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Product Diversification; how far can you go? By Mark Blezard

Updated: Jan 28

Do you hate Elvis Presley?


I’ve written before about product diversification, and spotting opportunities, both essential to grow in difficult market conditions. However, here’s a slightly different spin on it.


First off, I have no idea if this story is true, but it got me thinking. Apparently, Elvis Presley’s manager sold ‘I Hate Elvis’ badges as a way of making money from people who were not buying Elvis merchandise.


So, clearly, ethics are called into question, but, is there something here? Could an organisation travel to the exact opposite end of the spectrum of what they do – and sell? For example, could a dentist sell tooth decay? Well, actually, they could sell badges to people refusing to visit, saying ‘These are my teeth and I’m proud of them’.


Okay. Where am I going with this? In my Money For Old Rope article, I suggested that you started holding ‘Brand Diversification' meetings where staff are challenged to think up new markets and opportunities for current product lines. And my point here being – this is how far out of the box you can go.


Think of it like a coin. One side is the market you know and serve; however, a whole new market is on the other side but connected by the very same coin in your hand.


This is true entrepreneurship at its best, and if you are the business founder you should love it. Equally important is recognising this as a skill, something that will fade and may need refreshing.



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