Browsing Posts tagged innovative products

Many new fitness products are released into the marketplace every year.  A couple months ago I received an innovative new fitness device as a gift.  I love this little gadget and I’m amazed at the innovative features offered by this fitness tracker.  Since I’m always watching for innovative products and services, I was excited to try out this new fitness tracker.

Fitbit Ultra The device, called a fitbit, is a 21st century pedometer (see picture on the left – click the picture to visit the company’s web site).  The old-fashioned pedometers measured the number of steps a person walked each day.  I had one of those old devices many years ago – I used it for a while, but the novelty wore off quickly.  I often had to adjust the device to be sure it was properly registering my steps.  Counting my steps each day was useful, but the device had no other features.  Also, I had to record my steps each day and then reset the pedometer each morning.

But, my new fitbit is a completely different story.  Yes, it counts my steps – but that’s just the beginning.  This device counts the number of stairs climbed each day, the number of calories burned, sleep patterns, and more.  The fitbit wirelessly communicates with my laptop, which automatically stores my daily steps, stairs climbed, and other data.  Also, an app for my smartphone displays this data and lets me enter other information, such as the glasses of water I drink, the food I eat, and more.  I recharge the device about once a week by connecting it to a docking device that connects to my computer.

The small size allows me to easily carry the fitbit in my pocket or clip it on a shirt sleeve or belt.  I find myself looking at the device many times each day and it helps motivate me to go for a quick walk or climb an extra flight of stairs to meet my daily goals.  And, you can “compete” with your friends that also have a fitbit to see who climbs the most stairs in a day, etc.  This social aspect of fitness provides new motivation to be active every day – and lets me participate with friends all over the world.

I love innovative products like this – taking an existing product (pedometer) and putting a new “twist” on the design that completely changes the functionality and usefulness of the product.  Think about the products/services in your own business.  Can you “update” those products/services to create a whole new user experience?  And, if you have a fitbit, let me know so we can have a friendly fitness competition.

I was recently shopping for new lunch boxes for my kids to carry their lunch to school.  If you have not shopped for lunch boxes/bags lately, you may be surprised at the number of options.  Hard-sided lunch boxes made of metal or hard plastic.  Soft-sided bags of varying shapes and sizes.  And, of course, a huge variety of colors, designs and cartoon characters.

With previous lunch boxes, we have included a re-usable ice pack to keep the contents of the lunch box cold.  This approach works pretty well, but sometimes the ice pack “crushes” the food or the ice pack begins to leak blue liquid all over the contents of the lunch box.

As I reviewed the vast selection of lunch boxes at a local store, I noticed a new type of soft-sided lunch bag that had “built-in” ice.  The advertising materials for the lunch bag said “No Ice Needed!  It’s Built-In!”.  This innovative design includes a freezable gel in the sides of the lunch bag.  So, instead of putting an ice pack into the lunch bag to keep the contents cool, you put the entire lunch bag in the freezer overnight to chill the gel in the sides of the bag.  In the morning, you take the lunch bag out of the freezer and put the lunch inside.  The frozen gel keeps the contents of the lunch bag cool until lunch time.

I love this idea.  The lunch bag does a wonderful job of keeping the contents cool until lunch time.  I believe it does a better job than the old ice packs we used in the past.  Now I don’t have to worry about leaking ice packs or a shifting ice pack that slides to one end of the lunch bag and only keeps part of the lunch cool.

This creative product is an innovation example that combines two existing products to generate a new product providing new benefits to the customer.  This innovation adds a new feature that simplifies use of the product, rather than making it more complicated.  When looking for ways to provide more value to your own clients, don’t forget to consider simplifying your product or service for the benefit of your client.

Can a soccer shoe be innovative?  Absolutely!

Shoe manufacturer Adidas has developed an innovative soccer shoe that weighs only 5.8 ounces.  The manufacturer says these are the lightest soccer shoes on the market – the average soccer shoe weighs about 10 ounces.

Adidas applied several innovations in developing this new shoe – including a new approach to manufacturing the sole of the shoe as well as a new material used in the upper portion of the shoe.  To see all the details about this new soccer shoe, click here to read the article in Fast Company magazine.

Tell us about your favorite innovation by leaving a comment below.

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