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Transcript of Concept Brainstorm
Find the single most sticky idea to differentiate NuOptic from every other company with the following questions in mind:
what is most likely to stick with each of these audiences?
Are our assumptions true?
What can we do better than anyone in the world?
"I think this is great, a more focused message is definitely needed. In the conversations I've had so far, the PTZ discussion is such an easy, natural one to have - the product is a perfect fit there. From a sales standpoint, it will also make it a LOT easier to guide reps and distributors on how to sell the product. If we can target the PTZ cameras already represented by those reps and distributors too, there's no excuse for them not to include the illuminators as an upsell add-on to any PTZ camera sale.
Apparently OCOM has lost a number of opportunities where they quote our illuminators for an opportunity, but when a buy actually comes through distribution the illuminator has been changed out for a "less expensive" illuminator that the disti used as leverage to win the business for themselves. By focusing on the zoom capability and convincing customers they can't live without that feature, we can lock ourselves into the installation. Axton apparently has a really killer compensation plan for distributors. Any opportunity a disti has to change customers over to them, they'll take advantage of. Getting the zoom capability spec'ed into the installation is a great way to prevent that. (based on feedback from David Owen at OCOM)" ~Heather
"You're exactly right, we don't have a clear message and are perceived as a Raytec/Iluminar wannabe. We will never catch them without a lot of capital. Makes sense to leverage what makes us unique and sell to that niche." ~Jack
Assessment - agree with what you have stated. We did really start off with 3 main usages/advantages: ideal for PTZ usage; SKU minimization for disty's/dealers/integrators/installers; simplified installation (one, adjustable model). The first one is obviously much different from the other two (those two are fairly synergistic). I believe we were trying to get to the general fixed market as a "better Raytec" so we could get some good, early volumes/revenue from which we could derive the budget to expand and address the PTZ market, which would likely be a series of custom integrations that would take time to realize and would likely be much lower volume (but more profitable, as we are seeing with Moog/Quickset).
Core Offering - Supporting the bad ass illuminator, we should try to make a case for great distance, highest power per volume, intelligent power, temperature & LED control, etc. This plays well with PTZ where a key attribute is seeing far. The video (especially in color demo) really highlights it. BTW, I would think about suppressing the noise of the VIS - not the most pleasing sound.
Is Not - Yes, we probably can't go head to head here, unless the user really, really values simplified installation. What I think we could try to do here is if we get attached to Pelco, Moog, etc., then they could pick up VIS for stand-alone applications and we could move more volume that way (job calls for Pelco PTZ and some fixed cameras, Pelco sales helps capture fixed illuminators based on VIS being on the PTZ). Straight-up Raytec/Illuminar sales are a hard battle to fight with current budget/staffing.
Sound Bytes - I would try to wordsmith the Performance and Efficiency bullets somewhat so there is a bit more uniqueness between the two. Performance is probably about optimal image quality due to no wasted light, max distance, power per volume, etc.; Efficiency is probably about power in, performance out - play up the 'green-ness'. Not sure I said it much differently, but maybe you get the idea.
Strategy - Ride on Others is a good one; I think we get that by the PTZ efforts with Moog, Pelco, etc. I don't know what we can do with software linkages. Green initiatives are more of a general education issue - may be hard to turn that into sales directly.
Going Forward - I do believe we have plenty of products already. In fact, if we adopt your marketing strategy, we should basically not mention any 40W products - the user can get that by dimming the 80W versions. Since we would be targeting higher end customers (and not trying to battle it out with Raytec, etc), we could afford to just have 80W versions. This would limit us to 3 products (4 if need 940nm). Charlie seems to think there is something useful about a drivable flood/spot light, hence the PanTilt + VIS. I haven't seen a compelling argument for this - no clear, existing need that we could easily capture, so I am a bit of a doubting Thomas on this one.
Some good, thought-provoking stuff here. Will be good to get this to everyone and get their takes on it. I think we are at a point where we need to have a meeting just on this "what we are/aren't" topic." ~Mark
"I really appreciate that you are doing this! It is exactly what we need to be doing right now – clarify and simplify the message, and use it to focus our marketing efforts. I am a bit surprised that you sent it only to me, since it is the conversation we all should be having. I will let you decide when and how you want to engage the broader team.
Key to the discussion are the terms “varifocal” and “zoom”, since they represent two different applications and market foci for our illuminators. We have sometimes used them almost interchangeably, which creates confusion. I have always advocated that we use these terms consistent with their meaning in the security camera world. We can then have a clearer debate about strategy. To wit:
A zoom camera changes its field of view during its operation. It is usually on a pan-tilt mechanism. Of course, our illuminator can also zoom, with all the benefits you describe. So a focus on “zoom illumination” pretty much is a decision to focus on PTZs. The message is compelling, easy to convey, and as you say, sticky. The downside is that a) the market potential is smaller, and b) the integration effort is high. There are currently limitations to how tight the integration can be, since we don’t have access to the camera’s zoom position. (This is why we focus our demos on matching presets.)
A varifocal camera is a fixed camera application. Varifocal lenses have universally replaced fix focal length lenses, since the distributor and installer only need to carry one or two camera/lens models. The field of view is manually set at install time, and rarely, if ever, changed. This is of course a much bigger market – maybe 10X the PTZ market. We had hoped that the same motivation that caused varifocal lenses to supplant fixed f.l. lenses would apply to illuminators. One model for the distributor and installer to stock and carry to the jobsite, rather than an armful of fixed angle illuminators. This is why we call ourselves “varifocal”, rather than “zoom”, so we can include the larger fixed camera market.
Price-wise, we are pricing our products at parity with fixed illuminators from the competition, hoping that our one-size-fits-all “varifocal” value proposition would give us easy sales wins against fixed illuminators. It means that we are potentially leaving money on the table by under-pricing our illuminators for true “zoom” applications: on PTZs.
Message-wise, we have been trying to straddle these two applications – I guess we would have to say not very successfully. Christiansen in “The Innovator’s Dilemma” would claim that trying to sell an innovative new product into an established market that doesn’t need it is doomed to fail. It is a “race to the bottom” to beat the established competition on price. This sounds like what is happening with the “varifocal” message for fixed cameras. It isn’t compelling enough to motivate customers to take notice, much less switch. I think this is what you are saying about the message being “not sticky”.
The classical solution to the Innovator’s Dilemma is to initially focus on an application for which our value proposition is a slam dunk. This is clearly the PTZ application. After establishing a foothold in the market, it is then much easier to expand to broader applications where the value proposition isn’t quite such a slam dunk.
This is the theory, anyway. One could argue that we were foolish, naive, or greedy in thinking we could jump over the PTZ market to the fixed camera market. On the other hand, it was the integration issue rather than hubris that drove our thinking – that the PTZ sales cycle would be longer and more complicated. But recent interest in the Pelco Esprit SRM and QuickSet PTZ integrations support the I.D. theory.
Anyway, I wanted you to have all of the historical context as you put this branding pitch together. I wasn’t sure how much of it you had heard. I don’t have an entrenched position about branding and marketing strategy. I do think it needs to fit the camera framework as described above. Given this, I am totally supportive of your bringing a fresh new perspective to the business." ~Don
One illuminator adjusts to any beam angle by simply turning a knob
Just four SKUs represent the entire NuOptic VIS product line
Light that moves with your varifocal camera optimizes picture quality
(upsell opportunity for new AND past customers)
Varifocal illumination makes your products look good
(i.e. Pelco Esprit)
Light moves to where your camera needs it, efficient & effective
What is the essential core of our idea?
How do we violate people's expectations to leave an impression?
How do we make our idea clear?
How do we make people believe our idea?
How do we get people to care about our idea?
How do we tell a story that will be repeated?
NuOptic VIS technology is a movable lens that focuses light where it's needed
Created by the same minds from Hewlett Packard that developed the optical mouse
for your computer
Adjust manually or set our illuminators to talk to your camera
Light moves real-time to follow camera's focal point
build brand awareness for NuOptic
when people think _______________
they think NuOptic
Search = Google
Music Player = Apple
Toys for boys = Nerf
Need to sleep = NyQuil
= connect w/ friends
= connect with world
= connect for business
IT"S NOT A COINCIDENCE
Prezi is just like PowerPoint except it can ZOOM!
A simple but powerful differentiator