The “wow factor.”
As an inventor we’re sure you’re familiar with this term but we thought we’d give you a little more insight on what it takes to to have a product that stands out.
The “wow factor” can be defined as “a quality or feature of something that makes most people feel great excitement or admiration” by Cambridge Dictionary. In the January issue of Inventors Digest, you may have seen a statement by Mike Marks, Founder and President of the Invention City blog that “Inventing is a pursuit of failure marked by occasional success.”
What it Takes
There are some suggested guidelines that one should follow when determining if your product has the the “wow factor.”
The questions below come from the Inventors Club of Kansas City’s National Invention Contest:
Does your new product appeal to the masses?
This means you need to find ways to make your product meet a significant need, problem or pain point identified by a core demographic group. The core demographic group also needs to be large enough to generate enough revenue to be profitable.
Your idea or product has the ability to move a consumer when they are at the walk/buy position – “I WANT THAT!”
Does your new product have a unique selling advantage?
In short, does it stand up above the competition that set out to solve a similar issue?
How demonstrable is your product?
You should be able to show the product and its functions via prototype or sketched out design.
Will people believe that your product will work?
The bigger problem your product solves the better the sales.
Is your product easily explained?
In the words of Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough. You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.”
In many instances, you have to pursue your idea and make modifications to your product to make it a stand out product. It was stated by Ashton Audall, partner at Global Sourcing Specialists, that your product may not get a “wow” reaction by some. But don’t get disgruntled because if your product offers a substantial improvement to its competitors, it won’t be ignored.
A great example of an invention with wow factor was the Hula Hoop. Throughout history we’ve seen people play with hoops and create different games, but the modern version of the hoop was invented by Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin. The two founded a company called Wham-O, Inc. in 1948, and began manufacturing the Hula Hoop, Frisbee, Super Ball, Slip N’ Slide, Water Wiggle and Silly String.
The Hula Hoop was patented on March 5, 1963, after Knerr and Melin heard about a bamboo ring being used in Australia for exercise. They soon developed their own without seeing the original and began early testing in 1958. The Hula Hoop created a buzz around schools and neighborhoods where it was introduced. They also had a good marketing plan that required Wham-O executives to take the hoops on planes with them to create more exposure. (We know that wouldn’t be allowed on today’s flights.) This product certainly had a “wow factor” because after only four months of being on the market, they had sold 25 million hoops.
While it takes time to create an invention that has that coveted “wow factor,” the time spent in pursuit of success will be worth it in the end.
To read the article in full, catch up on past issues, and more, visit www.inventorsdigest.com!
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- Inventors Digest – January 2018