Coming up with Winning Ideas – 5 Top Tips from Relish
Having just come back from the BBC Good Food Show where we sampled lots of fantastically innovative products – such as liquorice popcorn – we wanted to share with you our Relish Top Tips for coming up with winning ideas.
We’d also love to hear how you get your best ideas – what gives you inspiration, where do you go to look for new ideas, how do you go about deciding which are the winning ones? Just add your thoughts at the bottom of this post. We are offering a free 1-2-1 business booster consultation to the person with the most creative ideas!
5 RELISH TOP TIPS for Coming Up with Winning Ideas
1. Get away from your workplace, turn off the phone and emails & forget about your business worries – very few winning ideas come from being in your “normal” world.
2. Keep an open mind and look for things that catch your eye or interest you in magazines, books, online, other products, toys, restaurants….. the list is endless. Try mixing up everything you’ve collected and see what jumps out at you – it’s amazing how seemingly obscure items can create a great product idea. And make sure you get yourself an ideas folder to keep all this material in.
3. With any initial idea you will need to ask yourself the following questions:
– Can my brand realistically stretch this far?
– Is it the right timing for my brand?
– Is it a great idea but doesn’t fit with your brand? (keep hold of the idea – you never know when it might come in useful)
– Have you gone off on a wrong tangent, but feel there is something in your idea? Go back one step and see where it gets you.
– Does it fit nicely with your brand? Fantastic – it’s time to start bringing it to life!
4. Talk to other people about your ideas – people who will give you honest feedback, consumers, stockists – the more opinions you get the better. People like to feel involved with your development processes – it engages them with your brand. Social media (Facebook polls, and online surveys) is a great way of canvassing opinion.
5. Keep your eyes open all the time. Even when you’ve had your big idea – carry on with the creative process. Take photos of anything that grabs your interest when out and about. Make time regularly to visit different stores and markets purely to seek out inspiration. Try and make time – just 20 mins or so a week – to read magazines that might just give you the nuggets of an idea. Ours include The National Trust Mag, a whole host of Women’s Mags, The Grocer, Speciality Food and an Engineering publication (ideas can come from the wierdest places!!)
Finally – the best piece of advice we can give you is to relax and enjoy the process. After all creating new food products must be one of the most fun bits about being in this business!
Good Luck – and we look forward to hearing how your winning ideas have come about!
Keep calm and buy value
Whilst they’re not having the easiest time of late, the recent re-branding of the former Tesco value range is a good example of working social and consumer behaviour trends.
Whilst the improvements in quality can only be a good thing, it’s the actual design of the new brand that I think is particularly interesting. Having inspected it in detail in store yesterday (I know, I need to get out more), I was instantly struck by 3 ideas:
- Wartime economising
- Pulling together ‘for victory’
The subtly vintage and simple design called to mind the old fashioned corner grocery shop. That in turn made me think of wartime rationing, the need to ‘make more with less’ and have every penny spent count for two. With those nostalgic thoughts in mind, I couldn’t help but feel warm and positive towards the brand, as though I would somehow become a cleverer shopper, pulling together with my fellow Brits in hard times by buying it.
And that is radically different to my previously fairly negative view of supermarket value brands.
Only time will tell whether their working the wave of Britishness sweeping the country as the Jubilee approaches (I’ve no doubt this relaunch is timed to ride that wave) will deliver, but I for one will be surprised if they don’t see sales increase.
How does that apply to smaller brands?
Well the principle of keeping up with social and behaviour trends, as well as what is going on in the food industry, applies to any brand, no matter what the size. Whilst being a chameleon who changes to adapt to every fad or phase is definitely not advisable, subtly working the marketplace to appeal to what is fashionable, perhaps with a new flavour variety or promotion, can be a worthwhile tactic to both drive sales and engage your consumers to like you even more.
For more on 2012 food and consumer behaviour trends, as well as sales tactics, register to join the Relish club and check out the All about retailing and Know your market areas.
Have you found an innovative way to work a trend? We’d love to hear about it if so – do post below! 🙂