What pushes business forward and paves the way for bigger sales? More value.
One classic way to find opportunities to create value is to take a product or service and add something to it. Today, for example, we consider a 30-minute pizza delivery a given. But when the timed-delivery concept was initially introduced by Tom Monaghan of Domino's Pizza, the idea became a success differentiator in the market.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see where you can add value and stand out from the competition:
- What can be added? More time? Greater frequency? Extra features?
- What strength can we add? Can we maximize existing strengths?
- What can be magnified, made larger, or extended?
- What would happen of we exaggerated winning features?
- What can add extra value? Can we make our product do more?
- What can be duplicated? Doubled? Repeated?
- What's missing that could be useful? What are the gaps that have to be filled in? What else do we need to know?
- How could we carry the idea to the dramatic extreme?
Consider the question of frequency: at one point, for example, home-products retailer IKEA figured out a way to expand its retail traffic by renting Christmas trees. "The spirit of Christmas can't be bought, but for $10 you can rent it," the ads read. For $20 ($10 for the rental and $10 for the deposit), IKEA would rent a Douglas fir tree to customers in New York City, where trees sold for $50 or more. After the holidays, customers could return the trees, and IKEA would mulch and then donate them.
These customers were also offered a coupon for a free spruce sapling to help save the environment. Customers could pick up their tree during the first week in April. When all was said and done, IKEA had figured out how to add enough value to make it worthwhile for customers to visit the store three separate times.
If you keep yourself dissatisfied with the status quo, you increase your potential to come up with ideas that win. Innovative solutions aren't always radical departures from convention. Even a minor change or addition to a product or service can increase value exponentially.