Ways to find a product idea:
We are not all hit with a business idea, sometimes we have to go find one..
Or maybe you have one already? Maybe a couple? Or you just need a new product to sell within your already existing business. You can still read through the blog to test your product ideas.
(Although I talk about products in this blog, you can use these methods for finding/improving a service as well.)
I would suggest not concentrating on a market niche (target group) when you first start out, but first finding a product (make a list of possible products when going through the process explained below). If you have an existing business, you should look for products related to your current business. Before we go into where/how to find product ideas, let me first explain what type of products you should be looking for (note that these are just guidelines):
- The product needs to be small enough to be shipped or be obtained easily if not manufactured by you. If you are looking at larger products or machinery, I would only suggest it if you have the experience, or sufficient knowledge about the product and the industry.
- Concentrate on more specific products – in other words, not products with a general product name. For example: more specific would be wooden wrist watch rather than wrist watch or heart bracelets rather than just bracelets.
- Ask yourself: would this be affordable for people? Would people spend their money on this product? (This is where you should do thorough research as to whether your product will be affordable or worth buying, according to consumers).
- If you are looking for your first product to sell, make sure it can be sold all year round (this will give your business more stability throughout the year) and that it is a product that can be sold for the next couple of months/years. Later on you can try seasonal products or fashion trending products.
- When you choose a product, make sure you research the cost price (including import cost, if applicable) and what the reselling price will be. This will give you an idea as to whether it will be worth reselling your product or not.
- Research your potential competition! If a well known company is already selling thousands of the product you are looking at, make sure that what you will offer is more unique to attract consumers.
Products that I don’t recommend:
- Mechanical products with high quality standards that demands warranties– if you are not an expert on the product, or do not have an expert on the product working for you, I would suggest that you don’t pursue machinery or electrical tools, especially if you are just starting out (I wouldn’t recommend medicines or slimming products either).
- Popular products sold at big stores like Pick n Pay, Game, Builders Warehouse, etc. You want a product that will stand out more, a product that people will not commonly find when going to big stores.
- Trademarked products are definitely not recommended, unless you have the rights to sell the product. If not, you could be sued if you do try to sell them.
Now that we more or less know what we are looking for, let’s start on where to find potential product ideas on the internet:
A good place to start is keyword search trends. By researching popular keywords that people use to search for items, you can establish what is popular and what is in demand. Google has a great tool for this that you can use: Google Trends (which is free). Using this way of researching will also help you name a product efficiently so that your product ranks higher in Google’s search results. Other sites that can be checked for trending products (trending/most searched products) are price check websites like Price Check. Using these results, you need to identify which products have a high search volume, but have low competition. If you want more accurate trending keyword search results, specifically for this type of research, you can go to Terapeak for popular products or Longtailpro for keyword trends (for a price).
Customer Pain Points:
Identify consumers’ pain points and find a way to solve them. Pain points are not necessarily physical pains, but things that frustrate people, consume their time or give them a poor experience (in both their personal life and at work). A good place to start looking at these pain points is in everyday life by talking to people around you. A good example is SaPassports, who, when you apply for a passport, will queue for you and collect your passport when it is ready, so that you don’t have to. We all know how time consuming the passport process can be to go through. Another example is Mr. Delivery – they deliver food to your door step from various restaurants and take away places.
People tend to spend more in order to support their passions and habits. Identify passions consumers might have. Consider sport enthusiasts: they spend more money on gadgets, shakes and gear to improve their performance than what they need to. To research popular things people do and identify consumers’ passions, you can research keywords that people use on social media (especially image social media like Pinterest and Instagram).
When identifying consumer pains and passions, you can also use current trending products in these areas and look for ways to improve them. Adding an additional feature, or taking one away, can be quite successful when you find the right product to do it with. Not all of us have a creative mind for improving things, but you don’t have to worry about that. Use the products (trending or not) that you have written down so far from your keyword research. Research them further by visiting sites of the official brand or third party sellers and reading their reviews. The reviews of a product can tell you the problems people might have with a product or what a product lacks. Other review forums like magazines and online blogs can also be a great place to do research. Hallo Peter is one site where you can start looking for improving things.
Utilize your own Experience and Expertise
If you can utilize your own experience and expertise, it will make things a bit easier when finding or improving a product. This will also help you identify your market niche more easily for when you start to market. Remember that you still have to research whether your product is in demand or not, or you need to set up a great brand building campaign.
Following Your Own Passion
If you have a passion for something, it is worth while going for it. It has been proved that people with a passion for something tend to follow through even when the business hits difficult times. What I would suggest is, when you have a passion for something, and want to make something out of your passion, make sure you follow through with enough research and create a well planned brand building plan.
Build a Captivating Brand
Building a brand is as important as building an audience, especially when the product is something that you are passionate about that is not trending (popular) or when there is a lot of competition that sells the product. Build a brand by creating a good story around your product like ‘buffelsfontein baard olie’ or ‘the American dollar beard club’. Both these companies created a manly brand awareness for men with beards. With their entertaining videos (maybe a little rough, but it is a good example of creating a story for a brand) they have become quite popular. They have created a more personal story around their product. What makes it better, is that they didn’t make it about the product, but about the ‘image’ that the product will help you maintain as a man with a beard.
Just to clarify if you don’t know what keywords are: they are the words people use to search what they are looking for on the internet (mostly in search engines like Google).
While you are busy finding some product ideas, watch out for our next blog where we will take the process of finding a good product to sell further.