I have been blessed to work in multiple countries throughout my career, and one of the big benefits is that I get to witness and experience many different consumer products based on different market needs. Some countries might have a strong product lineup for dehumidifier due to highly humid weather, while some countries might have a high demand for mosquito repellent due to frequent rain and hot weather. This will show many different aspect of business opportunities, and I would like to share my recent case here.
If your business is not in the IT industry, whatever you are doing might be facing challenges. Any physical material is taking a direct hit from cost increase of the material as earth is getting older everyday, and therefore you constantly need to look for new ways to make profit for your business. When you seek for the new business directions, it is extremely important to consider the following.
- It is almost always better to have some kind of technological/knowledge leverage from your existing business.
- Your brand awareness was built over long period of time, therefore you don’t want to damage your existing brand and also want to utilise it whenever possible.
- New business itself should be profitable, and a rather promising (or proven to be profitable already) area where people will almost certainly spend money.
Based on above, I found the cases.
<Case #1: Frisk expanding into body soap and shampoo area>
As some of you are aware, Frisk is famous for its breath mint candy product. Their product gives extra chill feeling of the mint, and is often related to the image of ice due to its cool, chilly taste. Frisk gained considerable success in many markets, including Japan. in 1995, Frisk even became the first imported product ever in Japan to win the ‘Best product of the year’ award.
The other day, I found out Frisk has decided to expand their business into body soap and shampoo industry. This is amazing example of connecting their core brand image (and probably also the product value) which is the ‘cool, icy feeling’ into the new business. As a consumer, I could immediately expect the Frisk body soap to give me cool, menthol feeling if I use that product to shower, and this means company is saving tons of advertising money to explain its core product value! (FYI, I ended up buying the body soap and have been happily taking showers with Frisk until today)
Here is the picture of the product.
(Image source: http://getnavi.jp/wps/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/gn160512-03-1-760×348.jpg)
<Case #2: Michelin partnering with Under Armour>
Michelin is a famous car tire company that almost everyone knows. This French company has been around the market since 1889, which means it is not more than 127 years old. Michelin has been using its friendly ‘Michelin man (the man covered with multiple tires)’ mascot since 1894, a few years after the company’s birth. They are well known tire company with good quality up to this date.
I found out that Michelin also began an interesting new business, or a new partnership. I discovered this while I went shopping for my flip flops in Tokyo. Michelin now has a partnership with an athletic sportswear company ‘Under Armour’! Michelin is famous for its comfort as a rubber tire, and they use the same core value to supplement for the cushion of athletic shoes..! I was immediately tempted to try on the Michelin-based shoes, and it was unbelievably comfortable and bouncy. I see this as a win-win case, as Under Armour can benefit from Michelin’s brand and Michelin can also successfully step into the new business area.
Here is the photo for your reference. (and notice the clear logo on the bottom!)
I think these are great examples of clearly understanding their core product value and also a very valid attempt to link the value with other relevant industries. I definitely hope to see more of these attempts, meanwhile I will begin to bust my brain to find what I can do for my current company.
PS I bought both products.. greatly satisfied!