Want to Expand Your Market Quickly? Repurpose Your Products

by G.B. Oliver

People are always asking me why their products are not selling. A lot of the time there is nothing wrong. Usually they are in a saturated market where there is a lot of competition. Then they don’t know what to do with the inventory they have sitting around. The answer is often simple – repurpose it. I’ll explain what I mean.

Glass Vase Fillers at Pottery Barn
Glass Vase Fillers at Pottery Barn

Christmas Ornaments Become Vase Fillers

The other day I was speaking to someone who had these beautiful acorn cap Christmas ornaments that were rolled in silver glitter. Really stunning. But Christmas is over and no one is buying ornaments so what to do. I told the vendor to sell the ornaments as vase fillers (just remove the ribbon). Vase  fillers have been a decorative trend for years now and these ones, because of adding the glitter (which just happens to be a big trend in 2013 – please see my post Product Trends for 2013) made them a unique entry in this market.

Necklace Pendants Become Drawer Pulls

Another person I was speaking with sells these lovely stoneware necklace pendants. At first look, I thought some of the round and square ones would actually make really beautiful and unique drawer pulls, especially for a kitchen or bathroom or on a rustic piece of furniture. Again, another possible revenue stream for the same product by simply repurposing.

w-white-crochet-classics-s-su12
TOMS White Crochet Wedding Slippers

Crocheted Slippers Become Bridal Slippers

Another person was asking why their crochet slippers were not selling. When I looked at the white ones they were offering, they reminded me of the white crocheted TOMS shoes that have become a huge wedding trend for brides to wear at the reception (on the TOMS website they have a section now called Wedding Collection as a result). So simply add a few pearls and start selling to the bridal market.

My point is, don’t give up on products that are not selling. They could have a new, very lucrative life in another form.

NEW SERVICE! My Product Consultation: I am offering a new service called my Product Consultation. It is very difficult to be objective about your own products because you are too close to them. So, if you have items that are just not selling and you don’t know why, please get more information here.

Product Consult

IF YOU LIKED THIS POST, please be sure to “like” it below and follow my RSS feed to know when new articles are posted.

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST on social media using the share button below. Thanks!

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Product Design I Love! Anthropologie

by G.B. Oliver

I’ve never understood why people just do copycat products. Granted, it makes business sense (although, not really ethical) to jump on someone’s proven success, but I have to think your success will be short lived if you can’t come up with product ideas on your own. It really isn’t that hard to be an innovator and develop new products. In fact, you can start with the products you currently have. Just step back, take a more objective look, and see how you could take things up a notch to differentiate yourself in a very crowded and competitive online marketplace.

Marketing-tips-small-businessA shop like Anthropologie is a good example. What makes them great is that they take products you’ve seen before, but they add a new twist to make them different from the traditional. For example, wooden letters are everywhere as wall decor, but Anthropologie turned these typical letters into Handpainted Still Life Monograms by making them out of canvas and adding painted murals on them. So now they have become true artwork for your walls.

Product-Marketing-ideasAnother example is their Colorblocked Baguette Board. They took what would be a regular cutting board, dipped the ends in milk paint to add some style and made it out of a much higher quality wood so you can use it as a bread server as well. These are simple twists on everyday products that also repurposes them.

If you want to be successful, you have to offer products that are unique, but still serve a purpose. People love products that are conversation starters. People also like unusual products because they make great gifts for those hard to buy for people. And as I say in my marketing ebooks, quirky always gets publicity! No one is going to write about a plain old cutting board in their magazine, but they will if it is now a stylish baguette server.

FINAL WORD: So don’t just copy someone’s else products. Take a look at a product that is popular and think, how can I make it more feature-rich, more useful, more interesting, more… attention getting.

GB OliverIf you are a small business selling online and you need more marketing advice (I save the best stuff for my ebooks) that will help increase your sales, please see my Ebook Shop for my PDFs, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work! or ask about my affordable marketing consulting services by filling in the form below.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.