Great New Products are Harder to Sell

Take a look at your standard bell curve for a new product. It’s literally a double edge sword.

There are a lot of people in the middle of the curve. If you have a product ready for the mass like mp3 players, there are a lot of people that can buy your product, but why wouldn’t they buy an iPod? Almost everyone is a possible customer.

Let’s say you have a new product. I’m sorry to say that you really can’t sell to the middle of the curve. The middle doesn’t buy from you. They buy when their early adopter and innovator friends tell them that the product is worthwhile. The simple fact is that not everyone can be your customer (yet). Don’t worry this is good news.

I realized this at a trade show this afternoon. We have a great product which everyone loves. Why do some people that love the idea not buy? They don’t want to be the first one.

You have to move along this curve left to right, no skipping. Trying to sell your new cutting edge product to the middle of the curve is just as useless as selling a 20 gig iPod to an early adopter.

How is this good news?

You don’t have to waste your time chasing the millions. Sure, as an entrepreneur you want to tell everyone about your idea just don’t forget to target that 2% that can actually help you.

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One Response to Great New Products are Harder to Sell

  1. Mike, you are fairly dead-on here… in the technology and Interactive world. A perfect example of this was Napster/Kazaa back in the day. At first, it was the college kids and computer wunderkinds, but over time, the market opened up and people of all demographics started utilizing these platforms. Start small, influence the early adopters and let them do the marketing for you.

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