Your arm cramps as you hold your hot, loud hairdryer that blasts your mop top to a frizzy dryness. Same routine, just another day. The hair dryer has been pretty much the same for decades. You really don’t care which brand you use, as these commodities are all nearly identical.
Enter James Dyson, the grandmaster of hot air.
Dyson first invented a powerful, quiet and reliable vacuum cleaner that changed the industry. Next, he reimagined wall-mounted hand dryers in commercial bathrooms with his Air Blade technology. Never one to rest on his laurels, his latest invention is a cool take on warm air: The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer.
This new device doesn’t look a thing like the standard old equipment. The compact engine is in the handle, while the blowing head is see-through. It weighs far less, is significantly quieter, and dries hair 50% faster. But at $400, is anyone buying them?
Incredibly, there’s a nationwide shortage. If you want one, get in line and put your name on the backorder list. At the same time, there is an unlimited supply of the old versions available for $40 or less. Said differently, customers are lining up to pay 10 times more for bold innovation while the standard fare is readily available.
Think about your own business. Are you hawking the same goods as everyone else and finding it increasingly difficult to compete? Is downward pricing pressure forcing you into a race to the bottom? What would it look like to deliver a product, service, or customer experience that was truly remarkable instead of the same-old, same old? The more we push our creative boundaries and deliver fresh approaches to our client’s needs, the more our businesses will flourish.
Incidentally, Dyson didn’t fall into success. He conducted over 5,100 failed experiments on his initial vacuum concept before getting it right. Accordingly, his success was not fueled by a single lightning bolt of creative genius but rather by a relentless pursuit of innovation. A maniacal focus on delivering imaginative and elegant solutions to customer needs may be a much more productive use of your time than scouring for cost-savings or heavily discounting an also-ran product.
Invest your best hours into delivering value in innovative ways, and you’ll experience strong customer demand regardless of price. Be the organization that offers something extraordinary, even at a higher price, instead of delivering a great deal on the uninspired.
What would it take to deliver something for which customers would be pay a 10X premium? And wait in line for it? Find that, and you’ll enjoy breakaway success.
Anything else is just a bunch of hot air.