When you are facing the challenge of selling something no one has heard of, let alone considered that they would need or even more unlikely buy, you definitely know you are in for a real battle. So how on earth can you succeed in selling an innovation? How can you sell something totally different and totally new? Is it possible to solve the problem of how to sell an innovation?
Having extensive experience and knowledge won't get your innovation sold
We have built Nordic Innovation Shop to help anyone facing these challenges. They are familiar on a first hand basis after working at a startup ourselves, selling and marketing an innovative product, an innovation.
We learned that no matter how extensive your background and experience is, when selling something totally new with nothing to relate and compare to, you are facing challenges that no past tense data alone will solve. If you are interested in learning more about these insights you’ll find them here.
While selling an innovative product, something that hasn't yet been recognized, recommended, or even understood, you need to get creative to convert the awareness and interest to actual purchase.
Hacking as an answer to the question "how to sell an innovation"
We like to think that our methodology is some kind of “hacking”, i.e. combining what exists / what we know in a new way.
Here are the cornerstones of our methodology:
Understand and know the information available in your specific field. Are there laws, recommendations, a certain culture, or something else you need to understand if you want to build your competitive advantage in that specific field? What’s trending, what’s old news, what are the future developments? Who or what supports, has supported, and will support the vision you have in mind? Are there cultural differences?
Who are your competitors? Now, don’t tell me you don’t have any competitors, all of us do, no matter how innovative we are. They just might look different than your solution, but they do exist, maybe even on an abstract level. What is the substitute cost for altering those “safe” existing solutions? Who is the market leader and why? Whose territory are you aiming to conquer?
What is the competitive advantage of your product? What makes it a must-have? When is it absolutely necessary? And why would people want to tell the world about it? What makes your product superior?
And finally the most important part of all of them, the customer. How and when does the product create value for the customer? What type of value does your offering evoke? Can your customers get value that goes beyond functional and economical value? Are there any emotional, social, and even symbolic values formed by using the product? Will your customer experience benefits and value that will create loyalty, future purchases, and recommendation of your offering?
Apart from these cornerstones there is of course all the other information available from modelling to analytics, personal experience, and many more. By understanding what your product entails, the field you aim to affect, and the recipient of your communication; you have come a long way. You can read more about the importance of customers here.
We’ll talk more about different business logics (product-dominant logic, service-dominant logic, service logic, customer-dominant logic) on a theoretical level later, but here are some practical views on the subject to give you some final thoughts.
Your customers are enabling your future
Even if it is great to visualize our products, our services, and our inventions in a status quo scenario where there is only a company that provides a solution to a customer, could you imagine pulling that off with something no one's ever heard of? When you think about it, it sounds quite ridiculous, why would we trust something that no one knows anything about? Something that you can’t relate to on a personal level?
- When you accept that your customer has more in life than just that one specific problem, the one that you have designed your solution to, you have the ability to model your value proposition, your offering, to help them meet their holistic goals (in life).
- When you find a way to communicate your offering, your innovation, in a way that supports multiple goals of your customers, then my friend, you have an opportunity to evoke value that is neither price sensitive nor hard to convert.
- When you have found how to create value formation on many levels for your customers you have a foundation to build future growth on.
Put your customer in the center, accept that your solution is “not only” a solution for “only one” problem, but maybe so much more on so many levels. That is how you can create customer demand for something that they did not know they were missing.
Someone smart told us, “it is not about doing a lot of things, it is about doing the right things!”.
To sum it up: Enable superior value formation by knowing and understanding your customers
Examples of areas where you can use our services:
We value both hands-on work as well as theory-based business and strategy development!
- Product-market fit
- Growth strategy
- Outsourced sales (B2B & B2C)
- Outsourced marketing (Paid, influencer, social media)
- Product launch (through our or own channels)
In practice, we will help you find what is relevant and help you show your (primary) stakeholders that you know it is relevant!
Good luck to all of you!