by: Idris Mootee
It is not easy to break through the clutter of the hundreds of competing products out there and some wonder if differentiation is even possible. That's the reason why some of the greatest brands of the world are coming to us for innovation. Innovation is the only way to break out of the commodity cycle.
Look at what your competition is doing and think abut how you can innovative and create meaningul differentiation. Here is a cool idea, tpod is a teabag design concept by Soos that adds a whole new experience to tea drinking and the steeping process. After removing a tpod tea bag from the box, you then unfold the tag which then becomes a boat that floats cheerily atop your soon-to-be-ready cup of tasty tea. There are many other ways to bring new ideas to any simple product. Here are three simple DIY ideas that will help stimulate innovations for your products. If you're responsibility is managing a product or category, you will find this useful .
Make Everything Reusable (start from the package) The beverage market is mature and extremely competitive, so you might think there are few really new ideas when it comes to packaging. You would be wrong. POM Tea has created something truly different. For a start the product itself is different - it is tea infused with pomegranate juice. But it is the packaging that is remarkable; the drink is packaged in a regular tall drinking glass with a lid and a clear shrink wrap label.
Make Design the Focus of Your Product and Packaging (sounds simple but amazingly effective). Most people think about the product first and the packaging second, but Method Products turned that equation around. They focused on packaging from the very beginning - they wanted to create packaging that was beautiful, that you didn't have to hide in the cupboard. They created a premium line of cleaning products with packaging that you could display in the kitchen or bathroom like a home accessory. Check them out at Target.
Bring A Rainbow of Colors To Your Product (just think color). This is an amazaginly simple idea but almost always effective. If you have a popular product, add color to it. Remember the first iMac that brings Apple back from a near death experience? Look at those color iPod and accessories. I don't know what takes Sony and Toshiba or Dell so long to figure this out. See Circle Color Chromatic USB Hib below.