The Four Pillars of Successful Products

Product creation can be a difficult and confusing process for many entrepreneurs, however, by realizing what makes products successful, we can better ensure our own success. In this post, I’m going to share the four pillars that almost all successful products have in common.

1. Balance

Good product execution depends on balance. Getting this right can mean being number one in your niche; getting it wrong can mean failure. Balance involves making all of the aspects of your product equally good.

There’s a reason why the Honda Civic has been one of the top-selling vehicles here for the past 15 years or so. It’s because it’s so perfectly balanced in so many areas – from driving dynamics, to fuel economy, to price.

Employing Honda’s formula to success is simple: balance your efforts equally across the board. Don’t spend all of your time and money developing an incredible product without putting equal effort into writing a
good sales copy and generating traffic. Doing so ensures that almost nobody will and your product, and the few people that do will be turned-off by a mediocre sales page.

At the same time, don’t spend all your time writing a great sales copy or generating server-crushing traffic without putting the same effort into developing a killer product. Neglecting your product will result in a high rate of refunds, which is almost worse than making no sales at all.

2. Functionality

Quick and shallow success can be built on flash and style, alone. However, if you’re looking to build lasting success, your product needs to be functional, first and foremost.

One of the many factors that set the original iPod apart from its competitors was its uncanny level of usability. It’s minimalistic design made it easy to know which buttons to press, right out of the box, and its straightforward
menus put apple on the map for intuitive user experiences. Finally, it’s simple design proved robust and functional for a wide variety of different customers.

If we can learn a thing or two from the iPod, it’s that functionality trumps features. What the iPod and most other Apple products lack in pure technical superiority and features, they more than make up for in end user experience.

Often, products that attempt to be a jack of all trades end up doing nothing extraordinarily well. Conversely, products made to serve a clear purpose do a single task incredibly well, and become the product of choice for a select audience.

In your business, try not to develop products whose purpose gets lost in their list of features. Instead, build products that do one thing remarkably well.

3. Perceived Value

Many would argue that price is a key factor in the success of a product. Not so. When we look at products across an entire spectrum of niches, we see that it’s not the product’s price that matters; it’s the products perceived value.

Think about this: in almost every market there are fundamentally similar products with very different price points. From premium paints, to premium appliances to premium clothing, these “premium” products have shown entrepreneurs that people are willing to pay huge premiums for products with a higher perceived value.

Perceived value is 25% features, 25% reputation and 50% price. Frank Kern, one of the most revered figures in internet marketing, believes that two characteristics; speed and greater level of personal service, will result in the ability to charge more for a product.

On the other hand, maintaining a high perceived value is dependent on static prices. The reason Lacoste has maintained its high level of perceived value in the clothing industry is because its prices haven’t wavered over the years.

4. Marketability

Marketability, in essence, is your product’s draw-factor; the ability to generate sales without the use of marketing. A well conceived product with just enough market awareness can literally sell itself if it has the right level of marketability.

The question is; what distinguishes a product as being marketable? The truth is, a lot of a product’s marketability and market appeal has to do with its overall level of originality. Developing a successful product often means bringing something new to the table. The clothing market is highly saturated with jeans. A new jeans brand, for example, would probably have huge difficulty breaking into such a competitive market.

However, if someone were to bring something completely new to the clothing market, say edible yoga pants woven from ethically-sourced soy root, might have some traction. It’s a product’s uniqueness that sets it apart and allows it the possibility to sell itself without marketing.

This is a guest post by Cameron Langdon from

The author, Cameron Langdon, is a veteran internet marketer who has made LaunchPress, a free WordPress theme for internet marketers available at

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11 responses to “The Four Pillars of Successful Products”

  1. Kevin Jeeps says:

    Thanks for that. As a newbie to the internet marketing game, your post confirms much of what I am currently being taught, but with a little bit more detail. It’s good to know that I’m on a great course!


  2. Toby says:

    Great post with some very sound advice to follow. I especially liked your bit about ‘perceived value’ which I totally agree with – value is in the eye of the beholder, get the perception right & they will buy

  3. Groupthink says:

    Your ideas on marketability are great!!

  4. Betsafe  says:

    These pillars surely could put your product to where you want it to be..this is a sound article very informative..

  5. Glennda says:

    “It’s a product’s uniqueness that sets it apart and allows it the possibility to sell itself without marketing.”
    True, people now are too confused as what to buy because of so many products. But then if they find unique ones, then they would try it.

    internet marketing newbie tips

  6. Toby says:

    Good content and just so true its really important especially if its your first product that you dont skimp – think about that you’re building a business (hopefully) and therefore the longer term effect is important

  7. Rex Harris says:

    Any blog that quotes Frank Kern is a blog worth reading. Exceptional content. I especially like your thinking on perceived value… thanks for sharing!


  8. John says:

    What ever product is being introduced in the market there needs to be a research among the customers . there should be a structure in order for the success of a product . Product availability , quality as well as the image of the brand determines the winning percent of a product .

    Internet Marketing Assistant

    Internet Marketing Assistant

  9. Kevin says:

    Sometimes the marketability of a product overpowers the other 3 pillars, in my opinion. Look at companies like Apple. Their margins are enormous.

  10. Even if the three pillars: balance, functionality and perceived value are present but if the marketability of the product is, an online business won’t succeed.

  11. S K says:

    Great post with some very sound advice to follow. This a blog worth reading.

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