A sequel needs to offer something different , something new

by Ashvini on July 11, 2012 · 5 comments

in Business

Its easy to create a sequel to a product but hard to wow the customer. In movies , sequels often turn out to be not so popular as the originals. Problem is not with execution but the fact that often the appeal of original idea is somewhat diminished. Repeat a formula often and public would not even turn up to watch the sequels. Star performers fail and movies get thumb down despite good execution.

Sequels, upgrade to new software or moving your product to new platform needs something that is fresh, unique way of doing things

A problem with a star product is that it is impossible to top it up and keep topping every time. A path breaking product sets a very high expectation. The thing that comes after it is only incremental changes. People use Facebook on internet a lot while the same group might be disinclined using it on a mobile. Not only the environment has changed ( new interface, slower internet speed) but also way the application works has changed too. However people want the same experience as using it on desktop. It must be for example as easy to use as it is on a desktop browser. The experience of using Facebook now needs to be beyond the way it is used on desktop.

In software field, if a great product that satisfies most of the demand of customer, it will be hard to sell an upgrade. Who wants the trouble to upgrade when things are going good.

Why buy a new car when you like the current one?

The easy way out is to keep telling yourself that your product user does not understand the value you have been offering to her. The difficult way is to create new experience. For example,  performance improvement in the new software version does not elicit wow. To most of the users, it is a given. It will be noticeable only if there was a performance issue in the currently installed version. There is no wow thus.

To sell your new product,

  1. Offer something that can be perceived as new / fresh
  2. Offer that is not available on one platform on the other . For example, if you want to drive more sales from your website , offer new deals not available on the shop.

Facebook for example needs something on mobile that is different from their experience on a desktop. That may lead to loss of traffic from desktop to mobile but overall beneficial to it.

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Trixie July 16, 2012 at 10:52 am

Sequels should really be different the second time a release comes. Sometimes when it comes just like the previous one it can become boring.

JanB July 12, 2012 at 1:18 am

Being a programmer by profession I know from experience that people are not really looking forward to installing updates (newer versions) of a program they are used to.
The user interface might be different, the updated version comes with a ton ofnew features no one ever uses and things like that.
If yo want a sequel of something to work for you it has to be better just the way the user likes it. It’s hard to put a line between what a programmer thinks his clients want and what the client actually needs.
Bottom line in my opinion: The client is king. Make it better for him / her and you might pull it off.

Adrienne July 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Great point Ashvini and I totally understand what you mean.

There are some people who just want the latest version just because. Obviously if you can afford to buy whatever you want then go for it. It really has to have some major improvements that will make my life easier before I’ll upgrade. The current product, or car for that matter, works just fine.

Every once in awhile you’ll get something that is just as superb but that’s not that often I’m afraid.

Thanks for sharing your insights here, I so get this.

Enjoy the rest of your week and hope you’re doing great.


Leora July 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm

The Harry Potter sequels probably did even better than the first one (both books and movies). So if you have a great idea, go with it. But if the second is just a shadow of the first, time to move unto something else.

If it’s easy to read on mobile, I’ll read it there. I use my mobile phone to entertain and inform when waiting. So I just need easy to read – it can be the same content as on desktop.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena July 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Hey Leora,

I liked Terminator 2 much more than one ( people might disagree) . I agree that if there is a great idea, which can delight the customer, we should go for it. But people believe past laurels will work in future for them which is often not the case.

Thanks for your comment :)

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