Do you want to make your fortune with the next big product? Maybe “fortune” is a bit much, but how about starting a successful business with one really good idea? No person or group has a monopoly on ideas, so your product could become big even without the backing of a giant company. What you need is that first idea which can come from brainstorming, online trend watching and simple facts of profitable sales. If you’re ready to find your idea, read on.
Strategies for Product Brainstorming
When the time comes to pick your product, your first step should be coming up with a large number of ideas and sifting through them later. Don’t cross off anything at first! Just get the ideas down into a notebook or document, which you should keep on you at all times.
The best products solve a real, physical problem everyone has. People are constantly finding new problems as the world changes, and new best-selling products target problems as they emerge or grow more obvious. Pay attention to what causes new problems for you and consider what product could best solve that. Also consider products that fulfill an emotional because they make customers feel better even before they get the item, which can encourage habit-buying.
Products created to appeal to a large group in society (new parents, fans of a popular franchise, people with a specific hobby) will sell better than anything created without a clear set of potential customers. Products that are easy to find in every supermarket won’t become the next big thing for you without backing equal to a supermarket, so search for items with a niche appeal that someone might buy instantly without pausing to consider if they really need it.
Consumable or one-use products will bring people back for more if they like it and give you a regular set of customers, while “forever” products take more to advertise unless you can make them part of a unique brand. Read the reviews for your own products and anything you find interesting elsewhere, because customers often say what they wish the product did or what didn’t work well. If you realize that a product has no competition, don’t be quick to make your own unless you have some way to add real value, and remember that some products don’t have competition because no one really wants it. Avoid products that go bad or quickly lose value, especially those with a seasonal theme.
Remember that digital goods sell too. If you create something that people want like a local tourism guide, educational course or roleplaying game, then people might purchase that product for years afterward all without any need to ship the item. Creators of digital content get by based on;
a) quality content so that people check out what else they’ve made
b) quantity so they have something that appeals to anyone. If you also sell physical products, remember to cross-promote your digital items by creating sets, like an educational course paired with a workbook.
Still don’t know what you would want to sell? Ask a friend who knows you well what they think you’re good at to get a fresh perspective on yourself, because a business based on your strengths or interests can help you tackle challenges and find motivation. When coming up with your very first product, use the idea you’ve been thinking about for a while but you weren’t sure about its value – don’t feel bad if it fails and use the experience to come up with something better.
Online Tools and Idea Hacks
At some point in the brainstorming process, you’ll start to feel the ideas drying up completely. This is totally normal! Your next step should be to refuel the creative tank by looking at other people’s product ideas. In other words, go online for some solid, undeniable data about great products.
First make use of tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner. There you’ll be able to search using a product category to see how many other people are interested in that idea, which gives you clues for what is just starting to do well if the term became popular within the last month or what is already on the decline.
Look for trends built on a realized need, not a momentary fad without a real need, though the latter can be good for marketing. Expand the search back about 10 years to see the full trendlines, and make sure you search in your local area and other major markets. Always be specific with your keywords, such as “safety pizza cutters” rather than “kitchen tools” and remember that the best keywords have over 1000 searches each month, yet not much competition if you go looking for the product.
Other trend and keyword platforms include AHrefs Keyword Explorers, Bing Keyword Research, Design Milk, Long Tail Pro, MOZ, Pinterest, PSFK, SellerLabs Keyword & Product Research, SEMRush Keyword Magic, Trend Hunter, TrendWatching, Viral Launch Keywords and Wanelo.
Next it’s time to check the “Best seller” lists from online stores which can provide you with great ideas every day. If you can find new ways to sell what everyone wants and have the product ready when the big stores sell out, you can be the next source people go to. Amazon even has categorized, frequently updated Best Seller Rank (BSR) lists of products, plus the Movers & Shakers section. Look for products that don’t rely on their brand to sell and could be impulse purchases with fun designs, bright colors, “new essential” impact or a unique idea. Try to think about what is missing from the markeplace, or new features that could be added to existing products.
The Chrome extensions “Unicorn Smasher” or “JungleScout” show you estimated sales, prices, number of sellers, rank, ratings, reviews and much more when browsing products on Amazon. The best products to consider already have well over 1000 sales every month. Products with more than 100 reviews may mean the market is too competitive. Avoid niches already captured by a strong brand.
Shopping information collectors like Alibaba, Google Shopping, Nextag, Shopping.com and Shopzilla can be a great place to find top searches and shopping trends. Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter are built on creating brand new products with lists of ideas such as Nearly Funded or Trending, and you can sign up for newsletters that send you regular updates on what’s happening now.
Many sites tell shoppers how many other people have bought the item, what items are currently trending, and which styles get the most attention based on specific searches. But instead of chasing trends, learn to predict them and get on board quickly.
Finally check Reddit for sections with a strong product focus. Searching for “must have product” or “Buy It For Life” or “Shut Up And Take My Money” can be a great way of coming up with ideas based on customer needs and problems.
Marketing and Sales Techniques
You might not think that marketing and sales is important to finding the next big product, but consider this: the more money you save, the more profit you make. Even with the best product idea, you’ll never make any money if no one hears about your product or you waste too much money in shipping. That’s why the final step of finding a great product is deciding how to market and sell.
Start by learning from the best. Spend time looking at successful products and their ads. What do they do right? Where could they have done better? How are they actually selling the product? Even if you don’t think much of the ad, if the product is successful then either everyone wants that thing despite the ad or something about the ad really appeals to people. To see more ads, search an ad database like AdSpy or place high interest products into your cart at big online stores so retargeting ads will show up when you browse around later.
Finding the right balance when pricing your product can be tricky, so research what other similar products sell for and remember that most people view a low price as having lower value while high prices need to merit that with extra benefits. Products that are sold in most stores for the same price are hard to compete with, so choose items that don’t have a well-known price point. Starting a product on an auction site like EBay can help you find the right price point at which people are willing to buy.
Prices below $10 might not show enough profit to be worth your time unless the sale is all profit like a digital good or has the potential for extremely high volume. On the other hand, prices in the hundreds of dollars will send people looking for cheaper alternatives until you can make your product worth that investment with your brand. Products which are complex to manufacture can be good candidates for raising the price so you still make a profit, but competing with the production efficiency capabilities of a large company will be difficult so your best bet is to start with simpler, lower price goods.
Sourcing your product materials from the US may make your startup costs higher and lower your profit, but the product may hold extra value to those who want products sourced from the US, so consider your audience and costs. Importing materials comes with other problems, such as the import fees. The better plan is to find wholesale tradeshows, which can be a great way to find the materials at discounted prices, and the material samples may give you more ideas for products. Meeting a vendor in person also helps ensure they are trustworthy and direct sellers.
When shipping physical goods, consider shipping. Large, bulky items will cost much more to ship and eat away at your profits, while fragile items may mean paying refunds for anything that breaks along the way. Sell products that should go in sets, like a pack of 10 spoons or 3 colorful cups.
Customers love to customize their physical goods to match a personal style or theme, so you can price the item higher if you provide ways to make the item unique in terms of appearance, purchasing options and extras. Some people want every possible added attachment while others don’t. When creating the marketing visuals for a product with a choice of multiple colors, include many of the options into every picture so you have the variety on display.
Always think about what customers will get from the product, from fun memories to unusual benefits, and sell the item based on what they can only get from you, not on the features that everyone selling a similar product would have.
Finding The Next Million Dollar Product
To summarize, the steps for choosing a great product to sell are: First brainstorm ideas that will solve a real problem people face every day. Try appealing to a large yet niche group and consider markets with some competition but not too much. Then go online to check the many tools and shopping platforms which provide data for everyone to see, considering the trends that come from an actual need in society. Finally think about how you will sell the product so you can save money and make a profit. This may involve looking at ads, deciding the right price, sourcing materials and shipping.
Time to go bring your product to market! Go make your first million!