4 Innovative Ways To Innovate

Coming up with something that has never been done before somewhere is easier said than done. The further requirement that the idea needs to serve both the needs of consumers and the business just make it all that more challenging

To create a new product an entrepreneur must look at the marketplace and see a small void he can fill. ‘What product does the customer want’ is usually the question one asks, but what he really has done is looked at the way others are competing and concluded he can be successful if he does things differently.

The methods he listed below shows ways in which one can cheat the system and create ‘new products’ to fill a niche in the market. 1. Combine two existing products There are certain products or services that almost always go together. Instead of requiring people to pay for them separately, combine them. Printers today come branded as 3-in-1’s so as to include copier, scanner, but the cellphones and their maps, cameras, music etc. are the real winners of combination. Combination does not have to be hi-tech or us

What could you put together?

2. Take an existing product apart There are also certain other products that have been so combined that you can sell the individual components. This usually results in them being overly pricey and unaffordable. Creating a product that focuses on one or fewer functionality not only allows the product to be cheaper but also improves effective functionality.

Life insurance is a good example. It became common practice in the industry to combine the protection component with a savings element. That became the basic insurance policy. Term insurance, which eliminates the savings component and just provides protection, has become very popular.

What could you take apart?

3. Upgrade an existing product Take a basic product and make it special, either by adding value to it or marketing it as a status product. Jordan’s are sneakers like all others but they have ankle support and non-slip soles, which is perfect for the basketball game they were designed for. Maybach, and Remy Martin are examples of some of the products that have been upgraded in order to open up a niche in the market. Due to their status Luxury automobiles and designer blue jeans are examples of what were once pedestrian products that have been given an upgrade. Upgrading too does not have to be high tech, sliced bread was an upgrade from normal bread in the same way selling pre-peeled potatoes may work for you.

What products could you upgrade?

4. Downgrade. Take a product that has always been associated with status and reduce it to its underlying concept. This too is usually done to reduce costs. The best example of this would be the ‘No Name’ products stocked by Pick’n pay. The ever popular Nokia 1100 which was made in an era where colour screen phones and polyphonic ringtones where the in thing was a downgrade. This allowed it to become more affordable and became the the best-selling mobile phone the world has ever known, shifting more than 250 million.

Offering a stripped-down version of a popular product or service could be one way for you to go. What could you strip down? While it all looks fairly easy, the best place or sector these to apply these tests is in areas that you understand. It takes a lot longer to come up with a killer meal combo if you have never been in a kitchen. Further all of the tests involve spotting a niche, so if there realistically no market for your combination 'Froaster' which toasts bread but also cools your vegetables , there’s no point in going ahead.

This Article was written by S.E Haihambo a Windhoek based Digital Marketing strategist with extensive experience in marketing and growth development for SMEs and Medium Enterprises. He is currently Head: Digital Marketing at Tribefire Studios and a Consultant at Brandfontein.

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