Sunday, May 15, 2011

Demand Generation Crates New Categories

New ideas become reality through effective demand generation programs.  Entrepreneurs introduce their products to early adopters who find the financial, human and complementary resources to "make it happen".

If their idea catches on, they generate early stage demand for a new category of products.  Then, when it looks like the coast is clear, companies who employ a "category marketing" strategy add their own versions to the category.  This helps the category to grow faster than if innovators try to do it all themselves.

Consider what happened in the early 80's. The Apple II jump started the PC market to reach critical mass and then the IBM PC created a mega-category through its captive corporate market. Tektronix kept its proprietary hi-res graphics technology to itself. Both Apple and Tektronix eventually lost their introductory stage, share leading position of relatively small categories to "standards" applied by everyone else in the growth stage of their respective mega-categories.

Tablet computing is a recent example.  After false starts by many tech companies, Apple finally found the key to success.  As its iPad moves from introduction to growth stage, it opens the door to versions from other companies.  It remains to be seen as to whether Apple retains leadership in this new category.

As a category evolves, total demand shifts to the right as "early majority" pragmatists justify their investments on ROI and TCO benefits.

Once a category is created, however, companies hire sales teams to ensure that they are filling up their capacity with orders.  This is when "demand generation becomes a misnomer".

Thanks for reading.




INTAgLIO Business Solutions
John J. Bernardi
BizD Change Agent
203-668-1172
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