This blog and the next four that follow it may be the most helpful and valuable blogs you ever read. Before you dismiss this as an exaggeration, please consider the following facts.
- Almost everyone who uses innovation to invent a new product or make an existing one better believes they have a slam dunk success on their hands. You get excited. You can’t wait to start collecting the profits.
- Here is a sobering fact that has been true for many decades: 25% of all products are successful for five years. 75% of all products fail. Most of them fail in the first 12 – 24 months, with many not making it past the six-month mark. These numbers apply to the biggest corporations like Procter & Gamble down to the smallest entrepreneurs.
- Here is a tragic fact. Some innovators go to market with a product that uses customer communication giving them only a 25% chance for success or less. For these innovators, what’s holding them back is not very persuasive customer communication. In truth, they have a much, much better product than they are effectively communicating. If the product had communication guided by the science of persuasion its chances could be twice as high.
Today’s blog is the first in a series about what it takes for an innovative new or existing product to have high chances for long-term success. In this series will learn how you can double the chances for success of an existing or new product – proven by rock solid science known as the Science of Persuasion powered by Merwyn Technology. This blog provides you with an overview with subsequent blogs going into detail on the individual elements of the science of persuasion.
Often innovation is focused on inventing an entirely new product or making an existing product better. When we use quantum idea generation the result is many options to accomplish both of these objectives.
The challenge then becomes selecting a very few ideas for further development.
Major companies rely on Merwyn Technology to evaluate their options and select the one with the highest chances for long-term success.
In your product innovation work, you want to make sure that you understand the three critical elements that drive your chances for long-term success.
When you have an existing product, you want to use Merwyn Technology’s science of persuasion to optimize the persuasiveness of your communication to potential customers.
Beyond product innovation, in any situation where you need to persuade people, the science of persuasion will quickly and easily make you as persuasive as you can possibly be. When you have done that you are in a position to make smarter innovation decisions.
Here is an overview of Merwyn Technology.
- Merwyn Technology was first developed and patented by Doug Hall of Eureka Ranch plus two people with PhDs.
- His motivation for developing it was to help clients who had developed many ideas at Eureka Ranch to identify the ideas with the highest chances for long-term success. Prior to Merwyn, him the identification process was highly subjective and Merwyn added an important objective perspective.
- Developing Merwyn took six years and almost $10 million.
- When it was introduced, Fortune magazine referred to it as one of the most promising new technologies in America.
- Since it was first developed, many, many Fortune 500 companies plus hundreds of small businesses have used Merwyn.
Today Merwyn has two major ways it can help your business. Regarding innovation, it identifies the three critical factors that dramatically influence a product or service’s chances for long-term success – long term defined as five years. With Merwyn we know when we have a big idea. In addition, Merwyn Truth Teller quantitative research powered by Merwyn Technology provides an 80% accurate year one sales estimate. There are actually multiple sales estimates based upon assumptions you submit.
Merwyn Technology is also the science of persuasion. Those same three critical factors need to be strongly present in customer communication if that communication is to be highly persuasive.
There is a statistical evaluation of a new or existing product message. The quality of the research and real world confirmation of Merwyn’s accuracy is very high. Its accurate statistical evaluations have been confirmed many, many times with real-world examples.
For example, a very large financial services company evaluated more than 20 of its direct mail pieces. Merwyn evaluated each of them and gave them a score. There was a statistically positive correlation between the score and the response rate. Put another way, the higher the Merwyn score, the higher the response rate.
Many hundreds of real world examples also support the accuracy of the Merwyn scores.
Maybe most important for me, is that Merwyn Technology easily passes the common sense test.
Here is a critical understanding of the customer buying process. For almost any type of product a customer needs or wants to buy there are many, many options available to them.
Go into a store and look at the toothpaste section. There is a bewildering array of brands and options within those brands. The customer needing toothpaste will probably purchase only one out of about 50 options available to them. They are going to choose the option that they believe is better than any of the other options.
The same challenge exists with much more expensive purchases. When you are in the market to buy a car, there are more than 20 brands each with more than five different models or well over 100 options for you to consider. Again, since your budget cannot afford to buy all 100, you will determine which one option is better at meeting your needs than all of the others.
Get in touch with your own personal buying process. Regardless of the business that you are in, reacquainting yourselves with the fundamentals of the buying process always reveals insights that can help you sell more and make more.
Please consider the last time you purchased a vehicle. When you began the purchasing process how would you have described your need? Family vehicle like a minivan? SUV for off roading? Car with good mileage and an excellent safety record?
How many options did you seriously evaluate? How many test drives did you do?
When you narrowed your options down to two possible choices, what were the primary benefits of each option? Put another way, how would you have described how each option met your needs?
Why did you believe each option could actually deliver the promised benefit? Did you experience it in a test drive? Did you read an evaluation like Consumer Reports?
You ultimately chose one of the options. Why did you decide that one option was better than any of the others? Price? Benefits? Higher trust?
What we have just briefly gone through is the buying process almost everyone goes through in making a purchase.
Some of these steps in the process can be assumptive and habitual. For example, you might already believe, “I always buy a Honda or I always buy Crest toothpaste.” At one time in your life you made a reasoned purchase and subsequent experiences to confirm the rightness of that decision. As a result, your previous experiences strongly influence your current purchase decision. These experiences usually fall under the heading of giving you reason to believe the benefits the product delivers to you. These experiences built trust.
There is an important dynamic in the purchase process that most business people tend to overlook. Making a purchase is about choosing one option over others, sometimes many others. Choosing one option involves consciously or subconsciously making comparisons. This often overlooked but critical purchase decision step turns out to be the single most powerful part of the science of persuasion.
Big picture view– the extensive research that led to Merwyn’s development identified three critical elements needed for a new or existing product to successful persuade a consumers to buy it.
- First, the product needs to meet a customer need or want. Needs are usually higher priorities than wants, but the emotions associated with many wants can make them pretty powerful. When communicating with potential customers, it is critical that we communicate the benefit our product has – how it meets their need or want. Put another way, we need to communicate to potential customers what’s in it for them if they buy our product.
- Second, having communicated a benefit, we need to make that benefit promise credible. We need to give them specific reasons to believe that we can deliver on our promise. Absent a credible reason to believe, our benefit promise can have very little persuasiveness.
- Third, we need to communicate to potential customers how our product is better than some, most, or all other competitive choices those customers have. Put another way, why should they buy our product instead of a competitor’s product. The source of “better” is often a stronger and more credible benefit promise.
The upcoming blogs address the following.
- Benefit promise: we will do a deep dive into how you make the absolutely most persuasive benefit promise your product is capable of. You may be surprised by how much we know about highly persuasive benefit communication.
- Reason to believe: once we know what our benefit promises, we need to craft a reason to believe that potential customers find highly credible. You will discover the five different strategies available to us in creating a highly persuasive reason to believe.
- Dramatic difference: the most powerful part of the science of persuasion is communicating our benefit promise is better – hopefully dramatically better – then some, most, or all of the competitive options. You will learn how to communicate these differences with skill and persuasiveness.
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