Shopping Cart Software


November 2012

Turning the Latest Trend into Money

 by brian on 12 Nov 2012 |
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  Turn the Latest Trend into Money A new catch phrase, pulled from a song, accurately defines market research. “10 percent luck, 20 percent skill, 15 percent concentrated power of will.” Now, the odds are good that the musician merely parroted something heard from a marketing department, but what is real in the brick-and-mortar world is real in cyberspace. New Trends New trends do not start as ‘trends.’ They become trends when savvy business people recognize a growing demand for a product and make it easy for customers to buy. The first step is to find a new trend. The ecommerce world is ripe with opportunities to beat the competition to the next trend. But, that is not where the gold mines are found. Lisa Suttora, CEO of said: “To find clues to new trends, you need to get out in the world and begin looking and listening in order to learn what people are thinking and doing,”Suttora said. “It’s a process of gathering clues to new niches and putting together pieces of the puzzle. It’s about connecting the dots to things. You start seeing opportunities everywhere." Open Your Eyes and Ears One anecdote comes to mind. A millionaire said he found a must-have product when a friend’s wife ruined his coffee.  She poured milk into his mug, but the hole in the bag was jagged, spilling the milk.  He returned home and made a prototype razorblade holder that cut a tiny strip from the corner of a milk bag. He had no marketing expertise or business experience. He blindly followed the two fundamental rules of wealth building, feed a need, and cater to the lowest denominator.  Within months there was a milk bag opener in almost every house in America. Look for problems and find solution. Keep a notebook of ideas. It may take several months before everything comes together into a viable plan for success. There are some areas where ideas abound. They include tradeshows, trade magazines, organizations, catalogues, newspapers, social magazines, entertainment, and the world around you. There is always a product that can be improved, made easier, or could serve the consumer better. Ideas sometimes present themselves when you are least looking. One flea market vendor watched a child blowing marshmallows out of a piece of plumbing pipe. Only a vendor who spent eight months out of the year at flea markets recognized the value in that. He sold the invention and retired in eight months. The toy is now manufactured in China and has become a mainstay with flea market vendors. Evaluate Products The best way to evaluate products is to make a copy and put it in the hands of a consumer. There are always ways to conduct market research that do not include target groups, expensive research reports, or focus groups.  However, releasing a product too soon can be disastrous. It is better to do a little research and find out what consumers like and dislike about the product. The man who invented the milk bag opener didn’t make millions by introducing a razor blade to the kitchen.  It is feasible that many women already used a razor for that purpose. What this man did was make a child proof version that stuck to the fridge so it wouldn’t get lost.  This man solved a problem. He may have released a small knife, even a child proof one.  It was the addition of the magnet that made it a success.  Finding a product is only half the battle. Improving it may mean the difference between riding a trend wave, or taking control and turning it into millions of dollars. 
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