It’s one thing to have a fantastic product here and now, but what happens a year or two down the road, when your cash cow fizzles out? You can choose to drop off the radar and search helplessly for new, successful strategies, or you can make it a point to plan in advance how you will expand on what’s currently working for you and branch out in directions where fertile ground awaits, thus allowing you to sustain profitability and recognition while transitioning from one thing to the next.
This may all seem like common sense, but it’s amazing how many companies ignore it. All you have to do is a simple Google search for “lack of innovation” to see how many industries are suffering from a creativity drought.
And that’s what it all comes down to – innovation. That means improving a product or coming up with a new one (or even a new brand or service) to meet the needs and wants of consumers. Take subscription e-commerce site, YBUY, as an example. YBUY offers rentals of everything from blenders to golf clubs to cameras, and most recently the 3rd generation iPad. It’s not simply their participation in the rental business that makes this California-based start up remarkable – it’s their spin on it. YBUY very literally begs the question, “Why buy electronics and household items before you’ve had a chance to try them out – for an entire month.”
They have focused in on consumers’ current wants, needs, and struggles (i.e. the desire of some early adopters to test a product before owning). They have recognized an audience that already existed that no one was really tapping into. It will be interesting to see how this new company adjusts and evolves as competitors crowd the field.
Granted, it takes a special person or team to conjure up something that doesn’t exist already. Sometimes it can happen just by listening more closely to your customer base. But generally speaking, if you are confident enough to take risks and smart enough to plan ahead, you can do it. And that will make all the difference for the future of your brand.