Solving Problems and Selling Goods

There are many reasons products become popular. Sometimes it’s simply because it’s the coolest new gadget or brand. But sometimes it’s because it solves a problem (perhaps a problem people didn’t even know they had). Problems, big or small, matter to people. As a result we have not only seen a craze in lifehacks but also innovative solution based products.

I recently read about two such product innovations. The first, solved a rather “small” problem, the subconscious shame some women feel because they wear their hair elastic around their wrist.

I am one of these women. It’s not a huge problem but it is a problem nonetheless. I need my hair tie to be accessible, but feel it doesn’t look professional or stylish in some situations. So, I was glad to see someone found a solution for this problem. Bittersweet created a bracelet that also doubles as a holder for your hair elastic. It’s something I didn’t know I would need but now I see purpose. Like the iPad, people don’t know they need these little things until they try them and realize what they’ve been missing.

The second innovation I’ve come across addresses a larger problem, the lack of shoes for those in developing worlds. While it has been a known problem for years and many companies have helped supply shoes, there was still a lingering problem—the kids were outgrowing their shoes too fast. This lead Kenton Lee to invent a shoe that can adjust to a growing child over a 5 year time. His company, Because International, continues to raise fund to distribute shoes that solve a problem.

Though vastly different, both of these product innovations address clear consumer needs. And when a brand solves a problem, it can create demand in shopping culture.

Photo Source: Bittersweet, Because International