If you already have an existing product, how would you go about finding ways to improve it? One way would be to conduct a focus group where you get a group of maybe ten customers or even people that did not purchase your product, and ask questions. What did they like if they purchased, and if they did not purchase, what caused them to hesitate? Is there something that could be done to improve the product in their eyes? Did the copy fully explain what the product does for them and how it will be valuable to their situation? Asking for suggestions and comments will often prove to be invaluable marketing advice and sometimes can come as a surprise.

A meeting can be over a conference line or it can also be a netmeeting online. Whichever feels most comfortable to your participants would be ideal.

The objective of the session is to not become too long, say maybe two hours and have the participants brainstorm the product. It is very desirable that the participants do not know that you are the owner of the product so that they feel free to give ideas and opinions without any retribution.

The moderator should be able to get people to feel uninhibited by asking questions of the group. What hot buttons are there that can be investigated? Questions regarding the product’s method of use or lack of creativity can spur direct comments from the participants that will become very valuable.

The idea is not for the participants to be negative or destructive, but to try to build on or improve the product being presented.

The ideal time to have this brainstorming session is when the product is new and not fully developed. The session might present new ideas that can be incorporated and used which will only help the marketing and sale of the product.

The brainstorming group participants will surely feel their comments and suggestions are welcome and that they have a good feel for what the product is trying to present. Maybe advising them that they will get a free product when the item is finished, will make them want to provide clear and purposeful ideas. Anything that makes the new product more useful and more direct on the subject matter, will be welcomed.

Any ideas from potential users must be considered so that the new product will be totally successful. Have fun with your brainstorming group and do not become discouraged if some comments do not seem to be helpful. Taking the participant’s comments and improving the product or service is the goal.