From previous blogs in this series, you know that 75% of all new products fail, with most of them failing in less than two years. The single biggest reason they fail is addressed in this podcast. They fail because they do not offer benefits that are dramatically better than the products people are currently using.
Of the three critical elements in the science of persuasion powered by Merwyn technology, today we cover the third element– communicating how your product is dramatically better than some, most, all of the competitive options.
Here is an overview of the importance of dramatic difference communication.
Merwyn Technology is used to evaluate actual product communication. When it comes to persuasively communicating how your product is different and better than competition, you need to pay close attention since it dramatically impacts your chances for success. Specifically products with weak communication of their differences have only a 15% chance for success. If you’re difference communication is that a medium level, your chances jump all the way up to 40%. And do an excellent job in of communicating a dramatic difference in your chances increase to 53%. There is an important perspective here – if you have very strong communication on this one critical element, you can have twice the chances for long-term success as compared to the average product. Please think about that.
Here are several dramatic difference points.
First, there are multiple dimensions that you can be different than some, most, or all of your competition.
- Efficacy: your product can be dramatically better at delivering a key benefit like fresh taste, processing speed, or comfort.
- Price: you can have the lowest price which is a positive to some people or you can have the highest price which can also be positive for a certain target audience that prides themselves in buying the very best.
- Value: the best balance of benefit delivery with price. You may not be the lowest priced, but the group of benefits you deliver for the price makes you the best value. In many categories being the best value is the sweet spot for becoming the market leader.
Second, it takes much, much more difference than you may think to have a dramatic difference. My usual advice to people is that whatever you think it takes to have a dramatic difference, multiply it by 10.
There are three levels of differences. Most of these levels make very little difference in the real world.
- Level I differences: your product is technically different and better. For example, it might have 10% more of an active ingredient. This level of differences are virtually impossible for consumers to notice and appreciate. Net, they may make you feel good, but your customers will yawn.
- Level II differences: these are technical differences that are great enough that customers can notice if they pay attention. If they don’t pay attention, there is a good chance they will not notice. For example, when a new computer chip comes out and doubles the speed of your computer, we may briefly notice the improvement. These kinds of differences are big enough for some consumers to buy more if they are existing customers or to cause a competitive customer to switch to your product.
- Level III differences: these are WOW differences. All you have to do is show it to a customer and they immediately and positively notice the difference. Think of the Prius, the iPod, the iPad, Tesla, Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic (Star Wars!), Starbucks, Keurig,.
Third, a qualitative example of how much a difference it takes to get someone to switch from a brand they are loyal to.
- Group example I use. I ask for a loyal Crest or Colgate toothpaste user to raise their hand.
- I then offer three levels of major product news on the competitive brand.
- For example for a loyal crest user I tell them there are three major new product improvements coming to Colgate toothpaste – which one will they switch for.
- 10% more whitening.
- 50% more fresh mint taste.
- 75% fewer cavities than Crest.
- In the years that I’ve been doing this qualitative experiment I have never been able to get a loyal Crest or Colgate user to switch.
What all of this means.
- If you’re inventing new products, you need to set the bar of how much better the new product is then some, most, all of your competitors very, very high if you want to have at least twice the chances for success of the average idea.
- If you’re looking to make a product improvement on existing product, you know that the improvement needs to be a major and dramatic improvement versus the current product if you truly want to sell more and make more from the improvement.
- So many companies and people forget the importance of having products that are dramatically better than their competition. They set the bar entirely too low. It is why so many product improvements have a very low or negative return on investment.
- Having said that, developing dramatically better new products and dramatic improvements to existing products is no easy task.
- Bottom line: if you don’t see a path to making a new or existing product dramatically better than your competition, then consider not investing in smaller very modest improvements. Instead, focus on developing your core business through branding and more persuasive communication of the benefits you already have.
If you want help with your innovation program, we can help you achieve dramatically better innovation results in 90 days or less. Guaranteed. We help businesses of all kinds and sizes to consistently double their innovation success rate by creating innovative solutions that are dramatically better than all of their competition. We can consistently do this because Innovate2Grow Experts is the only innovation consultancy using the eight most proven innovation best practices.
At Innovate2Grow Experts we can help you in two fundamental ways. First, we can collaboratively work with you in a variety of ways on a specific innovation need. Second, if you are interested in being trained at a high level on the eight most proven innovation best practices, you can start for free.
Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.
Richard Haasnoot, Head Coach, Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com
Founder and Producer, Innovation Best Practices podcast i2ge.com/podcast