talent to produce printed materials for sales use.  We can fill this gap by working with your sales force to determine their needs and with you engineering staff to obtain the needed information quickly.  We coordinate this work with your ad agency or graphics design staff to assure that the "look" of the materials meets your standards.  We can also prepare training presentations from these materials and present them to your sales force.

Standards Development

Standards Development Services

Rapid proliferation of volume products depends on standardization of interfaces to related equipment.  As more equipment becomes automated and networked and interfaced to equipment from other vendors, the importance of standards increases.  We can assist in identifying what standards should be applied to your products and what standards under development you should support.  We can also provide support to your representative to standards committees and develop draft standards documents.

To discuss your requirements, please send an e-mail to dave@alt-vision.com

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