If you are into product development and you are running short of ideas to come up with a differentiated product / Service, these are some of the proven techniques which can help you to overcome that obstacle …
The easiest option is to take the basic product and try to add more augmented features. To start with there was a basic car helped to transport people from one location to another but now we have luxury cars with so many augmented features like A/C, Air Bags, and Auto Gear etc. Generally when we think about new products we stop at this level, but the fact is it doesn’t help to come up with innovative products
Next one is to try fitting in two unrelated ideas. To give an example we all know there are Cafeterias and there is an internet. Put it together to come up with Cyber Cafes. There are many killer products / services that are created with this technique like Walkman (Audio + Portable), Kinder Joy (Candy + Toy), Water theme park (Water sports + Park), IPTV (Internet + television) etc
Reverse your core assumptions. Our general assumptions about restaurants are it has a fixed menu, Serves food and charges for the food served. Reverse each of the assumption you have listed. Think about a restaurant where menu varies every day, there are no waiters to serve you (only self service) and it doesn’t charge for the food you eat but time you spend in a great environment. Doesn’t sound like a good business model?
Another technique is to use the same idea in different context. We have schools for Children, what about schools for training pets like cats and dogs? There are many such innovative products that are generated applying this principle. Many of the 3M’s innovative products revolve around the central concept of Adhesives (Boding two things together) but customized for different context like Glue stick & Sticky notes for office needs to latex free surgical tapes for Healthcare needs
Mind Mapping…Take a piece of paper and write at the center something that you like say “Email”, then start writing the next word that is linked to the first word say “Internet”, then say “Lightening fast”, then “Bullet Train” etc. It can lead to lot many concrete ideas for example access to emails in super fast bullet trains? May be worth attempting it or already there :)?
Start varying various dimensions of a product; you may come with a new breed. When you talk about homes, the dimensions that come to your mind are Cost, Comfort, Security, Relaxation, Location etc. You can come up with whole range of product stack by varying these dimensional values meeting different segments of people. Like a budget home at a convenient location for middle class to an independent villa catering the needs of affluent
I know after reading through this you are fully charged to come up with many innovative ideas but before you lose steam share your innovative ideas applicable to our business context by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Reference – Marketing Management by Kotler, Keller, Koshy & Jha)