- Experiment freely. Your ideas should sound a little nuts. Who’d have thought those Burger King commercials would strike gold?
- Distance yourself. Every successful new product from here on out will have its own niche, its community of fanatical users.
- Create your own market. Cirque du Soleil, the sort-of circus/sort-of theater act, has expanded to $700 million in annual sales, but after 22 years still has virtually no direct competitors.
Tip: Its in-house group called New Tendencies studies what’s new in restaurants, cars, fashion and lifestyles. Noticing a rise in Asian themes, Cirque injected that flavor into its show at MGM Grand.
- Obsess about customers. Don’t worry about what your competitors are doing so much as what your customers are wanting.
- Share. Cooperative networks of companies and serious-minded crowds of amateurs now create wonderful products like wikis and marketplaces.
- Personalize. Options range from tailor-made teddy bears at the Build-a- Bear Workshop to tailor-made clothes from Lands’ End.