Baking soda used to be used for … baking. While it’s still in the pantries of most homes, baking soda is the poster child for reinvention and repositioning. It’s not just for cookies. It’s used as a deodorizer, a household cleaner, and even in toothpaste. Think about it … if a simple product like baking soda can be reinvented as so many different things, how much can you stand to gain by reinventing your products or services? The answer is a whole lot!
1. A new name. If you think there’s no power in a name, think again! Consider the used car. Less-than-ideal connotations in that label, right? But what about a Certified Pre-Owned car? Sounds much better, doesn’t it. Sounds like something you’d be willing to pay a premium for. In fact, that’s exactly what consumers do. If you label a car as “used,” you’ll get less money for it than if you label it as “Certified Pre-Owned.” That’s the power of a name.
2. Label your product as “New and Improved.” Whether it’s a sticker on a physical product, or whether it’s a banner on a website, make sure you point out to consumers when you’re giving them something new and better. Consumers actually make their decisions based on just a tiny amount of the available information, so pointing out even a minor change can be the deciding factor in a customer’s decision to purchase. If you’ve invested in the time and money it takes to redesign a product, then let your customers know that you’re striving to give them something better!
3. Find the community influencers and win them over. Malcolm Gladwell, in The Tipping Point, cites the example of penny loafers, which had steeply declined in popularity. As soon as urban kids – the ones who establish fashion trends – started sporting penny loafers, the shoes were instantly in demand once again. Figure out who has the power to influence other buyers and get them on board with your product. You’ll watch people flock to your brand, while developing new consumers at the same time.
4. Target a new niche. Your product may not be new, but it’s new to the folks who aren’t familiar with it. Think about Ugg boots. They weren’t originally designed for the teenage girls who all seem to be sporting the pricy footwear. They were designed for Australian surfers, which is a comparatively small market. Identifying new consumers made Ugg’s stock skyrocket, and made pricy, ugly shoes commonplace in households all over the world.
5. Limit your product’s availability. This tactic may seem counterintuitive, but if something’s limited, people want it. It’s that simple. When you’re considering reinventing one of your products, make a big deal of it. Retire the old product with fanfare, and consumers will snatch it up and clamor for the new product too. Creating runaway demand may be as simple as telling customers that something’s available for a limited time, in limited quantities.
6. Change colors and style. Whether you reissue a physical product in a different color, or whether you simply have your logo redesigned, pulling in new business can be a simple as a facelift for your company’s image. Apple’s logo has evolved over the years, and its evolution reflects its nature as a cutting edge, style-conscious company. Your logo is often the very first impression that potential consumers have of your brand, and it’s in your best interest to make sure that that impression is compelling. Don’t pass up the chance to freshen your image and convince consumers that you’re engaged and striving to become better than you were the day before.
As marketplaces become increasingly crowded, it’s important to capitalize on consumers’ love for something new and different. Whether you simply repackage your existing services into another package, or whether you embark on a significant redesign, you must evolve or die. Consumers tend to have short attention spans, and keeping your brand front and center, with new and improved offerings that pique their interest is essential to locking down continued business.
Resisting the temptation to settle in to a rut is often what distinguishes companies who are destined to thrive.