“Po’ need 2 pahty 2”
The absurdity aside, a Food Stamp Friday Party could be an innovative business strategy.
The obvious way to look at it is as a charitable gesture. Truly needy people certainly do need some cheering up and they don’t have the money to go out clubbing. But the indirect alternative could point out hidden markets.
It’s likely the majority of SNAP card holders are women. Discounts for ladies brings in more women and that in turn brings in more men who spend money on drinks for themselves and the ladies.
This may also bring in groups of women who would otherwise not attend. Women tend to prefer going out in groups. If members of their group feel they can’t afford to go out, the whole group may stay at home. By eliminating that objection the party promoter can bring in other women who will spend money.
Don’t forget the party promoter created national attention for his local party. That alone is highly valuable to a promoter since on it’s face the product is a commodity.
So when thinking about potential markets for your products look beyond the obvious customers. Predictive Innovation describes 90 types of business models. Most industries never look at more than 13% of the idea space. That means there could be 78 better business models you overlooked.
This simple, inexpensive educational toy could have been made any time during the past 20 years or even longer. If instead of using silicone it was made from natural rubber or some other natural flexible material, it could have been made thousands of years ago. Unlike the mop in my last overlooked innovation post, this toy was probably not needed in the distant past. Children used to have access to a near infinite range of tactile and visual stimuli. So even though it was possible to make this toy, and their has always been a need for children to learn through multi-sensory experiences, that need was already being satisfied. Only recently when children were denied the ability to freely interact with the world did the need for such toys develop. This is actually a different approach to satisfying two different outcomes, safety and learning. In the past children were made safe by learning about their environment. Today adults attempt to make the children safe by preventing any encounter with potentially dangerous items. This resulted in fewer educational experiences so now that must be provided by alternative means. In the past toys were used to distract very small children who had not yet learned how to keep themselves safe. Toys were a method to allow adults time to do things without directly controlling the children. Today the children are in a highly controlled environment with few real dangers. Toys are still used to distract children but an even better distraction is used, television and video games. All of these approaches are bouncing around the 15 Alternatives for satisfying the outcomes of safety, education, and entertainment.