How to Spot (or Start) the Next Big Opportunity

So you have a product, or you’re thinking of a product to sell. Or, you probably have an existing business, but you’re not so sure what’s the next thing to do in order to grow. Then this article might be of help.

Here are some of the things that you can do to have a clue on what’s going to be the “next big thing”:

Go out and people-watch. Depending on your product or service, go to places where people use similar products or services. How do they use it? What are their remarks about it? Are they happy with it? By doing this (without looking like a stalker or a creepy person), you’ll most likely know what features should be improved, added, or removed, or if they really need the product in the first place.Check out what’s happening in other countries. If you have the budget, then it’s good to invest in a business trip that will result to market research. What are the trends happening out there that are related to your product or industry? Study if it can be a hit to your home country too, and explore how you can make it your own business. This is how milk tea was brought here in the Philippines.

Counter-trending. The Aldub love team became a huge hit because of this strategy. The traditional way of courtship among couples was considered old-fashioned, because media now show casual sex, dating without parents’ consent, etc. But what Aldub did was– suddenly, there is this young couple having a date in the girl’s house. Suddenly, we were reminded that the guy cannot just take the girl out whenever he wants. Suddenly, there’s a couple who didn’t hold hands and kissed until they were allowed to. They broke the dating norm.

Whatever the trends are today, most likely, it will be reversed after a few years. We’ve seen this happen in clothes, TV shows, and gadgets (remember when the coolest guy was the one with the smallest cellphone?).

Conduct a survey. This is the simplest and most obvious thing to do. Ask unbiased questions about product usage, features, benefits, etc. This is usually called the UAI Questionnaire (Usage, Attitude, Image). Usually, marketing efforts such as product bundling, new usage suggestions, and new packaging come from UAI surveys.

Once you’ve done these simple market research principles, here are ways you can proceed:

Identify your strategy on how you will address this trend or need that came out of your research. How can my product be relevant?Plot your programs. Is it a new product launch? A new product bundle? Promotions or discounts? New packaging? Whatever your programs will be, make sure it comes from your market study and executes your strategy.

Some commit the mistake of doing it the other way around. They do the programs that they want first, then they justify it with a biased market research. Don’t do that. You may end up wasting your resources by forcing a product that’s not fit to the market.

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