Three Innovations That Will Increase Your Sales
By Larry Myler
You might find an opportunity for your company. Most people think about new products when they hear the word innovation, and rightly so. New product development is a well-warn path to strategic and competitive advantage. But there are two other innovation categories that can also increase sales for your company. Let’s explore all three. You might find an opportunity for your company in one or some combination of them.
Product Innovation. If you haven’t developed any new and exciting products or services that capture the interest of your customers in the last two years, you could be headed toward stagnant or even declining revenues. The competition is active and your customers’ preferences are constantly changing. New product ideas don’t just appear spontaneously, and research, prototyping, testing and launching can’t happen without a budget. What is your level of commitment to product innovation? What are you willing to sacrifice in terms of money, time, other projects and opportunities?
Licensing Innovation.You can piggyback onto the strength and brand recognition of more established organizations by licensing their name, intellectual property, cartoon characters, images, etc. and connect them to your products. This can breathe new life into an otherwise mature product line. Take advantage of the branding and advertising budgets of larger companies to refresh your products.
Distribution Innovation. There’s nothing like getting others to sell your products through their channels. Can you gain shelf space in retail stores? Can you entice other sales teams to pick up your line and share in the revenue? Will your offerings help another company meet their sales goals? Maybe you can private label your product to increase a distributor’s desire to sell it for you.
Here is the story of one company that has been successful at all three innovation strategies.
Business Case: My Del Sol Experience
A few years ago our family went on a Caribbean cruise. We stopped at several ports and enjoyed the normal activities, excursions, restaurants and tourist shops. Our travel dollars tend to go more toward making memories through experiences and less to useless trinkets, although we have been known to spend small amounts on hats, T-shirts or jewelry (three daughters) as mementos of family vacations. But when the cruise ship stopped in St. Thomas, we entered one particular shop where the inventory was so different and interesting that we walked out having purchased several items for each family member.
What made this experience so different? It was a unique product innovation that we hadn’t seen before. The clothing items, and even the nail polish (three daughters) changed color when exposed to sunlight. The company that produces these products is Del Sol, and I have been watching them ever since my family had that vacation experience. I recently interviewed key players within Del Sol to discover the results of this and other innovations. As it turns out, Del Sol has been active in all three innovation categories mentioned in this article.
In addition to product innovations, Del Sol has established creative licensing and distribution relationships that have in turn produced impressive business results. Here’s the run down:
• Del Sol Continues to cultivate key partnerships and licenses with Disney’s consumer products division, building upon and acquiring more licenses to sell Disney, Marvel and Pixar-branded clothing and accessories that change colors with sunlight, adding more Disney clothing, nail polish, and hair accessory products to Del Sol’s product line.
Read the entire Forbes Magazine article about Del Sol here.