Julie Woods-Moss explores the journey of an idea from inception to widespread appeal
You may have read a recent blog by my colleague, David Eden, about the Luxe Mirror we built and showcased at Dreamforce – saleforce.com’s annual conference attended by 150,000 business leaders, visionaries and product experts. Since the event, we’ve had a fantastic response to the prototype and we’re now in conversations to develop the concept, with a view to making social shopping a reality for consumers.
The whole experience of launching this prototype got me thinking: the success of a concept requires so much more than a good idea. Without being too philosophical…if no one has heard of or understands the value of a concept or product – does it really exist in any meaningful way?
There have been numerous examples of excellent products that have failed to win over the hearts and minds of consumers – despite often having superior capabilities compared with competitors.
A recent success story is Tesla, which has become a household name in the electric car market, winning the race against some more established players in the automotive sector. Whilst many of the industry stalwarts have struggled, Tesla strode ahead by following a simple rule: just do one thing at a time. Rather than innovating for innovation’s sake, the company understood exactly who their market would be and how to effectively target them.
Fundamentally, no matter how fantastic the technological innovation or expertise, much more is required for a product to reach mass market.
This is where marketing excellence comes in. It is the role of the marketeer to take the unknown, unfamiliar concept and make it comprehensible and appealing to its target audience. Only when a product seamlessly integrates into the customer’s life, will it truly succeed.
A book I’ve been reading recently – Hooked by Nir Eyal – hits the nail on the head, examining ‘habit-forming’ products and why they so often succeed whilst others flop. With this in mind, I’ve been reflecting on how true Larry Page’s assertion may be: if a product passes the toothbrush test (is this something you will use once or twice per day, and does it make your life better) will that guarantee success?
I’ve concluded there’s no exact blueprint for launching a winning product: every product launch is unique and adoption rates and frequency of usage can vary dramatically across sectors. However, in the early stages of a launch there are some quick steps I believe you can take to make your offering stand out from the crowd.
Here are some of the measures we applied when launching our mirror:
To give ideas the best chances to fly in the market, innovators must think about the whole journey from inception to market: no matter how ground-breaking a concept may be, an idea alone is not enough…
What is your advice for taking a great idea to market? Leave your comments below.