Thinking outside the box always gets you somewhere, especially in business. Today, Ken Courtright offers another technique of how to come up with or invent your next product line and your next service offering. Highlighting a couple of case studies of how some of the largest companies in the world succeeded, he shows how thinking beyond your brainwave brings in more business. Ken encourages you to create something today that is silly that tomorrow might be commonplace.
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Your Next Product
This episode and every episode leading up to our annual event are sponsored by Digital Footprint. You can get info at DigitalFootprint.net. It is a Forbes recognized can’t miss, must-attend Business Growth Conference. Our speaker lineup is incredible. We lowered the price significantly and we’re going to do a test at a different price point to attend the event. We sell out every year. If you don’t have tickets, I strongly recommend you get a ticket DigitalFootprint.net. Let’s get cooking. This episode is dedicated to another technique of how to come up with or invent your next product line and your next service offering. I’m going to give a couple of case studies of how some of the largest companies in the world go about this and dropped some seeds and hopefully it helps. First, I want to talk about something that I heard for the first time in 1994.Thinking outside the box means doing something absurd and making it happen in your space. Click To Tweet
I was in Kalamazoo, Michigan at a conference and somebody drew a big circle on a board easel with a big fat marker. At the top of the circle they wrote, “Great service,” and, “Three-day guaranteed mail.” Inside that circle, they wrote, “Super service,” and, “Guaranteed next day mail.” At the time that came out, it was revolutionary. Inside that circle, they wrote, “Super-duper service guaranteed next day by noon.” Inside that circle, he wrote something like, “Absurd same-day guaranteed by 6 PM.” The point of this is USPS, UPS and FedEx have been battling for years on offering a service deliverable that is better and better every next rendition or around that came out. If we look at the rental car industry, Hertz, Avis, Budget, they did something similar. For years, you would rent a car, you go up to the counter and they would upsell you on gas at a better price per gallon, or it’s the GPS, a map or insurance, and there’s 4 or 5 upsells.
All of a sudden, one of the rental car companies went forward and said, “We’re going to create a club where if you pay monthly to join this club. We’re going to have a car physically ready for you. You won’t have to wait. You don’t have to pick one out,” but they still did upsell you. Another rental car company came out and said, “We have a club. If you pay monthly, your car will be ready. You don’t have to talk to anybody and nobody’s going to upsell you.” Another car company came out and said, “We’re going to do a club. There’s going to be no monthly fee. Your car will be ready and nobody will upsell you.” It kept getting to a better service deliverable to the point of Zipcar.
Now, you don’t have to talk to anybody and you don’t even have to rent the car for the full day or a week. You can rent a car by the hour and only pay what you need with no upsells. The point is, in the rental car industry, different companies battled it out. Think back years ago, same-day shipping. That was absurd. Now, it’s a commonplace. Think back years ago, to have a rental car you could pay by the hour. That was absurd. Nobody’s talking to you and nobody upselling you. Now, it’s commonplace. The question is, when you look at your business and you look at your industry, what might be an absurd deliverable where you scrunch up your nose thinking, “What? Nobody’s going to do that. Nobody can do that.”
Now, what is commonplace at one point was absurd. This is where the phrase, “Think outside the box,” comes in. I want you to destroy the box or stand on top of the box and pretend that somebody had to come out with something absurd and make it happen in your space. If they did come out with something absurd, what are 2 or 3 options that might be absurd but could be pulled off if the right time, energy and money were put in place? My suggestion to you is, why don’t you be the gap filler? Go be the trendsetter and go create something that is today absurd that tomorrow might be commonplace.” I’m hoping this helps. We’ll see on the trail. Take care.