Old is New

If you have been around a while, you’ve had the opportunity to see a number of products some and go. By go I don’t necessarily mean they no longer exist, but just that their popularity has dramatically decreased.

Some Examples

Do you remember Tickle Me Elmo, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Pet Rocks, Hula Hoops, Yo-Yo’s, and Beanie Babies? While these products still exist, all have seen better days as to their popularity. The point is that each had its day. For example, there was a time when parents would pay outrageous prices for a Cabbage Patch Doll or Beanie Baby. But, time marches on and new fads continue to come and go.

Why does this Matters

Looking at fads can give us hints of what might be a hit in the future. Consider again Cabbage Patch Dolls and Beanie Babies. Both are in the broad category of dolls. Dolls have been around a long time and will likely continue to do so. But, the companies that make dolls cannot just make one type and expect it will always be popular. They have to constantly be trying to create a new fad. But, since the new product is still a doll, in reality they are creating a situation where old is new. It’s just that it has been tweaked and rebranded.

Some products, like Hula Hoops and Yo-Yo’s, continue to come and go in popularity. For example, people may adopt the Hula Hoop as part of an exercise routine instead of the original intended use as a toy for children.

Then there are the products that continue to stick around year after year but with changes continuously made to supposedly make them better. An example of this is the bicycle. The basic concept is still the same, but gears have been added, ways to shift speeds have changed, and newer materials have been adopted. Yet this is really a case of old is new again.

Important Considerations

If you are marketing products that by their very nature appeal to a marketing demographic that is always looking for something new, remaining flexible is imperative. These markets can involve such things as children and their toys or adults and electronics. But, you have to be able to adapt rapidly. Sometimes that means being able to quickly introduce a product, wring the most you can out of it and then just as quickly move on. Be careful about getting stuck with excess inventory. Likewise, when you see that you are close to seeing the end of a product cycle, take a close look at what has worked and see if you can sell something in the same category that looks like it is something totally new. That is a true example of old is new.

Are you carefully tracking your products and services to identify trends? Are there new ideas you can act on that really are playing off of past success?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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