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11.22.11

6 Concepts for Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It

Leadership
Demand is created in the gaps between what we really want and the goods and services we settle for. “Demand creators figure out how to solve the big and little hassles we all face—and they make our days easier, more convenient, more productive, and simply more fun,” writes Adrian Slywotzky in Demand.

Slywotzky has identified six insights and behaviors of demand creators:

Make it Magnetic. Demand creators begin with a very tough realization: Very Good does not equal Magnetic. When it comes to creating demand, it’s not the first mover that wins; it’s the first to create and capture the emotional space in the market.

Fix the Hassle Map. Mapping the hassles that dominate so much of daily life, and then figuring out how to fix them, provides the path to explosive potential demand.

Build a Complete Backstory. What you don’t see is often what makes or breaks the product. Backstory is the unseen, often overlooked factors, including infrastructure, ecosystem, and business design, that are essential to creating demand. Why did Sony’s Librié fail and Amazon’s Kindle succeed even though it was launched three years before the Kindle using the same technology?

Find the Triggers. The biggest obstacles to creating demand are inertia, skepticism, habit, and indifference. Finding the trigger to get people to act may take years, but great demand creators constantly search for them, always experimenting to find what turns fence-sitters into customers.

Build a Steep Trajectory. Even on launch day, demand creators ask themselves a very simple question: How fast can we get better? They know that every improvement they make—technical or emotional—will unlock new layers of demand, and leave less open space for imitative, piggybacking competitors.

De-Average. Demand creators know that the “average customer” is a myth. They allow for variation. The de-average by finding efficient, cost-effective ways to create product variations that more perfectly match the varying needs of very different types of customers, getting rid of overages (things we don’t want) and underages (gaps we want filled).

Most project launches fail because we fail to overcome our own human nature. We think the odds of success are pretty good. But we’re wrong. “Launch is a mind game. Success and failure hinge on how people think, and the degree to which they can overcome business as usual—and the innate proclivities of human nature.” Slywotzky offers these seven habits to help you with the odds of a successful launch:
  • conduct a fatal flaw search,
  • encourage competition inside the organization to select the strongest to compete in the outside world,
  • don’t innovate everything—borrow and steal on the least critical variables,
  • emotionalize the offer,
  • prepare the team or organization to handle the launch,
  • maintain an artful balance between confidence and fear (“Confidence is important, but fear is critical. Fear helps you fully develop the imagination of disaster—at a time when you can actually do something about it.”),
  • and finally, think in terms of series, not event (a series of assaults on the indifference of the market).
The next time you are experiencing a hassle or frustration and wonder where we will find the demand to make the change that needs to be created or implemented, Slywotzky encourages not to look up; look in the mirror.

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The lessons found in Demand reveal opportunities for the creation of new demand—not just for people in business but also for social activists, government leaders, non-profit managers and even individuals and teams within organizations. It’s the essence of leading from where you are. Where do you see a gap that needs to be filled?

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 12:36 PM
| Comments (0) | Creativity & Innovation



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