I meet startups, inventors and companies who wish to introduce a new product to the market all the time. I listen to stories about amazing products based on innovative technologies. I see how proud, happy and impressed these people are with their own creations. The owners develop far-reaching plans concerning conquering markets, or working with major players in a given industry.
They talk about TV shows they’ve been in, about all the media buzz surrounding their ideas. When the right moment comes, I ask the crucial question: “Why would anyone trust their solution?”. After giving me the eye, they usually provide an answer that goes along the lines of: “our solution is based on innovative technology, which nobody else has”. If this was the golden fish story, the answer would make sense. It suffices to have the fish and express a wish to make it come true.
It’s not that easy in business, though. If sheer technology was enough to achieve success, scientists would’ve been the richest people in the world. Since that’s not the case, you can imagine there have to be other important factors involved in introducing a product to the market. These include differentiation, simplicity, understanding, and trust.
Let’s focus on trust, because the lack of it is definitely the most hampering factor when introducing new products to the market. I’ve seen many times how an excellent idea was supported with a great product. A product that’s been praised in media, in the industry, and widely admired. After the initial awe, it usually lost its momentum, or in the best case scenario, the company was bought out along with its technology.
Why is this happening? Businesses are misinterpreting their market position, capabilities, and want to climb the ladder too fast.
There’s a well-known example of a startup, that was supposed to revolutionize the way you attract customers to your store. Their product has drawn the attention of top players in the industry, who’ve also encouraged the startup to develop the technology, promising cooperation once the product has been perfected. The owners invested all their funds into it, however, despite all the declarations, no one wanted to buy it. Everyone was offering exclusive partnerships. The startup, seeing its options and major potential revenue, didn’t want to agree to any of it. They decided to keep developing the product. Still, they were turned down time and time again and looking at a looming failure. Eventually, one of the players has put forward an entire business buyout proposition and the owners agreed to it. The sales process was initiated…
The questions that arise in this case are:
Why no one wanted to give them a chance?
What could’ve been done to start selling the product?
We’re looking forward to your comments and answers. We’ll provide a solution to the problem like that in our next post. Stay tuned!
Sulma & Sulma