Tag Archives: Disruptive

How Do You Reach High-end Users? Three Thoughts

Situation: A company has developed a disrupting technology that will allow OEMs to produce high-end circuits at a fraction of their current cost. A non-exclusive OEM partner is using this technology but doesn’t have a channel to high-end users, and the company is too small to reach these customers themselves.  How do you reach high-end users?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Your dilemma is having a disrupting technology in a market with a strong division between OEMs servicing the low/medium-end market and those servicing the high-end market.
    • Your technology collapses the division between the low/medium and the high-end markets and OEMs and proposes a full-scale technical shift.
    • This shift disrupts the current business models of either group of OEMs, as well as their technology development plans. This is why you are finding resistance.
  • Therefore, you need a channel partner that is either:
    • A low/medium-end OEM who is just as much a disrupter as you are – highly promising but not yet well-established – and who is capability of developing a high-end sales and marketing effort; or
    • A high-end OEM that knows the market but is collapsing under their current strategy and needs an entirely different solution to revive their prospects.
  • Your near-term task is to simply gain market capability – both manufacturing and marketing/sales – and to use this capability to gain early market acceptance.
    • Your investors want to see early “Blue Chip” partners, but given market realities, this may not be the wisest strategy.
    • If, over the next 12 months, you can begin to impact the market shares of the high-end OEMs, this is the surest way to gain their attention. Once you start to gain share, a likely outcome is that one of the high-end OEMs will buy you to lock up your IP.
    • Another company recently used a similar strategy entering a new market by collaborating with a high-visibility partner.
      • In one year, they took 30% market share from the market leader.
      • The next year the market leader bought them because “it was less expensive to buy you than to spend the marketing dollars that we would have had to spend to compete against you.”

 

 

How Do You Build Acceptance of a Disruptive Model? Two Examples

Interview with Marc Rochman, CEO, Openbucks

Situation: A company has recently introduced a disruptive business proposition. The immediate focus is pitching the solution as an attractive alternative and building early traction. What are best practices for building acceptance of a disruptive model?

Advice from Marc Rochman, CEO of Openbucks:

  • Any business, especially an innovative start-up, is bound to meet a wall of resistance; the key is finding the cracks in the wall. To do this, you must demonstrate a significant benefit to both the company and its customers. However, most important is finding a partner who has an early adopter attitude or culture.
  • Often the principal resistance is not with the product or solution being presented, but fear of being the first through the gate – particularly with a product and company who haven’t yet proven themselves. This stems from a perception that if the solution turns out badly the penalty may be severe, especially for the executive who made the decision.
  • Openbucks recently introduced a new payment solution for people who don’t have bank accounts or credit cards such as teenagers and people without strong credit and those hesitant to use credit cards online. The solution allows people to purchase a gift card from a retailer and use that gift card to buy in-store goods as well as to buy and pay for digital goods inside hundreds of online games.
  • Openbucks’ first partner is Subway. They are innovative, imaginative and not afraid to be first with a new concept. In addition, Subway also happens to have a subsidiary that specializes in payments and payment processing so they immediately understood the model.
  • Another early partner is CVS Pharmacy. To CVS the appeal was the model of convenience and a way to encourage repeat customer visits. Since people routinely visit pharmacies to get prescriptions and a host of other products, it is easy for them to buy a gift card during a routine visit.
  • The keys to overcoming objections to innovation are:
    • Be resilient and patient, especially when working with large companies. Once they begin to see a trend of success, they will more likely be ready for mass adoption.
    • Strike the right balance between persistence and a willingness to adapt your product when you see an opportunity. Pivot or tweak your model to take advantage of a new opportunity that you did not anticipate originally. The pivot allows you to take an easier path instead of banging against the wall too long. Sometimes you just have to go around the wall.
  • Subway has more stores than any other retailer in the US. Adopting the Openbucks solution came naturally for Subway because they understand payment processes and how to use them to create loyalty and foot traffic.
  • The program is simple and a win-win-win for the consumer, retail outlet, and merchants who can collect cash-like payments from the unbanked, under-banked and those who prefer not to use a credit card online. The purchase of a $10 Subway gift card can be used to buy a Subway sandwich, and inside mini digital stores in hundreds of online games. Fifty-four percent of those who buy a Subway gift card also get a sandwich – a clear value to the retailer. Further, since they have the card, they are more likely to be repeat customers.

You can contact Marc Rochman at info@openbucks.com

Key Words: Strategy, Sales & Marketing, Disruptive, Brand, Acceptance, Resistance, Retail, Benefit, Fear, Gift Card, Payment, Credit, Subway, CVS, Convenience, Objections, Pivot