DRUG CARTEL INVENTIONS, WHAT WE LEARN FROM PABLO ESCOBAR
Pablo Escobar, criminal kingpin, practically invented the drug cartel. In his prime, the notorious Colombian drug trafficker was worth $30 billion, making him one of the richest men in the world. All of his faults aside, those of us at World Patent Marketing had to give a nod to his successful business strategy. We wondered, what can we learn about drug cartel inventions and launching a new product from Pablo Escobar?
In many ways, becoming the "King of Coke" isn't all that different from becoming the King of the Snuggie, launched by World Patent Marketing's DRTV affiliate. Except for a couple of zeros, Snuggie wasn't quite as successful, it brought in $30 million, as opposed to Escobar's $30 billion. Nonetheless, the business strategy of launching new invention ideas isn't all that different.
Thus, we bring you Pablo Escobar's four rules for drug cartel inventions (or any inventions for that matter).
Pablo Escobar's Rules to Drug Cartel Inventions
Rule 1 -- Build a Diverse Distribution Network
A single distribution network is too fragile, too vulnerable to attack or failure, and also too small for nationwide penetration. This was of course particularly important to the criminal kingpin Escobar, as his illegal activities were always vulnerable to sudden interruption. He built a wide-reaching and multi-pronged invention distribution network that was inherently robust and efficient.
In launching any new product, the wider and the more diverse the distribution system, the higher the odds of success. There are several reasons for this. For starters, when launching a new product or invention, there is lots of uncertainty. It is just impossible to predict precisely which market will respond most rapidly and yield the highest returns. The best plan to combat this challenge is an extensive network, which allows for testing in various markets.
For instance, while one could sell almost any product on Amazon, this may not yield great results for every product. You may want to offer your product on this platform, as well as many other digital platforms. But you may also want to place the product physically in stores, offer it on DRTV, and make it available at public events like trade shows.
Pursuing multiple avenues gives your new product higher odds of success. Also, once the new product is launched successfully, the multi-channel distribution approach keeps it in front of more customers, with greater frequency. The goal is constant reinforcement that is robust and invulnerable to market shifts.
Rule 2 -- Successful Drug Cartel Inventions Must...Blow Away the Competition
Pablo Escobar may have had a tendency to take things too literally. In this case, we don't need to launch a special paramilitary hit squad on the competition, but you should try to bring the same ruthless attitude to the battle. In this case, the game is not about violence, but about quality.
Your product has to be the best. Not in a marginal, let me show you this feature that you didn't notice or care about way, but in a real world obvious way.
Half of winning the war is about having the best weapons. In the world of invention marketing and new products, your weapon is your product itself. It has to be so good that everybody knows it is the best, without question.
And how do you know it is good? Let your customers tell you. Take the time for focus groups, show it off at Trade Shows. Solicit feedback anywhere and everywhere. And don't just get all excited at the compliments, you'll learn the most from the criticism. Those people who don't like your product may just be giving you the most valuable advice you are ever going to hear. They're telling you how to improve it and make it better, and they are probably doing it for a fraction of the cost of a high-priced engineer or designer.
Rule 3 -- It's All About the Brand for Drug Lords
This is a lesson that Pablo Escobar and Donald Trump have both excelled at. You need a strong brand. And that brand has to encapsulate your entire story and the credibility of your product.
When people think of your product, you want them to have a clear picture of exactly what it is, what it does, and why they need it.
It's just like Pablo and the Donald; you know exactly what they are about, and what you are going to get. No questions need to be asked.
You can establish that kind of brand image for your product by following a few simple rules and techniques of invention marketing,
Give your product a winning name and logo
Create a clear message with a tagline that anchors your product's purpose
Place your message in front of the right audience
Repeat your message often in multiple places
These points will build a strong brand image over time, one that will help your customers instantly identify your product as the right solution every time.
Rule 4 -- Drug Cartel Inventions Must Deliver the Goods
Promises don't get you very far in this world without the follow through. Probably no one knows this better than a drug lord. In a world that is all about personal trust, delivery of the merchandise is everything. If the product wasn't where it had to be, when it had to be there, somebody was gonna pay. And if that product wasn't top quality, well, given Escobar's standing in the criminal world, he apparently mastered delivery on all counts.
Regarding launching a new product in the more mundane world of WalMart and Target, products that are legally sold on the market, the same rules still hold true. To have a successful product, you must master the logistics of manufacturing, distribution, and delivery. Pay attention to the following;
Create a high-quality manufacturing process, accurate in all specs and consistent in output.
Build a multi-pronged distribution network; that can respond to unforeseeable delays and events, like inclement weather or changes in importation laws.
Deliver it on time as promised, without delays or excuses.
Ensure that the product meets and exceeds customer expectations.
As you can see from the list, Deliver the Goods, isn't just about getting the product from A to B. It is about maintaining high standards of quality, creating a reliable delivery system, that doesn't fall apart at every challenge, and commitment to a quality product.
In the Footsteps of Pablo Escobar
Ultimately, business success, even if it is for drug cartel inventions, is always based on the same principles,
A Great Product
Consistent Quality that can Scale Up.
Pablo Escobar mastered all four metrics of drug cartel inventions in spades. Apply his principles to your invention product launch, to maximize your odds of success.