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Solving Problems and Selling Goods

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

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

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