It's great when you get that 'light bulb' moment and are inspired to create a new product or service. Unfortunately, inspiration doesn't always strike when you need it - like when you want to invigorate your business with a new idea. To come up with something new that solves a need for a specific market, you have to know where to look.
The first and most obvious place to start is the internet. Look at third-party selling sites like Amazon or Ali Express, and trawl through the product reviews. You'll be surprised how many ideas you can get just by reading about what products people buy, and what they like and dislike about them.
The trick is to see if you can spot any patterns. At first glance, it might look as though a customer just enjoys complaining, but if their complaint is repeated by other customers, you'll get some valuable insight into how a particular product can be improved. The same goes for positive reviews.
When you're using Google, try generic terms like ‘new product ideas’, ‘future (your industry) trends’, or ‘new product trends’. It's also a good idea to make use of Google News. Entering a topic such as 'trends' or 'new products' into Google news will bring up news articles about trends that you can use as inspiration for your product ideas - you can set alerts for these stories as they're published.
Also subscribe to any opinion leaders or people that resonate with you who are commenting about your industry or technology you may be using; you never know what may spark off a new idea.
Search for businesses that are similar to yours. Review their products and services and look for ways you could improve on them. The idea is not to be a copycat, but to see what your competitors are doing differently from you and see if that provides some inspiration.
Look especially for businesses like yours that operate in other countries. Quite often you’ll find a wealth of new ideas that you're not using in your current operation and probably aren't being used by your competitors either.
A number of websites specialise in identifying and showcasing current trends. Such sites focus on innovative or ground-breaking products. For example;
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube are all great resources for new product ideas and inspiration. The trick is knowing how to search them and filter out the unnecessary noise. For example:
Talk to as many people as possible to help you tap into customers minds and passions. What new products, solutions, communications and “experiences” truly resonate? Try to find out what their pain points are - what problems need to be solved. Regularly brainstorm with staff, customers and even suppliers.
Start with problems that you are personally invested in. Think about what already exists in the marketplace and what you wish was there. Talk to your family, friends and customers about products and solutions they'd like to be able to purchase.
Look beyond your own industry. Try to determine how other businesses are solving problems. They might be using an approach that is routine for them, but hadn't occurred to you before, and that's the beginning of inspiration.
Every time you encounter frustration with a customer experience, note it down. Ask yourself: is this a problem I could solve? Ask others if they've run into the same difficulty, and what they'd like to see done about it. Could you turn that solution into a new business idea?
The key to gaining inspiration is keeping an open mind. When you're searching online or talking to people and you think to yourself "that's interesting," pause and ask yourself if there might be some inspiration in that. Use your imagination to refine what might have been a previously odd observation into something that could be a genuine problem-solver.
The internet means that we as a global community are more connected than ever, so it's easier to talk to people and find out what they want. You can research ideas across all business industries just by searching online and talking to customers from around the world.
POSTED IN: 2017,Marketing,Growth