Deena Ghazarian, Managing Partner of TargetPath: Effective Product Research and Promotional Strategies For Tech Startups
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One of the things I love about working in the Consumer Technology industry is the opportunity I have to hear how companies are doing product research and bringing new tech to market. My guest, today, Deena Ghazarian is an especially delightful person to talk to about those topics because she is a vital part of the TargetPath team - an accelerator that helps tech startups and established technology companies get started, scale, and become successful faster.
One of the things I love about working in the Consumer Technology industry is the opportunity I have to learn how companies are doing product research and bringing new technologies to market. My guest on this episode is Deena Ghazarian, an especially delightful person to talk to about those topics because she is a vital part of the TargetPath team - an accelerator that helps tech startups get started, scale, and become successful faster.
In this conversation Deena and I were able to talk about a number of fascinating topics such as how the TargetPath team has been on the front lines of the “smart city” movement, helping the city of New York establish and implement its smart city program. We also spoke about innovative ways startups and established tech companies alike are using Kickstarter and Amazon to do product research and set their companies up for success.
Deena is a smart, accomplished professional who brings years of experience to the consumer tech industry. I know you’re going to benefit from hearing what she shares on this episode.This company is on the leading edge of implementing smart city tech in the 5 boroughs of New York City
One of the exciting tech projects Deena and the TargetPath team has been involved in lately is the LinkNYC project. They’ve helped remove every payphone in the city with gleaming silver kiosks (called “Links) that contain Wi-Fi beacons, mobile device chargers, and informational tablets for users. The goal is to have at least 4,550 of these units spread across the five boroughs by the year 2020.
Deena says consumer tech is not just about headphones and smart speakers, it’s also about connecting consumers of city services to those services in ways that are beneficial and efficient. It’s an amazing project and a look into the future of what consumer tech companies will be working on more and more as we move forward.Equipping Sol Republic to go from $0 to $65M in just over 3 years
You may have seen one of the “Soundtrack of Life” video clips featuring Olympic champion Michael Phelps. They were created by a headphone brand called Sol Republic. The company was founded in 2011 and Deena and the TargetPath team were instrumental in the product research and analysis, product development, launch, and management of the brand from the beginning. Today Sol Republic is one of the fastest growing audio brands in its category.
Speaking about Michael as a member of the promotional team, Deena says, “Michael did it for his love of music and what Sol Republic stood for. It was a very interesting model where he wanted to be associated with what was cool, so we were very lucky to have Michael as part of the team.”
In Deena’s description of this success story, you’ll hear the key role an advisory team like TargetPath can have in the product research and development of a successful brand. It’s a strategy more brands will likely be adopting in the future.When your product is your baby, it’s hard to hear how it might be ugly
Startup founders often have a hard time seeing why consumers are not going to fall in love with their product idea in the same way they have. It’s their beautiful baby, but Deena points out that apart from hard work and strategic planning, the consumer is not going to adopt it.
Along that line, it’s easy to think that if the product could only be promoted effectively to a big retailer like Best Buy, everything else would work itself out. But the truth is that those big retailers are going to rightfully demand that the product is a quality product consumers will not only relate to but also like. That’s why it’s better to build a distribution channel strategy that can deliver the best product for the end consumer. Deena says, “If you jump ahead of that process too quickly, it, unfortunately, can be the downfall of your baby.”
Learn why good product and consumer research and strategic distribution can make or break even the most innovative consumer tech products, on this episode with Deena Ghazarian.Kickstarter and Amazon are great sources of honest feedback for startups
The tendency is to think that Kickstarter and Indiegogo are for startups, but there’s actually a great opportunity for established brands to use those platforms to get the feedback they need. With good feedback, they are able to iterate and adapt their products to consumer needs and demands. A company can learn whether or not customers will engage with the product story, what the price point should be, and how the product is going to fly long-term.
Amazon is a great model to utilize for product research and development as well. The reason is that the reviews given on products in the Amazon ecosystem are honest reviews. Nothing is held back, so companies can listen to that feedback and make changes as a result.
Deena points out how less commonly considered things, like packaging, can become focal-points for changes simply because of the consumer feedback received. She says, “They’ll tell you if you’re not doing anything to stand out. That’s really valuable feedback that’s hard to get because in most cases people are not thinking about the last 3 feet of the sale and how the consumer reacts to the products.”
Listen to the rest of this episode to hear Deena’s thoughts about the future of consumer tech as it relates to voice technology and handsfree implementations, health and wellness, and IOT implementation out of doors.
If you are with a consumer technology company planning to launch a new product at CES, or are even looking ahead to CES 2019, the Max Borges Agency can help you succeed. To learn more, check out: www.maxborgesagency.com.
Topics Featured In This Episode
- [1:50] How Deena Ghazarian got involved in consumer tech
- [3:53] Transitioning to Monster as director of sales
- [9:06] The role TargetPath plays in helping product creators become profitable
- [11:40] Amazon strategies TargetPath helps startups implement
- [14:10] Examples of companies TargetPath has served
- [17:30] Mistakes commonly made by hardware entrepreneurs
- [20:37] Using Kickstarter and Amazon to get initial feedback on consumer tech products
- [23:50] Consumer tech trends Deena is keeping her eye on
- [25:43] The future of TargetPath: Doubling down to serve world-changing startups
- [31:01] The best way for startups to work with TargetPath
Resources & People Mentioned
- Replay TV
- Anthony Wood (CEO of ROKU)
- Sol Republic
- Noel Lee
- Michael Phelps
- Best Buy
- The Amazon Exclusive Group
- Consumer Technology Association Board of Industry Leaders
- Gary Shapiro
Connect with Deena Ghazarian
Connect With Max Borges
47 episodes available. A new episode about every 21 days averaging 37 mins duration .