In my last article, we discussed how business ideas can be converted into new products. Today, we will look at how small businesses can effectively market their new innovative products. This became necessary following an encounter I had with a vendor who came to present an electronic ‘Invitation Card’ that is tied to invitees’ social media platform. After the presentation to the panel, I asked a simple question, “What am I going to do with the card after the event?”
The product was innovative and great, but if we are paying so much for it, we should receive something greater than what the vendor was offering. Unfortunately, the panel didn’t get a convincing response in terms of values he wanted them to pay for. Offering a new product at the right value and price can be very challenging especially when technology is involved, but you can get consumers to consider your product, if you:
1. Tie your innovation to an ‘important value’
Each feature in a product is valued from very important to not so important. If consumers must pay certain amount for a product, that amount must commensurate with the value they are getting. Consumers will not pay you because you introduced technology into your product. The technology is good, but the most important benefit consumers will get from your product should be your main concern. Don’t push benefits you cannot easily point out its worth to consumers.
2. Show why your innovation is better
This vendor showed us how his product is different, but failed to point out why it is better than what we were already used to. Differentiating your idea is great, but if consumers cannot figure out what makes it better than existing ideas, you will have problem convincing them to buy. Don’t show us how your innovation is different; show us why it is better.
3. Make the price ridiculously irresistible
Every new innovation is meant to give more value at a lower price all things being equal. There is a reason every mother would prefer to use diapers than use cloth napkins for their babies even though diapers are more expensive. Innovative ideas must be priced such that the total benefits derived surpass the amount the consumer wants to pay. Don’t give consumers a price tag that will force them to have a rethink about your product.
4. Present your product features logically
Selling is like learning. When selling, you are trying to teach your customers about your product. You take it step by step, ensuring that they understand every step before you make the next move. Good information help consumers make purchase decisions about a product. The more information you give them about your product, the earlier they reach a decision. Don’t be in a hurry to present your product features, consumers need time to process information provided.
Embedding technology into products/ideas is the commonest means to innovation, however there is no guarantee consumers will buy into it. The first lesson I learnt in Marketing is that a ‘Product is a bundle of benefits’ and consumers are paying for these benefits, not the product. As an entrepreneur, always think in terms of benefits consumers will derive from your products when using it, not the technology that you have embedded into it. Don’t sell technology, sell benefits.