Think creatively about new product development

Asking the question, “Wouldn't it be nice if ...” can be the first step in developing a successful, new product.

Beach Boys fans will remember their 60’s dreamlike hit song “Wouldn’t it be nice.” These lyrics can also be useful to those wanting to create new products or business ideas. Wouldn’t It Be Nice If … (WIBNI) is an ideation technique that can be a powerful tool for entrepreneurs. This ideation technique is a simple and easy method of generating ideas.

How does it work? Well, ask the question – Wouldn’t it be nice if …? Create a list of these ideas, and then classify the ideas as wishful thinking. Don’t get stuck worrying about the feasibility or how to implement the idea. The goal is to get you thinking about desirable products or services that would be “nice”.

Many WIBNI questions might come to mind that could be the start of a new entrepreneurial venture. Some examples that farmers and those involved in food production could relate to:

You want a salad. Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to wash and cut up the salad greens? Voila – bagged salad! Bagged salads now account for over half of the lettuce sold in the United States.

You want your child to have a healthy snack. Wouldn’t it be nice if we wouldn’t have to wash, core and slice an apple? Peterson Farms located in Shelby, Mich., has that covered. Their business processes fresh cut apple slices for purchase by consumers and also supplies fast food restaurants with packaged, fresh cut apple slices.

You like hard-boiled eggs, but do not like cooking and peeling the eggs. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could buy hard-boiled and peeled eggs at the grocery store? This product is now available in the dairy section of many grocery stores brought to fruition by someone’s WIBNI. 

By now, you probably understand the concept of WIBNI. This simple method for generating great ideas for new products works! A new product that serves an unmet consumer need and solves their problem will be poised for success.

The next step after the bright idea is creating a road map that will lead to making it happen. That’s where the MSU Product Center can help. The Product Center can provide assistance in enhancing your concept, business planning, understanding the steps necessary in food processing and navigating the regulatory maze. The Product Center can help you turn your bright idea into a reality. 

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