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Posts Tagged ‘crossing the chasm’

Avoid Shelf Potatoes: Do It Right the First Time

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Avoid Shelf Potatoes by succeeding the first time. This is critical both with retailers and inside your company. Consumers are more forgiving.

A shelf potato has failed in its first attempt to make a first impression. And that means that corporate and retailer politics may be stacked against efforts to make them come alive.

So, the most important Shelf Potato lesson is that AVOIDING them in the first place is your best way to success.

How can products avoid becoming potatoes? Learn from the lessons here. Know when you need communication to drive a product and either supply that communication or don’t proceed with introduction. Use research (and honest introspection) to detect problems ahead of time. Negotiate carefully with retailers to ensure the right placement. And, avoid putting a product at mass retail before you’re ready. Quite often, retail merchandisers will love a product but not be the best judges of the challenges it will face on the shelf. Read more…

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Eight (8) Reasons Products Sit on the Retail Shelf

July 21, 2010 2 comments

Grills like this were on the shelf for nearly 20 years before communication made a breakthrough

Grills nearly identical to George Foreman’s lingered on store shelves for nearly 20 years. Then, the Foreman infomercial blew the doors off driving over $100M in sales in two years. And we learned that while the Grill delivered tremendous value to consumers, no one had known of those benefits or believed it would deliver them.

Not all Shelf Potatoes have potential like the Foreman Grill. Some sit on the shelf because they should. Contributor Ben Smith has noted that the Microsoft Kin was released with massive communication, failed to show unique value, then lingered on the shelf only to be cancelled leaving a black spot on Microsoft’s reputation. Read more…

Failure to “Cross the Chasm” Leads To Shelf Potatoes

June 22, 2010 2 comments

Literature about crossing the chasm in technology is filled with reasons products should have been re-engineered, re-thought, or simply never attempted.

But this literature rarely mentions communication. Too bad. Because in my experience, communication may be the single biggest reason for failing to make the jump.

Take DirecTV. I had the good fortune to do some strategic work early in DirecTV’s lifecycle. Their initial marketing was all about technology. Digital picture quality and 250 channels dominated the discussion.

Our work focused on later consumers – not the earliest adopters. And what we found surprised DirecTV. Because we found that these later adopters didn’t care in the least about the values DirecTV was using to sell their product. Read more…