When does a product go from being innovative to being desired?
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
This is an interesting question that is more prevalent today than it has ever been with the modern digital age we live in. Most people are under the impression that the first smart phone was the Apple iPhone but in fact it was BellSouth’s Simon Personal Communicator in 1994, the iPhone wasn’t launched until 2007. BellSouth were the innovators of smart phones but it wasn’t until Apple launched the iPhone that they went from being innovative to being desired, why is this; is it due to marketing, consumers, manufacturers, price or is it something else?
The same can be said with the uptake of energy saving technologies often the innovation takes place decades before governments and users understand the impact it can have on the reduction in energy consumption. One or two countries often take up innovative technologies years before the others, they have the foresight to see the potential of the new technology and this helps the wider community to take up such technologies because they have already been proven and perceived to be less of a risk.
In the consumer market desired products need to be innovative (or have innovative features), it needs to have a modern ‘cool’ design, it needs to be easy and useful to use and finally needs to be reasonably priced. In the business world desired products need to substantially improve performance, they need to be competitively priced, reliable and above all need to be easy to implement.
Producing an innovative product doesn’t automatically mean it will be desired there are many factors that affect the desirability “You can have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, what good is it?” Phil Knight, chairman of Nike Inc.
To design an innovate product is a relatively straight forward process but to design a desired product is difficult, it takes innovation, good marketing and promotion, competitiveness, the ability to make a product that is easy to use but powerful and finally great aesthetic design.
Innovation was the main draw for me pursuing a career with Fairford; they were the innovators of the soft starter market back in the early 80’s and soft starters are now a desired product. We are still innovating today with intelligent Energy Recovery System (iERS) and synergyTM being the latest innovative additions to the product range.
These products are already desirable by some, how long will it be before the world takes note?
Steve Atkey – Head of Medium Voltage