Mar 14, 2016After I wrote about the marketing challenges RFID startups face (see A Question of Life or Death for RFID Companies and More on the Question of Life or Death), I received an e-mail from an entrepreneur who suggested that my column and blog were not very encouraging. I said that by no means did I intend to discourage RFID startups. In fact, I believe the RFID market has never been better for startups.
First, there is more business to be had. And second, even the larger RFID companies have not established their brands in the minds of buyers (see Brand Problems for RFID Vendors). So the field is wide open for a startup that has both good products and strong marketing.
My correspondent suggested that perhaps RFID Journal could offer free advertisements in exchange for a percentage of the resulting business. I had considered this approach briefly, but had concluded that it would put RFID Journal in a position that could be perceived as compromising our objectivity. I've also thought about working with RFID technology providers to sell starter solutions, which I know some end users are seeking. We tried this a few years ago, but the solutions were too costly (approximately $10,000).
I think companies would do well to sell a simple RFID solution that would include tags, readers and basic software for conducting inventory counts, for roughly $3,000. I believe we could sell these and take a percentage, and the RFID company would have a customer that would likely expand on the solution over time.
Sadly, most RFID providers don't want to get leads this way, because they would have to do some handholding for the company that purchased the starter kit. They don't want to make the investment in time, in the hope that the user will see the value of RFID and go for something much larger over the long term.
I believe that getting the technology in the hands of more companies is exactly the way to sell RFID. Any end user that tries a simple solution which delivers a lot of value will want to expand to a more robust solution later on. I seem to be alone on this, though, even though I am willing to put skin in the game.
Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor's Note archive or RFID Connect.