Mission Impossible: Consumer Acceptance

steve jobs

I am launching new services since the 90’s and always had a passion for new product development and go to market strategies. I learned a lot in all those years and there are always aspects around the consumer, which are critical to success.

I started in the FMCG market in South Africa, where the innovation office did 40% of the increasing revenue that year. I walked with my boss, who was a master of creativity and realised that we also needed a doses of ‘luck’. And that is a combination of timing, execution, market, a lot of small things that have to fall in place. Memorable and to explain best is that the company agreed to launch a Premium Cider SAVANA, which became one of the biggest ciders in the market. What people didn’t know is that we had a completely wrong forecast. We made it Premium more expensive than beer, a bit higher in the alcohol 6%, premium look and feel and above our current ciders, so positioning wise we agreed that 3 million litre was feasible. Production facilities were not counting on a lot more than that. After 1 year we were at 27 million litres with all luxury problems you can think off (glass shortage, apple shortage, logistics etc). My boss explained me everything we set out to do just worked. We did a lot of after research as well to find the magic sauce, but no guaranteed winning answer. Somehow all the small elements fell into place.

The timing, the market, the positioning, product and experience and so many more. After that we wanted to launch an Alcopop and it didn’t passed the board. My boss said don’t worry that is part of our business…..8 years later they launched a successful series what we had advised.

From FMCG I rolled into the new media market and have been involved in launching, MVNO’s, internet companies, mobile services as Bluetooth, mobile ticketing and payments and now CRYPTO on a different way.

When we launched our 1st prepaid payment card, we were so enthusiastic the absolute ‘bomb’. we were very very early. Governments, banks and regulation were hardly ready a quick interesting regulation came in place an E-money license a light version of a banking license. Never forget it, it stated that if we did put more than 6.5mln Euro in the market we could affect the macro economic model of the country, after which you had to apply for a full banking license. 6.5mln will make a difference on a 20 billion Euro fiat currency market…..still puzzled.

The world is changing rapidly and the consumer is getting overwhelmed with all those great new technologies and the market factors have to be taking into account.

So let’s take CRYPTO, now more than 10 years old and not fully accepted by the consumer! 10 years ago no one say it coming that a Supply and Demand financial product as Bitcoin would be big! The whole Crypto market is still very small compared to the entire Fiat Currency market…..but consumers, governments, banks they all start acting, because it serves a purpose and solves a problem. A couple things are happening and holds back the real ‘boom’ which will come.

  1. The consumer cannot use it for daily use yet
  2. Governments and banks are on a high alert, because regulation is not in place, plus it nibbles on their existing business earnings.
  3. The media loves the noise, so consumers needs to be educated and get awareness instead of headlines.
  4. The tech is not perfect and we also do not know what is a winning consumer centric solution yet.

What we do know it is like internet and mobile unstoppable. The coming 10 years we will see a massive growth and also mature approach on CRYPTO. The speed of development is good, the understanding and awareness is getting there, still a lot of education to do and slowly we see regulation coming in place.

I am looking forward to see a lot of failures as well as successes in this market. The quality of a good service, which we all understand and fits in the current infrastructure will decide if we have another winner. Let’s be honest there are only a few successful Fiat currencies in the world, not much different in the Mobile market, Internet players or payment providers who make a difference. Also in Crypto only a few who get it right will make a difference in our world. Till than let’s order Popcorn and watch it happen, that’s what we know for sure, so let’s bring it ON!










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