Nothing Shops Like a Great Idea

Edition: August 2001 - Vol 9 Number 08
Article#: 1025
Author: Repertoire

If you've got the right product and the right marketing message, this is a hell of a time to bring new products to market.

''There are more opportunities out there than there have been in a long, long time,'' says Scott Fanning, founder of 95% Share Marketing.

The market for new medical products has been tight over the past several years, for reasons known to all, he says:

• Consolidation of dealers.

• Tighter alliances between large vendors and large distributors.

• Distributors reducing SKUs in an effort to control costs.

• A general cost-cutting environment, which has created more gatekeepers and fewer opportunities for suppliers to get new products in front of customers.

Throughout this drought, however, manufacturers haven't stopped developing new and exciting products, says Fanning. Consequently, the pressure to introduce such products is greater than ever.

''If the product faucet is frozen shut, nothing's coming out,'' he continues. ''But everyone is thirsty. Patients are more energized and informed, and they're demanding care they wouldn't have 20 years ago.

''If you've got something great, you can turn on that faucet. There's so much pent-up demand. You just need to know how to do it.

''Victor Hugo said there's nothing that can stop an idea whose time has come. It's stronger than all the armies in the world.'' The same is true for great medical products, he says.

''I'm not talking about one bell or whistle, but about new, dynamic products that mean better patient comfort, staff- or user-friendliness, better pain management, earlier detection of disease, etc.

''These products are out there, and their story is dying to be told. If you have one of them, learn how to tell it effectively.''

Not surprisingly, the biggest companies have the advantage, especially in periods of cost-constraint, says Fanning. ''If you're not a market-share leader, you have to be significantly better at making sure your story gets told.

''That can be done.''

How? By creating promotions that are unique and memorable, building strong relationships with buyers, and supporting your partners in the market who are calling on the end user.

''Once you do this, it's like a pebble in a pond. It will create a ripple effect that can become a tsunami. If one department has it, eventually they all will.''

Editor's Note: Fanning adds that if you're not sure how to tell your new product story, check out 95% Share's ''Seeing is Believing'' seminar. Call 877-912-9595 and ask for Don.