From inventions to products - an alternative monetisation methods

20th March 2017
Anna Flockett

Sometimes it can be difficult to separate tech and research from the industries around them. Every research programme is designed to help advance various industry-related technologies for the purpose of future monetisation. This is more of a cycle than a one-way flow; as newer inventions get monetised; more funds are made available to fuel further research and development programmes.

The business side of electronics isn’t discussed that often, but the recent new trends developing on the market are too interesting to miss. There are now more alternative ways to monetise an invention or new product, and some of them will be looked at here:

Inventions as services
If you’ve been following the latest developments from the smart home market, you will know that a lot of today’s available solutions are starting to be offered as services. Instead of investing in smart appliances and supporting hubs, customers can now ‘rent’ these devices while getting additional services at the same time.

The business model is very similar to that of SaaS or Software as a Service. The main goal is to help make new smart home appliances and technologies more accessible to customers. Since there is no need to invest a lot of money on the supporting appliances and hubs, more customers can convert their homes into smart homes.

This particular business model focuses on added value. Companies can offer extra services – such as free updates and security monitoring – to make the entire service package much more appealing. As more customers are hooked to the service, businesses can earn more return on their investment in the long run.

Subscription-based tech
For certain technologies that require consumables, subscriptions are also a quite popular business model to use. The trend first started with retail products, where retailers and wholesalers offer a subscription of samples and products delivered on a monthly basis.

This business model is then used by top brands such as Auster to offer Auster vaping supplies as a subscription. Customers no longer have to buy electronic cigarette juice because new flavours are delivered on a regular basis.

The same business model can be found in the 3D printing industry. Consumables such as PLA and ABS are being offered as subscription packages, often bundled with 3D printers from the same company. Instead of doing complicated calculations on printing costs and use of consumables, users can simply subscribe for free supplies when they purchase a 3D printer.

Future models
These two business models are becoming popular. Both approaches allow companies to accelerate product penetration and acquire as many users as possible over a shorter period of time. Both models also lean heavily on customer loyalty, focusing on long-term gains instead of one-time margin.

There is no doubt that these two models will evolve into more monetisation options in the future. The long-term gain also enables companies to be more innovative and allocate more funds towards longer, more thorough research and product development programs. It won’t be long before these alternative business methods start to boost the speed and reach of research and development.

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