Finding uses for products can help to open new markets. For an aspiring entrepreneur or small business owner an interesting task is to take your product or service idea and generate a number of uses for it. Stretch your imagination. Don’t censor your ideas. You may come up with one that could give your product a whole new market – and a whole new life.
Take colas, for example They started out as a medicinal drink and then became a soft drink. Yet people still use colas for some interesting purposes such as for meat tenderising and cleaning battery connections.
Speaking about car batteries, while their primary use is for starting cars, people use their 12 V batteries for powering house lighting, radios, television sets and camping equipment.
What other uses do your products or services have?
Could one of them be a winner?
An interesting way to stretch your imagination about product uses is to take a product that seems useless and find brilliant uses for it.
Don’t limit yourself to practical ideas. Any idea is okay, even ridiculous or wacky ones. This idea-generation technique is really meant to help you at a later stage when you are trying to find new business ideas or wanting to find a new market to revive an existing product.
Let’s take the portable swim current generator that helps you exercise in swimming pools. What uses could you come up with for such a product? The current generator costs $4000.
- Sell it to dinghy owners to propel their crafts
- Boat owners can use it to keep the vessels from bumping into harbour walls.
- Use the current generator to make a whirlpool in your swimming pool especially when you have unwanted guests
- Sell the entire swimming pool thing for scrap
- Donate it to a public or school swimming pool where the children will probably enjoy it
- Put the unit in your pool and charge neighbours to come exercise in it
- Sell it to trout dam owners or fish farm producers to keep their fish active and to oxygenate their water
That’s my list. What uses can you think of? Did you notice the three new potential markets for this product. The point is that this method forces new thought patterns and connections.