How to find new product ideas

So you’ve had your big idea and now you’re beginning to realise it might need a buddy – but how on earth do you come up with something that will sell?

It can be a scary prospect, especially if you’ve had a hit with your first product.

But fear not, it’s easier than you think to conjure up new ideas – contrary to what some high flying creative types will tell you! 😉

There are lots of places to find those nuggets of ideas that you can turn into nifty new products. At the other end of the scale, it’s equally straightforward to narrow them down to the right ones if you have ideas popping into your head daily.

Idea hunting…

No one ever came up with a great new idea sitting at their desk (well not many anyway).

It’s time to get out there and find things that interest you, no matter how irrelevant they may seem (keep an open mind). Inspiration can come from anywhere, just look for something that catches your eye or piques your interest and hang onto it!

You could try…

  • Magazines, books, posters, leaflets, websites, music (any genre, any subject)
  • Packaging or other products (from any category)
  • Restaurants, theatres, shops, pubs, libraries, parks (anywhere, any type)
  • Toys, gadgets, tools, fabrics or materials (of any kind, from anywhere)

Tip 1: Try mixing photos, cuttings and items you’ve gathered together on a table and look for the things that jump out at you. You’ll be amazed how the most obscure items can give you the beginnings of an idea.

Get the bigger picture…

At the same time, gather snippets of information you find in magazines, on the internet or from talking to others to help you spot trends that could apply to your brand.

For example…

  • Are specific types of flavours becoming popular?
  • What packaging formats are booming?
  • Are your consumers eating or drinking in a different way, at a different time or for a different reason?

Tip 2: Put your fledging ideas and what you’ve learnt about possible trends together – and cross check with your brand positioning to be sure the idea is right for you. The idea could be great but still not be right for your brand (‘posh’ chocolate may be all the rage but should Innocent put it in a smoothie? Probably not).

Applying these same filters can help you narrow down ideas you’ve already had too.


If that all sounds a bit baffling, fear not! We’ll have plenty of guidance, checklists, videos and action plans to help you come up with the right new ideas for your brand when the Relish club launches in March 2012.

In the meantime, why not have a go?



Image courtesy of posterize,