Girls Incorporated, STEM Mentors

Founder and CEO of Makibie, Rob Maille has successfully established three distinct companies over the course of his career. Makibie, located in Nashu New Hampshire, is a product strategy company that has grown to include 10 Fortune 500 clients. Outside of his professional life, Rob Maille contributes to a number of charitable organizations, including Girls Incorporated, where as a board member he advises the organization on marketing.

Girls Incorporated is a non-profit organization that offers programs encouraging young girls to overcome gender barriers. Established in New England during the Industrial Revolution to help young women entering the workforce, today Girls, Inc., provides academic programs focused on math and science, adolescent health, and violence prevention, among others.

In January of 2014, Girls, Inc., became a part of the Million Women Mentors initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to promote one million mentors working in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to build young women’s confidence in those academic areas. With the rapid growth in STEM jobs, Girls, Inc., recognizes the importance of raising up women and men working in these fields as role models to young women.

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Tips for Marketing a New Product

Currently based in Acton, Maine, entrepreneur Rob Maille is the founder of Makibie, a product strategy company. Under his leadership, Makibie focuses on conflating agile development, product design, and product strategy into a unified service. Through his company, Rob Maille serves numerous start-up companies and Fortune 500 clients.

The processing of marketing a new product should begin long before the prototype rolls off the assembly line. Product designers should try to build in motivation for owning the product right alongside conceptualization of the product itself. Consider the Snuggie, a blanket that consumers can slip into like a robe. Consumers purchase the Snuggie in droves because it serves a purpose. It doubles as both a robe and a blanket, giving consumers a handy two-for-one product.

When the time comes to generate marketing materials, focus on using the perfect descriptors to sell the product to the correct demographic. For example, the name “Snuggie” works because it sounds similar to the word “snuggle,” which evokes feelings of warmth and contentment.

Perhaps the most critical element of a marketing campaign is one that too many companies overlook: proof. When the product is ready for testing, send it out to bloggers and reviewers so they can show their audience how well the product works. Firsthand accounts of the product’s usefulness generated by unbiased sources go a long way in building the product’s reputation.

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Establishing a Product Strategy – Asking the Right Questions

Acton, MA-based entrepreneur Rob Maille founded product strategy company Makibie in 2006. He leads a small team of creative thinkers to help clients such as DataGravity, TurnRight, and OnePoint develop designs and strategies for their products. Rob Maille created the six pillars to serve as the tent poles of product strategy and design.

The six pillars as established by Makibie refer to the tenets on which successful products are built. Those pillars are purpose, clients, identity, competition, business, and solution. All pillars depend on a strong product vision, synonymous with product strategy and defined as a roadmap that begins at the product’s conceptualization and continues through release and customer feedback.

A good product strategy requires businesses to answer several questions: What are they selling? What value does the product provide customers? How will the product be priced and distributed? To answer each of these questions, focus on nailing down a specific demographic. For example, photo-editing software would be marketed to either professionals, amateurs, or a middle-of-the-road crowd. The product’s value should lie in powerful yet easy-to-use tools that make editing photos quick and painless. Pricing would depend on whether the product caters more to amateurs or professionals, but distribution would almost certainly be digital.

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