From one, many

June 5, 2009

bubblesRecycling is good for business, and I'm not talking about trees and paper. Product recycling is one of the best ways to make more money with minimal effort. Take web template clubs, for example. They design website templates so they can be used in many applications with a simple logo, banner or color change. By doing so, they've invested the time, energy and money into creating one product that can be sold to many different niche industries. Infomercial product designers are geniuses at this — they come up with so many uses for their products, they can simultaneously market to many different types of people. Consider the ShamWOW towel, which will not only clean up household spills, but also act as a buffing shammy for your car or even a dry towel for Olympic divers. The latter is probably a stretch, but an example nonetheless of how product designers and marketers work to develop and promote single products for multiple uses. Perhaps you've been visited by a Rainbow vacuum cleaner salesperson. The vacuums, which use water filtration to eliminate clogs, can also be used to shampoo carpets and purify/scent indoor air. The designers recognized potential to turn a vacuum cleaner into three products with a few minor adjustments, and it is now a staple of sweeper sales. Or how about Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, which claims multiple uses including body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, laundry detergent, grease cutter and household cleaning. Whew! Not all multi-use products are so obvious. Dr. Bronner, for example, could market a separate body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, detergent, etc., using the exact same formula and no one would be the wiser. The good doctor has found a niche in multi-use soap, but he could also explore many sub-niches with specific-use products that, when you boil it down, are still the exact same product with different labels. Either way, the Bronner family has found a way to do more with less — and make more money with less effort. From one, many. How can you apply this principle to your business?

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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