As product managers, one of the most important things that we do is to use our product development definition to create products that our customers are going to want. There are lot of different ways that we can go about doing this. We can place them in attractive packages, we can get celebrities to endorse them, and in the case of food products, we can make them taste good. This is why it is so strange that some product managers are currently working very hard to get people to try a new type of wellness shot that generally tastes very bad. How is this going to look on anyone’s product manager resume?
It Hurts So Good
So just exactly what is a wellness shot? It turns out that it is something that won’t do anything about your thirst and in fact it really is not going to taste all that good. What’s so amazing about this product is that its taste, which is not good, is really part of its appeal. Wellness shots general come packaged in little 2 oz bottles. The product managers for these drinks make sure that people know that if they drink it, they can get a boost to their immune system or perhaps a shot of energy.
These wellness shots are made with sharp flavored ingredients that include such things as habanero pepper, garlic, and apple cider vinegar. Customers report that they do provide a quick pick-me-up; however, because of their sharp taste they have to be gulped down very quickly! Product manager have realized that their customers are looking to have some punishment with each shot that they take. Each one of these shots comes with its own special form of pain.
The reason that these wellness shots have been created is because beverage makers are looking for lower-sugar products. Their customers have started to view products that contain sugar as being unhealthy. In the beverage marketplace, lower-sugar beverages that come with the promise of health and energy benefits have really started to take off. The result of this has been that customers have all of sudden become open to trying new tastes. These new tastes include both herbal and botanical flavors. Customers seem to seeking out drinks that taste bad for the emotional high that they can provide.
The Future Of Wellness Shots
The wellness shot industry has been around for a while. Initially, it only consisted of caffeinated energy shots. The customer for this type of product was generally someone who was trying to stay awake. New forms of wellness shots are based on herbal ingredients and wellness themes. These products still represent a small part of the beverage market, but they have grown in size quickly. Sales of immunity themed shots surged from US$1.4M to $7.5 in just one year.
Although there has been a lot of growth in this part of the beverage market, there are still major questions as to if the growth can continue. The experts are questioning if product managers can find ways to get large numbers of customers to fit these types of drinks into their daily routine like Starbucks has done. The key to answering this question is if customers are going to believe if they are getting a health benefit from taking these wellness shots. When the only product was an energy shot, the customer could quickly tell if it was working. However, with wellness shots the benefits may not be so clear.
What product managers have discovered is that some of their customers are taking pride in being able to drink hard-to-swallow shots. What they are discovering is that their customers are flocking to the stronger tasting shots over the more mild ones. The shot firms have been trying to lower the amount of sugar that they use in their product over the years. Sugar has been replaced with flavors such as vinegar, tonics, and cucumber. Shots typically contain between 3-7 grams of sugar per 2 oz shot.
What All Of This Means For You
As product managers, our product manager job description tells us that we want our customers to desire our products. In order to get them to buy our products we tend to go out of our way in order to make our products more appealing to them. However, there are some products managers who are working to make their wellness shot products even harder for their customers to be able to drink. What’s going on here?
A wellness shot is a small drink that customers take in order to boost their energy or to promote wellness. These wellness shots are being made with ingredients that have very sharp tastes. It is almost as though customers are looking to hurt themselves when they drink these shots. Customers have started seeking out wellness shots because they are now trying to avoid sugar based drinks. Initially the wellness shot market only consisted of energy boosting shots. There are some major questions as to if the product managers are going to be able to get this product to appeal to a lot of people all the time. Customers seem to be taking pride in their ability to swallow difficult drinks. The sugar in these drinks is being replaced over time.
Wellness shot product managers have an interesting challenge on their hands. They want to attract more customers to their product. However, the customers that they have seem to asking them to create products that have harsher tastes that will scare away new customers. This is going to be an ongoing challenge that the product managers will have to solve. If they can find a happy middle ground, then the sky is the limit for sales of bad tasting wellness shots!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Product Management Skills™
Question For You: Do you think that it would ever be possible to create a wellness shot that was just too difficult to drink?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Once upon a time it used to be easy to be a restaurant product manager. Your #1 job was to find ways to get more people to come to your restaurant to eat. You could offer discounts, have special events, and even add unique things to your menu. However, then times changed. That internet thing arrived and all of sudden your customers are all walking around with their faces buried in their mobile phones and nobody comes out to restaurants nearly as much as they used to. However, what people do now is to order meals to go. This is good news for restaurant product managers; however, it comes with a catch that is causing them to rethink their product development definition. What app are your customers using to order their food?