One of the amazing things about our capitalist system is how timeless ideas can be re-positioned over and over again by smart entrepreneurs. In the process, old ideas become new products and services. And sometimes they become HUGE blockbusters (hello, Atkins diet and Acai berry!)
If you’re interested in a particular market, here are three questions you can ask yourself to re-position an existing idea or product:
1. Can you “spin” an existing product in a new way?
In markets that are huge (think weight loss, how to make more money, pets, etc) you can sometimes come up with a new information product simply by changing the “spin” on existing ones.
For example, say there’s a popular Clickbank product that you’d like to promote. Can you take that idea and spin it a new way to create your own product? Here are some ways you can re-position an existing product:
- “Insider secrets”. This is a common approach with many info products. People love to think they’re getting the “inside scoop” on a topic, and will pay for feeling they belong to an exclusive club.
- Solutions from experts. This angle plays on “authority”, which is one of Robert Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion. If you can interview a respected expert in a particular topic, you can quickly turn the interview into an info product.
- Stories of personal triumph. Another popular angle is that of the “survivor”. I have personally used this approach for one of my information products, and it’s proven to be a great hook/
Here’s another approach that’s even easier than re-positioning an existing product: re-formatting a product.
What does that mean?
Simply put, it means taking an e-book and recreating it as an audio or video series, screencasts, etc. By just reading an e-book into a microphone, you have a whole new product!
And what’s more important is the higher perceived value of products that are in audio or video format. Consumers are often willing to pay more for a product just because it’s in one of these formats.
2. Can you mash together a timeliness problem and a current hot trend?
This approach is pretty straightforward: what are the markets that have been around forever, and how can you latch a product from that market onto a new trend?
Here are a couple of examples to illustrate my point:
- Yoga for pregnancy
- Online dating
The point here is to think about how you can “modernize” the solution to a timeless problem.
3. Can you “niche down” a product?
This approach is kind of related to number 2. Say you have a product that caters to people wanting to lose weight. Can you change the product slightly so it looks like you’ve customized it for a specific group of people?
Here are some examples:
- Weight loss for busy moms
- Weight loss for African-American women
- Weight loss for busy executives
- Weight loss for dog-lovers (okay, maybe I’m stretching it a bit here!)
Veteran internet marketer Jimmy Brown tells a great story about going into a sports store and looking for one of those workout balls (I have no idea what they’re really called). He said on the rack were two balls: one a generic workout ball, and the other that was specifically branded as a workout ball for abs.
Here’s the funny thing: they were exactly the same workout balls!
I mean, how much can change a product like that, anyway? A ball’s a ball, right?
Jimmy says he immediately grabbed the workout ball for abs – because it targeted a specific need he had.
One industry that is ripe for this is internet marketing. There are literally hundreds of professions that could use internet marketing to get customers – but most people in these industries don’t know the first thing about getting online.
Internet marketing for accountants, anyone? How about IM for dog breeders? For massage therapists?
The possibilities are endless!