10 ideas waiting for an owner.

Most of these ideas perhaps exist in a niche form currently and have been tried by small companies . The challenge is for big brands/companies to embrace some of them and take them mass.

· Masala Coke/Pepsi – Its surprising that this has not been launched yet . You can have this concoction at thousands of stalls all over India . Surely Coke or Pepsi flavorists can find a way to develop and bottle a winning mix.. Suits Pepsi’s challenger brand image more. I can see Coke being a bit precious with the brand . Can be easily launched as “Coke /Pepsi Spice” in the western markets.

· Expanding beer consumer base to females ( espl in mature / developed markets) via flavoured beers (if it is working in Germany, a beer purist country, it should work in other European markets also). Fruity , spicy , Lemony ..bring them on !! desperados-beer.jpg

· A Light beer in a blue bottle – Why are all beers in either transparent or green bottles. Imagine shelf standout and support for a proposition like “ Fresh Light taste” with a blue bottle .

· P&G or Unilever takeover of green/ecological cleaning products company ECOVER – This brand is slowly creeping into all big retail chains and is steadily growing its sales and product range. Is available in most of Europe, Japan, US and Israel. The “green” trend is here to stay and grow. With premium pricing I am sure margins are very healthy.

· Gillette shaving aids – Think shaving oil (pre shaving regimen) , facial hair trimmer ( post shaving regimen ; who wants to shave high up on the cheek to remove a few tiny scattered hair ) . These products already exist eg Shaving oil by King of shaves and Clarins for Men . Facial hair trimmer is offered by Panasonic. Gillette can take these products mainstream and grow the category many times over.

· Minute- maid fair-trade Orange Juice – We have 100% Juice (Tropicana etc ) , we have 100% Organic juice ( not yet mainstream though) . Can 100% Juice from Fair-trade Oranges be the edge for Minute Maid vs Tropicana? Its only offered by minor players till now ( eg Calypso) .

· Kelloggs special K mini bytes – Special K cereal is a hit and so are the cereal bars . How about making them byte size and snackier . Just right for the 3pm hunger pang !!!

· SONY /BURBERRY co-branded handbag worthy laptops – ASUS has a laptop with a leather cover /front panel which looks like a handbag. They also have a pink one . I am sure women are not enthralled by the “macho” black IBM THIKPAD or a Silver Toshiba/Dell ..and apple is not yet mainstream. If cars designers can wake up to the female segment opportunity so can laptop designers. We need a Toshiba, Sony or Dell to do this to make it big. ASUS hasn’t got the equity in the category. asus-pink.png

· LEVIS instant jeans tattoo – Get some cachet back into this tiring brand. Printable fabric transfer tattoos which you can add on to your jeans in-store or later at home.

· Using blogs for talent spotting – Need I explain this ?


5 responses to “10 ideas waiting for an owner.

  1. …or 10 recipes for disaster?!

    1. Competition is not from beer, but other beverages, including wine coolers, hard lemonade, or mixers that actually come in different tastes. Outside Germany, beer often comes with blue-collar connotations, as distinct from wine, spirits etc.

    2. Indigenous product competition, non-competitive cost structures etc etc – look at the loose-tea experience for the branded companies.

    3. Blue bottles are perhaps typically associated with cleaners, astringents etc (?) – i.e. substances not typically associated with healthy/ pleasurable ingestion by mainstream consumer

    4. Private label organic products are fast-growing in the US. The issue is size – as the company grows big, some consumers tend to move away – they want the “smallness”, “cottage-industry” feel

    5. Some of these are actually in existence, mostly with niche appeal. The metrosexual consumer who’s typically most concerned with these aids doesn’t buy Gillette, he buys specialized/ boutique/ advanced cosmetics brands (or organic ones!)

    6. Already happening in the US. Actually part of the organic movement. Organic sells more than “fair-trade”, which is still more of an advanced abstraction

    7. Already in the market. Niche product, typically aimed at middle-aged women

    8. Actually the Thinkpad has a special leather-covered version in the market. But high-fashion co-branded laptops are actually being addressed already from different directions – most combining high-performance with high-fashion. E.g. gaming user buys co-branded flame-red Ferrari-Voodoo laptop. High-fashion/ high-tech combos are common – LG-Prada, Flybook-Barneys

    9. All done, tried and exhausted – now only available for kids’ jeans. For the teen crowd and grown-up crowd – niche brands and/ or high-fashion (Hollister, 7 for Mankind…) and multi-wash high-tech Japanese denim is the rage. Levis is now competing with lower-end blue collar brands, and still selling a ton of Dockers – the real action is in high-end denim and chinos

    10. Already happening through web-crawling and bots. Not very effective…because its mostly too late…

    What planet have you been on, dude?!

  2. Thanks siriusminor . Good to get a debate going . There are arguements against every potential new product idea on why it wont work . One can counter most of your concerns but that will take too much space. But just to take one, Gillette shaving aids – Metro sexual is a big enough segment for Gillette to be interested in . There are enough people who dont want to pay $16 for a Clarins shaving oil but will readily pay $5 . The point is about mainstream brands picking these up and making them big . Of course most of these are happening at a small scale . Big companies are caught up in a narrow brand centric world (you can read more in post 1 on this ). Even on the laptop its not about high fashion, limited edition and thus premium priced . It extends beyond external aesthetics . There is a whole world of ergonomics which has been used to design products which are women friendly . And on blue bottles and cleaners I think you are just on planet US . I am not sure thats a global association. There are decently big water brands in UK which are in blue bottles ( ever heard of Ty nant ??) . And on masala coke – indigenous product competition – HA HA HA ….what products and channels are you thinking dude . Why is spiced coke non competitive cost structure when there is coke with lime, lemon etc . Its a relevant flavoring end of the day !!

  3. Your responses appreciated, but one could do without the faux laughter – it is inappropriate and misplaced in a blog purporting to foster real thinking and debate. You just lost yourself a reader.

  4. Not sure agree with all your comments siriusminor,
    1. Beer for the female segment is an idea allright and another is a light beer – they are infact two separate ideas. Chilled beer is a hot summer’s drink in many tropical countries…in some even a party drink (ask the Mumbai clubbing circuit). So saying Blue Collar and dimsissint it would be missing a trick . The idea is not a blue or a green beer bottle but a distinctive beer bottle that shouts out light / female me thinks.

    Colour associations are important but need to be considered in certain mindspaces… so yes if you’re in a supermarket aisle and doing your main shop, you might think blue (in plastic containers mostly) => cleaners or if you’re in the skin care aisle… you might say blue=> astringent…. but not when you’re in the spirits aisle or in the pub. If blue reminds you of cleaners and astringents, you obviously don’t take well to Bombay Saphire
    2. I like Spice Coke as a thought …. Why would it be non competitive cost structures? As for loose tea example… have you considered Dilmah
    3. On metrosexuals buying boutique…. Some points on this :
    1) The Marlboro image of man is dead… certainly out of Texas!
    2) Think success of retail brands like Zara… they would scream Metrosexual and they’re not boutique
    4. You have a point on the fair trade and organic products argument and I agree that the Levi’s idea is a bit kiddie …its not a big idea

    Comments for gurugupta :
    1. Not sure about equipment from Gillete, but Men’s grooming range from Gillete along the lines of the Loreal range would perhaps have a better chance as at least you don’t need to get the men to consider the brand .

    Sirius, I also feel you’re being precious about faux laughter hindering ‘real thinking and debate’ when your own comments are really trashing all the ideas one-by-one,at times with not enough substance. Some balance would be good .

  5. Hi, one news read just now reminded me of this post, guess you also wanna hear something abt it:

    Heineken is about to soft launch a sparkling cider brew for the fair sex. Christened Charli, the drink combines cider, barley malt and fruit flavours. Although barley malt is one of Heineken beer’s main ingredients, Charli is marketed to the 63% of women who, according to Heineken, don’t like its main product. The brew is also being presented as an alternative to white wine, the quality of which varies widely at Dutch bars.

    Check this out here:

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