166: Storytelling Tips for Hardware Product Launches

166: Storytelling Tips for Hardware Product Launches

March 9, 2023

With Steve Multer, Author & Corporate Storyteller

Hosted by Kevin Mako, President of MAKO Design + Invent

166: Storytelling Tips for Hardware Product Launches
166: Storytelling Tips for Hardware Product Launches

Steve Multer is the author of “Nothing Gets Sold Until The Story Gets Told,” which is now available for purchase on Amazon and other major book retailers. With over 20,000 presentations delivered and extensive collaborations with over 100 leading hardware brands including Cisco, Panasonic, Siemens, HP, Philips, and Xerox, Steve has perfected his skills in developing product and brand messaging. Today, he will be sharing his knowledge of corporate storytelling with inventors, startups, and small manufacturers. In this session, he will highlight the essential elements of a well-crafted sales or brand story and provide the best practices for launching a new hardware product while maintaining long-term customer engagement and brand loyalty.

Today you will hear us talk about:

  • An Introduction to Corporate Storytelling.
  • Understanding Product Metrics and Corporate Storytelling: Tailoring Messages for Investors and the Public.
  • The Significance of Audience Awareness and Meeting Their Expectations through Storytelling.
  • The Three Essential Pillars of a Compelling Story: Value, Passion, and Connection.
  • Using Your Product to Create Positive Change in People’s Lives.
  • The Importance of Personal Passion in Advertising and Branding.
  • Connecting with Your Audience through Stories that Resonate and Invite Participation.
  • Effective Advocacy for Your Hardware Product through Authentic Storytelling.
  • Investors’ Interest in the Human Element of a Product.
  • Crafting a Cohesive Narrative by Combining Your Product and Storytelling.
  • Sales through Storytelling Techniques: The Power of Narrative.
  • Strategies for Customer Retention.
  • Growing Your Hardware Product and Brand for the Long Term.
  • Building a Community to Support Product Success.
  • The Role of Passionate Storytelling in Securing Buy-in from Stakeholders, Buyers, and Investors.


  • 1:00 – Hardware is now developed iteratively, but there are tools to do it the best way in 2023
  • 3:00 – Hardware product development iteration is historically rigid and difficult
  • 3:15 – Ideally you want to be nimble and be able to meet customer demand, or other market demands.
  • 4:30 – What is iterative design between manufacturing runs?
  • 4:40 – Legacy hardware design is through waterfall methodologies. Releases are planned well in advance and thus iterative design and feedback is very rigid.
  • 5:00 – Modern hardware development takes from the software playbook
  • 5:25 – It is easier than ever, due to manufacturing technology, to get iterative designs back to review and improve.  More confidence to iterative and move forward with a new design.
  • 5:30 – Quick assemblies, 3D printing, low quantity builds, short run manufacturing
  • 6:00 – The pandemic forced people to be agile in development given that many supply chain issues forced legacy processes to upgrade to iterative design logic.
  • 6:55 – There is a ton of new technology both in design and manufacturing to be able to iterate your product efficiently.
  • 7:05 – Short run production is so valuable to iterative physical product design and development.
  • 7:30 – Planning your product lifecycle well in advance is not realistic unless you can pay millions on consultants and data to ensure you’re properly making those predictions so early, and even so, the information will be weaker than iterating in real-time based on real market needs.
  • 8:30 – There are many different stakeholders which should weigh into the feedback between each iterating in design: The customer, industrial design, mechanical engineering, electronics engineering, software, manufacturing, product managers, investors, the inventor, employees, etc.
  • 8:50 – Make sure you get engineers in front of customers that have bought your prior versions of the product.
  • 9:55 – Who are your existing customers and who are your potential customers.
  • 10:10 – Feedback can be both problems that need to be solved but also opportunities for new features.
  • 10:50 – Make sure you are at least first being sure that you are collecting feedback information.
  • 11:00 – After you collect feedback information, how do you organize and prioritize that information, so that you can eventually execute on that information properly.
  • 11:30 – A foundation of organization is revision control.
  • 14:40 – Collaboration is the next key pillar of iterative design, built on the foundation of revision history.
  • 17:00 – How do you then prioritize the collaborated information.  Priority labels and importance.
  • 19:00 – Even if you’re just a new hardware startup, you can use these processes in a simple spreadsheet to improve the output of your physical product development processes.


Steve Multer Links:
LinkedIn | Book

The Product Startup Podcast Links:
Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube

PTC Links:
OnShape | Creo

Mako Design Links:
YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

Kevin Mako Links:
Instagram | LinkedIn | Quora | Facebook | Twitter

Partner: PTC’s best-in-class software solutions Onshape: The only cloud-native product development platform that delivers full-featured computer-aided design (CAD), integrated product data management (PDM) and enterprise analytics in a single system, and Creo: 3D CAD solution that provides designers with the most innovative tools to build better products faster, such as generative design, additive manufacturing, real-time simulation, IIoT, and augmented reality.

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!