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3 ways to come up with product ideas that will sell
Episode 13528th October 2022 • Bring Your Product Idea to Life • Vicki Weinberg
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Today I want to go back to the beginning and talk about how to come up with product ideas that will sell. This is one of the first episodes I recorded, and most listened to, and I thought now was a good time to rerecord and update it.

Here are my top 3 suggestions for how to come up with product ideas that will sell. 

Listen in to hear me share:

  • An introduction to the topic (00:21)
  • A problem that your product can solve (02:32)
  • Improving on a product (06:50)
  • Is there something you need that isn’t available (10:35)

USEFUL RESOURCES:


Accompanying Blog Post

3 ways to create product ideas that will sell

The Original Episode

5 simple ways to come up with product ideas

Episode 112 

Creating a food business and getting stocked in major supermarkets - with Marieke Syed - Snackzilla

Episode 130

Getting ready to launch your first product- with Laura Gillett - Stomperz Shoes

Episode 57

How to develop an original product – with Joe Shortt - Tripclip

Episode 125

Selling sustainable partyware - with Ciara Westhead - Pico

Episode 87

Getting ready to launch your first product - with Louise Almond - Amelia Anne

Episode 65

Starting a business during maternity leave – with Liz Rawlinson - gus + beau

Episode 4

How Silke created her resilience cards (and a new revenue stream)

Episode 71

Creating sustainable products with Nancy Powell, HERD Bags

Episode 88

Why your product needs to be on Amazon - with Cara Sayer, Snooze Shade

Blog Post

How to carry out your own customer and market research


Free Resources, including How to successfully launch a product on Amazon or rescue one that’s not selling

Book a Power Hour with me

LET’S CONNECT

Join my free Facebook group for product makers and creators

Find me on Instagram

Work with me 


Mentioned in this episode:

Book an Amazon mini strategy session

Book an Amazon mini strategy session

Transcripts

Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas to Life podcast, practical

Vicki Weinberg:

advice and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products.

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Here's your host, Vicky Weinberg.

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Hi.

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So today I want to take us almost right back to the beginning and

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talk about ways to come up with product ideas that we'll sell.

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So what really inspired me, um, to record this episode is that years ago now, one

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of my very first episodes was about ways to come up with product ideas, and that

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has definitely been one of the highest listen to episodes that I've done.

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However, I'm really aware that it's tough for small businesses right now.

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And in that episode that I did a few years ago, I had quite a few ideas.

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But now I wanted to do an updated version, if you like, that just talks

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about the methods that should help you come up with product ideas that will

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sell, and we'll talk about validating your product ideas in another episode.

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Um, but some of the ideas that I suggested a few years ago, I feel

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are less relevant now, which is why I really wanted to rerecord this.

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So if you want to create a product to sell.

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The first step, as you'll know, is having an idea, and some of us have an idea.

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Maybe we've been sitting on it for years and not doing much about it,

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or it's not been the right time.

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And some of us, and I was definitely in this situation, want to sell products

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but need to find a product idea.

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Now there are services where you can find ideas of things that

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are popular to sell and buy.

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Obviously, we're right now.

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Ideas of things to sell on Amazon, for example.

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And that's something that I did talk about in that previous episode I mentioned.

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Now there is nothing wrong with that, and I'm not saying there is at all.

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Although one issue that I think there is with selecting your product that way

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is it could mean that you are selling a product that you don't actually

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care much about just to make money.

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And again, nothing wrong with.

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But the ideas I'm gonna share today will hopefully help you find a

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product that you are excited about and passionate about because the

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product creation process can be hard.

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And I think having a product that actually means something to you can really help.

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Particularly when things get tricky, when you get tired, when you get

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worn down, when you are not finding a supplier, um, whatever the thing is.

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If this is a product that you're like, Yeah, I really need to get this

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in the world, that will really help see you through and I also hope that

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by following these suggestions, the product ideas that you come up with

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will appeal to other people too.

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Um, and they're probably most likely gonna be people similar to yourself.

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So let's start with the first suggestion I have for you

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is to think about is there a problem that you have or maybe someone else

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has, that a product could solve?

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So if you frequently experience some kind of annoyance, even if it's like

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something that's mildly irritating as opposed to a massive inconvenience,

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it's very likely that you are not the only one experiencing this.

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And if this is the case, maybe you can think of something now.

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Maybe you wanna pause and think of something.

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Um, maybe something's happened to you just this morning and you're

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like, Oh, that's really annoying.

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Um, why not take a look to see if there's a product out there that

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might solve the problem you're having?

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Um, if there is, and it's possible, you know, it's within your, your

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budget, maybe you can buy a solution.

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Um, I know there's definitely been times in the past where I've had issue.

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And I've been able to buy a product that has solved the problem I was having.

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So one example I think I've talked about before is it turns out my daughter would

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only sleep in a really, really dark room.

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So I bought blackout blinds.

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Um, and I tried it and saw how I get on.

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And if so, the product you buy is a solution and that's great.

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No more problem.

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Um, so I still think this is a win-win by the way.

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But if either there isn't a product out there that would problem you're

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having or there is a product, but it's just not effective, can you

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come up with a different solution?

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I'm also gonna talk a little bit later about improving a

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product that already exists.

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So hold on for that.

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Um, but yeah, that it might be that you are the person to

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create what it is that you need.

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Um, and I would suggest that if that is the case, have a think about

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what the ideal product might be.

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Or maybe you don't know what it might be, but have a think about ways

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that your problem could be solved.

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Now you're just brainstorming at this point, so don't be afraid to make all

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kinds of notes, Write loads of stuff down.

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Even if you think it's nonsense, just get it all out of your head

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because if you decide this is an idea you want to progress with, you

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will refine that idea and it will start to make a lot more sense.

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I also think it might be good to find out if other people

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have the same challenge as you.

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Reason being that if this was a problem that's really unique to you

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and you are the only person who has it, and you are the only person who

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wants a solution, it's likely that any product you make to solve this

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problem will be just applicable to you.

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However, if there's plenty of other people that have the same challenge,

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and of course you have an audience there to sell to, and if you do

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find other people that have the same problem, then maybe asking, you know,

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how do you think this could be solved?

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And see what their ideas.

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Because assuming that you do want to create this product to sell, or

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even maybe just look into how viable that might be, maybe at the moment

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you're thinking, I don't know if I wanna create a product to sell.

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But you know, if the right idea strikes you, then you would then I

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think getting input from potential customers is really, really valuable.

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And one of the great things I think about creating a product that solves a problem

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is that assuming other people experience the same thing, which you'll, you're

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gonna find out you have a really clear benefit for your product, a really clear

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reason why someone might choose to buy it.

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And that will really help when you're position in marketing it.

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Um, especially if you've looked for something yourself, and either there's

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nothing out there already or there's nothing that's effective because

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your product immediately will stand.

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This has been the starting point for lots of my podcast guests

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as well, and I'm gonna talk to you about a few recent examples.

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So Marieke Syed from Snackzilla wanted to find healthy yet filling snacks

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for her children once they outgrew the baby and toddler products on

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the market, and she couldn't find any, so she formulated her own.

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Laura Gillett from Stomperz Shoes, couldn't find shoes to fit her son's

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feet because they were quite wide.

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And so she created her own range.

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And Joe Short from Trip Clip, this was a bit of an old episode, was

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really sick of getting the stiff neck, trying to use his phone or his

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tablet on public transport, and he came up with a device to solve that.

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And coming up, we're gonna speak to Claire Grant from Ori Orso and Claire's

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created Jogger Socks to solve the problem of her baby not keeping her socks on.

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And if any of you or parents will know that, that can be quite tricky.

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So those are just some real life examples of a few people that I've

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spoken to, you know, in the last year who've created a product because

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what they wanted just didn't exist.

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So hopefully that will help to inspire you.

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So my second suggestion, do you own something or use something

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already that you know could be better and could be improved upon?

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So you've probably had the experience of buying something, using something

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and just knowing that it could be better than it is, and maybe it

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doesn't even need to be better.

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Maybe just different.

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I don't know.

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Maybe you've got something and you think, Oh, why is this in black?

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It'd be so much.

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Attractive if it was in a nice color or had a pattern on it.

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Um, you, you know what I'm saying?

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I mean, I had the example coming back to my black out blind thing.

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Um, I, the black out blind that I used had like suction pads and it was really

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annoying because sometimes they would get like dusty or, I dunno if it was

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dust, but something was happening and they wouldn't stick and they'd pop off.

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And then I found a new version that had Velcro to attach them

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and that worked so much better.

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And it was literally the same thing, the same piece.

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Cloth.

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Um, one company had suckers and one company had Velcro, and one for me

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worked slightly better than the other.

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So perhaps there's a really obvious problem or just a small thing

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that would make a product better.

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And as I say, it doesn't even make needs to make it work better.

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Maybe it's something just aesthetic and you could be the person to do that.

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Um, and I'm gonna again to give you some real life examples of my podcast guests.

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And speaking of aesthetics, so Liz Wallington from Gus and Beau wanted a

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Playmat for her baby, but she could only find them in really bright primary colors.

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You've probably seen them, they're like jigsaws and they're red

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and yellow and really bright.

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So she created her own range of muted play mats in like really soft grays and

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pinks and blues because that's something that she wanted, um, but couldn't find.

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And functionally, the mats are really similar.

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They look a lot more attractive.

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So Ciara Westhead from Pico was looking for sustainable party

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wear, so paper, plates and cups.

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And most of what she was finding was brown and boring, um,

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which wasn't what she wanted.

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So she created a really bright, vibrant range of sustainable party items.

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So those are two examples of.

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Products that were fine, they were functional, they worked.

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However, the guests that I've just mentioned wanted those items

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to look slightly differently.

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And so that was their usp, if you like.

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And then finally I spoke to Louise Almond from Amelia Ann, and Louise had

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her first child and found that nursing clothes were mainly dual maternity.

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So she wore them while pregnant, and then for nursing her baby and had lots

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of material covering up her baby's face.

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Be and decided actually she wanted to create her own range of nursing clothes.

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So even if you have a product that you love, so something you use often

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and you really like, you might well think of a small thing that could

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make it perfect and take note of these ideas when they come up because

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that could actually be your product.

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I should also say here that this isn't copying.

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I never ever suggest you copy anyone or anything, but it's just about using

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existing products, inspiration to create something new based on your own

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experience as a customer and a consumer.

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You can also find about lots of information about what other people

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would change about an existing products by looking at the review.

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But the idea with this is that it's based on your own experience.

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It's something you feel passionate about pursuing.

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However, let's say with the example of, um, the baby play mats, let's say

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you were looking at some mats and you had an idea, um, that you wanted to

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create something that looked different.

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You could look at reviews for current products just to see if other people

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were saying similar things to you, because that might give you some insight

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as to whether it's something that other people would be interested in.

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So I guess what I'm saying is don't necessarily use reviews as

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a starting point, but use them to help validate your own ideas.

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And as I say, I will have another episode coming up specifically

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about validating your ideas.

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I know I've done.

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Um, quite a while ago.

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Now I have a really old episode, but I will be doing an updated

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version, so keep an eye up for that.

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And then finally, my final suggestion is, is there something

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that you need that isn't available?

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So do you ever think, I wish I had a.

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Something.

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Now, some of what we wish for might not be feasible for many reasons.

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My daughter wants a unicorn, for example.

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That's probably not gonna happen, but some ideas definitely will be.

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So this is slightly different from creating something that solves a

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problem that you're having in that it might be something that solves

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a problem you had a long time ago.

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So it's not relevant to you anymore, but perhaps when you had a young child

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there was something you experienced.

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Um, it's always been niggling at you.

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You know, you still wish you.

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Done something about it, or it might be that you are looking for something now

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and finding that it just doesn't exist.

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And I've worked with so many people who've created something simply because nobody

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else has, and I should say here, don't feel it needs to be a big idea either.

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Maybe it's just earrings in a specific shape.

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Maybe.

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I dunno.

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There's something coming up and you think, this isn't a good example,

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but maybe it's Halloween and you're searching for pumpkin earrings and there

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aren't any, That's not gonna happen.

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You've had a lot of pumpkin earrings, but you know what I mean?

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Or maybe you are looking for.

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A water bottle, but it has to have particular dimensions because it needs to

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fit, um, in a certain rack on your bike or whatever, or whatever it is, or it

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needs to fit in a holder on your buggy.

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If you're something you've looked for and it's not out there already, then

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you might just be onto something.

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So to give you some examples from recent podcast episodes, so Silke Thistlewood

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from Raise Up Mums created Resilience Cards, which is a product she'd wish

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she had when her children were tiny.

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And she's since written a book as well, covering all the things,

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expecting parents just aren't told.

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Nancy Powell from Herd Bags wanted to find reusable bags that were both

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sustainable, practical, and stylish.

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Um, she couldn't find them, so she designed her own and Cara Sayer Snooze

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Shade was looking for a blackout blind for her baby's buggy and noticed

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that everyone else was using blankets and muslins to keep the sun out, um,

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because a specific shade didn't exist.

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And of course, that's also an example of solving a problem as

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well the problem of keeping your child covered up in the buggy.

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And another episode coming up towards the end of this year is with Simon

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from Haskapa who created a product which is freezed dried, haskap

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berries, simply because he knew how good these berries are for us, and

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nobody else at the time certainly was selling them in freeze dried format.

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So of course as with all these ideas, you do need to verify that there are

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people out there who will buy it.

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And as I say, I will be doing another episode on validating your product ideas.

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However, there is an older episode out now that you can listen to

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if you just can't wait for that.

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Um, and hopefully this little mini episode is enough to get you inspired.

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Um, you might also want to go and listen to some of the episodes that

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I've mentioned as well to see if that helps you spark anymore ideas.

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Um, and I guess your next steps are to keep your eyes, your ears,

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your mind, absolutely everything, open to the possibilities.

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Um, because if creating a product to sell is something that you want to do.

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I do believe that it is available to you, and yet you'll just need to keep

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an eye out for ideas, and I really hope that inspiration strikes soon.

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Thank you so much for listening.

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Right to the end of this episode, do remember that you can get the fullback

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catalog and lots of free resources on my website, vicky weinberg.com.

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Please do remember to rate and review view this episode if you've enjoyed

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it, and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful.