Invention is all about change. But presenting people with too much change can confuse or deter them. So as you work to advance your innovation, do yourself a favor and take the time to frame it for success. What do we mean? Here are a few examples:
1. Automobiles. Early autos were so far-out that few people saw the benefits in them. Then the people making them started to build them in carriage-like shapes and someone coined the phrase “horseless carriage”… and suddenly these vehicles made sense for the masses—now the newfangled machines were a must-have evolution of the horse-drawn buggy.
2. Estate taxes. Years ago, most Americans supported these taxes born largely by affluent voters. This didn’t sit well with the Republican party. So the GOP initiated a campaign to change public opinion. It’s #1 tactic: Republicans started to consistently speak of estate taxes as “death taxes,” and in doing so created a groundswell of concern that every American family could be taxed upon a family member’s death. That new framing changed public opinion ever since.
3. Microsoft Bing. The folks in Redmond recently launched Bing with hopes to steal some of Google’s thunder... and revenue. You’ve likely seen the Bing TV ads. Interestingly, Microsoft is calling its service a “decision engine” not a “search engine,” very intentionally framing it as smarter when it comes to finding precisely what you need. Only time will tell if Bing is Microsoft’s next Xbox (a big success) or Zune (so far, quite the bust), but we appreciate the careful word choice.
So, are you choosing your words carefully too, framing your invention in a way that takes into consideration consumer sentiments, competitive products, and retailers needs? It’s not too late to start doing so.