All products are created to satisfy a need or several needs. A clear communication strategy is sometimes important with explanation of what the product does. However, after the product has been off the market for some time, new product uses emerge. Here are 5 examples of such products:
1- Beer as an ingredient in cooking – After the beer market hit the ruff of its possibilities, beer experts noticed that more creative (or drunk) users decided to use beer in their cuisine. It was not long after that that many culinary books started to emphasize on this ingredient.
2- Climbing support as a key hanger – Safety can sometimes be “sexy”. This is the case of the climbing supports that started to be used as a way to show off key hanging on the side of the jeans. Surprisingly, this usage did not develop any farther.
3- Clothespins as package closing tools – Sometimes after opening a bag of rice or a cereal box, there is no easy way of clothing these packages. As a result people started to search their kitchens surrounding and found a solution in their bathrooms, which consisted of using clothespins. It is also interesting that the companies know about their package closing problem for years, but so far did not come up with a good alternative.
4- Coca-cola as an engine cleaning substance – Several years ago, news about product use almost destroyed the Coca-cola company, as their name product was found to be used in cars engine cleaning by some extreme mechanics. The reason for this unexpected usage was due to the product’s strong toxic nature and to a cheaper price compared to other products designed to clean motors. Regardless to say, the product the formula was re-written and the marketing campaign launched to emphasize non-dangerous nature of the product.
5- Lycra jeans – Jeans were originally used by the cowboy, with the first American jeans launched in the mid 19th century. A 100 years later, using jeans because popular among the teenagers, but were still less used among the female population due to the jeans’ hard form, coming from their ingredient denim. It was not long that Lycra (aka Spandex or Elastine) was introduced in the cloth industry, coming from a more industrial background, providing softer and tighter forms. Today, you can find fake, but good resemblance of jeans (“lycra jeans”) in female clothing lines, providing evidence that the product effect is sometimes more important than the product itself (i.e., to be seen in jeans, rather than to actually wear them).
Overall, every company should ask themselves what are some possible product uses that go beyond the product design, as some of these uses might prove themselves to be very lucrative, while others disastrous.