Reach Untapped Revenues Through Repurposing
Creative business strategy generates more with lessNovember 3, 2013 By Bruce Borenstein, President & CEO, AfterShokz
Whenever I have the opportunity to write for this column, I reflect on my 30 years in the accessory business to try to come up with a topic that is interesting, relevant and insightful enough to add value to your business. In this case, I settled on sharing a strategy I’ve used many times in my business life to add revenue to the startups I’ve worked with: repurposing. While repurposing isn’t necessarily a novel concept, I’ve found that many businesses don’t consider it as a sales strategy or as an innovative product management tool. But that’s where I march to a different beat.
I’ve always viewed repurposing as a business strategy. The key is being able to step out of your comfort zone just enough to be able to identify ideas and opportunities in product development, as well as in marketing to and selling into ancillary markets. In that way, repurposing truly becomes a form of innovation. While repurposing isn’t restricted to startups, it has helped in creating line extensions when funds are limited to support a full-blown product development project or to invest in inventory. This holds true whether you’re manufacturing from scratch or sourcing from an OEM/ODM.
There are many definitions of repurposing, from recycling existing materials to form new products to taking an existing technology and enhancing it to create a new product, to simply using something as it is and marketing it in a new channel. While there are several variations to the theme, the important thing is to make the investigation of any opportunities to repurpose a regular part of your business and product management strategy. Many products, especially accessories, cansolve more than one kind of problem for more than one type of customer. Here are some examples:
- A company reimagined the traditional video camera when one executive strapped one his wrist while surfing. Their repurpose of the long-in-the-tooth video camera created a multi-million dollar business and a new category of consumer electronics in the process.
- Many companies convert commercial products into consumer products by changing simple cosmetics, from an industrial look to something more apt to be found at home such as coffee makers and hair blow dryers.