Maybe coming up with the next big thing is not as hard after all. Making the crucial step from concept to profit is the nutcracker. So you have this great idea. You have come up with this fantastic product or concept. You are full of belief that what you possess is your big break to profitable avenues. But then again many have been there before and failed. History is full of examples where innovations didn’t take off as expected. Why you? What makes your idea the special one? From sliced bread to tablet PCs, having a good idea is only the first step of a long journey. There is much more than meets the eye to make the desired success.
Serve a purpose
Many product and/or business innovations have failed in the past due to a lack of purpose. Make sure your business idea focuses on a customer need. We sometimes get lost into the nitty gritty of product attributes and functionality. But in reality the consumer will only engage with you if you can fulfill their needs. Consumers are not queuing up to spend money just for the sake of it. They expect a return on their investment. They have expectations and by fulfilling their needs you can only make a sustainable transaction.
Capture their imagination
Even though consumers have specific needs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they know what they are. Henry Ford was famous for creating the automobile industry while consumers probably just thought that they needed a faster horse. Steve Jobs brought music and internet access to the iPhone while consumers just considered mobile phones as an alternative device to make a telephone call. Whatever you create, it has to capture the imagination of your customers.
Certainly there is nothing new nowadays in being different as many try to differentiate themselves from others. Therefore forget about being different and focus on being remarkable. Your idea needs to astonish customers. We are full of choice and options to fulfill our day-to-day needs. Why should someone buy into your big idea? What is so exciting about what you have to offer? Where’s the beef?
Ideas that spread
We are now living in a digital age where the world-wide-web and social networking facilitate the distribution of knowledge and content. Those ideas that swiftly spread are those that succeed. Remember Gangam Style and PSY? At times it might seem fascinating how certain things become a viral hit. And true that bad ideas spread too. But today we are operating in a global community. Barriers of trade continue to come down as business flourishes from one region to another. Ideas that spread win the battle if not even the war.
Think Like a Guerrilla Commando
Don’t be intimidated by being the underdog. There are many business success stories of Davids beating Goliaths. Apple was a fraction of what Microsoft was at the time. Companies like Taiwan-based HTC were initially subcontractors for mobile carriers such as O2 and Vodafone. And who would have expected back then that weaving machine makers Toyota would emerge as a global player in the automobile industry? All new businesses have their own humble beginnings. All newcomers are underdogs. But they too have their own capability of undermining the competition and taking over the market. Think of Sun-tzu and his Art of War or Che Geuvera and his Guerilla Warfare Manifesto. They too were underdogs that stamped their impact on history. Each guerilla fighter is ready to die not just to defend an idea, but to make that idea a reality. Are you ready to become a guerrilla commando?
Treat Your First Customers Like Partners
Your first customers are your most important ones. They are the ones who had the guts and will to engage in what you have to offer. Do not underestimate their value to your cause. Therefore make sure they are treated like partners. Early adopters want to be associated with success. They want to be credited for betting on the winning team. They want to be considered as innovators who bought into the next big thing. Nobody wants to be associated with a loser. Make sure your first customers become advocates of your idea. From then onwards the product adoption life cycle might just take off faster than you think.
Be Ready to Change the World
It might be quick to conclude that commercializing your idea is mainly about achieving a profit. True that any business is not a charity and it is for profit that they exist. But also ensure that your idea is a force of good. Something that makes our dear planet a sustainable one. Something that brings peace, progress and integration to the global community. We have a responsibility to our own children and future generations to come. Therefore be ready to change the world; for the better and not for the worse. Customers love heroes not villains.