We’ve recently attended a few trade shows for the industries in which we work. One of note was the SHOT Show in Vegas. SHOT is an acronym for the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show. It’s the biggest dealer and distributor show in the Outdoor industry.
With approximately 12 miles of exhibits, we had the opportunity to visit with quite a few folks. A common takeaway from many of our conversations was that innovation in new products were driving sales.
While this show centered around the Outdoor industry, what we saw and learned can be applicable to many industries. Innovation in new product development and in the effective marketing of that product or service can be a great way to drive incremental sales and revenues for your business.
Innovation can be achieved in many ways. It can be incorporating new processes or technologies to gain efficiency. It could be developing a new creative approach to take an existing product to market. Or, it could be strategically developing or purchasing new products to take to market to boost your sales and bottom line.
Developing new products is a common way to leverage innovation. The companies that are really successful with new product launches release innovative new products that fulfill an underserved niche within the market.
To do this, you must stay in tune with your customer base and target audience to be able to identify when there is an opportunity to meet a need or desire that is not currently being met with the products currently available. Customer surveys and market research, social media monitoring and listening, and industry forum and event participation can all be effective ways to gain feedback from your customers and target audience. Another way is by asking your front-line salespeople what their customers are asking for. They usually know better than most. These insights can uncover opportunities that may be available to introduce a new product, fulfill an unmet need and give your sales a boost.
In many cases, new products that are variations of existing products can also be valuable to add to your product line. For instance, you may have a product that gets great reviews, except for one specific feature of that product. It’s not durable enough, it’s too heavy, it’s cumbersome to operate for whatever reason, or it’s not available in a certain color, and so forth. With insight like this, and assuming you have the development and production capacity for an efficient solution, this could be a great time to introduce a variation or variations of your product, and build out your portfolio of offerings to increase sales.
Maybe it’s a good time to reintroduce a previously discontinued product with a fresh spin or marketing approach? Maybe it’s time to bring in some complementary product offerings in addition to your staple products? Maybe it’s a good time to enhance a product with newly available technology?
There are many ways companies can use innovation to drive sales and growth. Regardless of your business and industry, we hope this article will help spark some ideas you can apply to your company to help you build your business.