Why Highly Innovative Products Are Harder to Sell

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“I want to start the first ____!”

“I want to create the all-new ____!”

“I want to anchor the first ever ____!”

Among young, aspiring entrepreneurs, a misconception seems to linger. A great portion of self-starters feel the need to come up with an entirely unique idea — something never before seen!

That’s the dream, isn’t it? To bring something entirely refreshing to market. To design something all your own. To create a new wave. This is the thought process many up-and-coming developers tend to follow.

I recently stumbled across a concept that explains this predicament in more depth:

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Red Vs. Blue

As the info-graph suggests, there are two strategies for new business and product developers to utilize. Both are quite simple.

Red Ocean is the idea that substantial competition exists in the market you are pursuing. There’s an assumption of consumer knowledge and “buzz” already established around what product or service you offer.

Blue Ocean is just the opposite.

This concept works within the parameters of little or no competition. You aren’t tampering with something already in the market, you are breaking ground and offering something new.

Essentially, you’ve got an open space to play with. You don’t meet the standards, you try to set them.

A lot of new entrepreneurs attempt to venture off into Blue waters. It gives the impression of less competitive pressure, more freedom to innovate, and overall, appears to be a more lucrative path.

The Problem

While the Blue Ocean strategy may seem calm and refreshing, potential danger lives deep beneath its serene surface.

What most new business minds tend to disregard is the informative process of launching an innovative product.

In other words, when something new enters the market, burden falls on the owners to explain what’s “new” about it.

For Example

Imagine XYZ company just lauched their new “Dreamhance” product — a dream enhancing machine. (Completely made up)

It’s brand new and highly innovative. No one’s ever heard of it before! This means two things:

  • No one’s actually looking or in-demand of this product
  • Anyone strolling down the isle or surfing the web has no idea what this product is or what it can actually do for them

Both of these make it incredibly difficult to make a sale. How do the XYZ guys overcome this?

Cost of Education

XYZ company is now faced with the daunting task of educating an entire population on their new product. This means explaining to everyone what the product is, what benefits it provides, and why people should actually buy.

Not a breezy task, whatsoever.

The company should expect to spend millions in additional advertising, marketing, and various informational services to the public. It’s doable, but these operations come at a hefty cost.

Although deferred, expect to pay a price when using the Blue Ocean strategy.

Balance it out

So, what can you take away from this?

Never try to innovate? Of course not!

Look for a balance of innovation and cogency. Seek out proven products that sell, then add your own unique spin to it.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

- AZ

Bored, uneducated, homeless — em dashes are my specialty. I write what I see, think, and feel. That’s it.

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