Formulating a total solution

When we've developed an innovative product or service, the marketplace may not want it yet, understand it on their own terms or see any use for it in their personal contexts. They may be asking:
  • What good is this to me?
  • Why should I want to acquire this?
  • How can I be the judge of the quality of this?
  • Why should I trust what the sales pitch says about this?

Those adventurous types that buy something before the herd has a clue that it exists, may be disappointed with their purchase of the innovative product or service. It may not work as promised, not function in the way they had hoped, or took more effort than they expected. Those early adopters may be asking:
  • Why wasn't I told about these disadvantages and difficulties before I bought this?
  • How could I be so gullible, unsuspecting and naive to fall for this?
  • What was I thinking when I found this offer to be appealing?
  • Why was I so impulsive as to leap before I looked?

Once the innovation gets debugged and refined, some of that buyer's remorse will vanish. Once the disconnects between marketing and actual functionality get cleaned up, more customers will be satisfied with their purchases. Then there will be a new crowd of customers who want to do more with the innovation, who wonder how to get the most out of it and who are considering ways to apply the innovation in other situations. These pragmatists may be asking:
  • Where else can this be applied?
  • How else can this be made to function for me?
  • What can this do when applied to some of my other problems?
  • Why does the innovation limit itself to those prescribed applications?

All three sets of questions are opportunities to formulate a total solution for the customers. The original innovation gets contained in a larger package. The potential buyers with problems encounter the total solution that says to them: "bring it on, we get this all the time". The potential buyers experience "customer service before the sale". They're then sold on how they were treated, served and respected by the total solution. Their trust in the innovation is deepened by how they got their questions answered, misgivings resolved and remorse prevented. The established customers get service after the sale. They become "brand hijackers" who spread the word of the "great innovation they've been using". They get into the spirit of how they we're treated as they serve their strong and weak social network links with answers to their questions. The total solution takes on a life of its own.

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