I was watching TV the other day and it was one of the rare times I actually noticed an advert. It was for a new razor for men, but with a twist, it only had one blade. Interesting because most razors have gone from having one blade to five. This advert played on this theme, almost ridiculing it. It then sold the one blade “weakness” as a benefit. They had realised that they couldn’t simply add another blade. They had to look back to the old one blade razors and re-imagine it with a twist of being more high-tech (it was electric).
What other products and services could be re-invented?
We know that re-invention consistently happens in the fashion world. Those old flares come back ten years later. However, they’re always slightly different, re-invented for a new generation. But also so that if you dig your old ones out of the loft, they don’t quite look right.
Consider a few other products and services which have also done a similar thing:
Going analogue when everyone is going digital – The Bullet Journal
When everyone seemed to be going paperless with to-do apps and online schedules Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer created an analogue organisation system he called the Bullet Journal which simply used a pen and notebook. Although his original intent was just to create an organisational system for himself to help with his ADHD, the concept caught on. He had a successful Kickstarter Campaign which raised nearly $80,000 to fund development of the second version of the official Bullet Journal notebooks. Check out this post by Jasmin Nahar who goes through her experience of setting up a bullet journal. I have to admit it looks a whole lot of hassle to me, but then again this week I did revert back to typing up a to-do list and printing it out so it sat in front of me.
Re-imagining home cooked meals
Grocery shops nowadays are full of convenience foods, just microwave it, or lob it in the oven. Everything else we buy, we tend to buy for the week, or buy and freeze. Then the likes of Hello Fresh and Gousto came along and looked back to the old way of life. Back when you just bought what you needed from the local independent shops for a meal that day. They reimagined this idea and source food from specialist producers, only supplying just enough ingredients for a specific meal/s and delivering it conveniently to your door each week with recipe instructions.
Old mobile phone styles making a comeback
While most mobile phones are getting larger and smarter, Doro phones looked back at the old flip mobile phone and re-invented them. They target them at the older generation with a loud volume and large numbers on the keys. Both my parents have recently bought this phone.
The old Nokia 3310, originally released in 2000 has made a comeback this year with, but with updated features and a much thinner profile.
“Nokia struggled to bring its brand into the smartphone era and ended up being sold to Microsoft. But since then it has targeted success by making new versions of old phones” Source – The Independent
The humble swing has been re-invented by mixing it together with a surf board to form what is known as a Swurfer. The company took an old product and breathed new life into it, while also making it appeal to a new market of adults.
So many old toys have had a similar treatment so they appeal to a new generation. The new sleek looking kid’s scooters bare little resemblance to the old scooter I had in the seventies.
Kid characters re-invented
Trollz were originally toy hits back in the sixties. Since then they were re-imagined as video games in the 1990s. Then in 2016, they were developed into a smash 3D film by Dreamworks. This reinvention of classic characters happens frequently. A new Noddy Toyland Detective has been produced by Dreamworks Animation made with 3D animation. The Mr Men which have been around since 1971 are releasing new characters based on Doctor Who.
Having tried to break into the licensing industry with some of my characters, I have been told that reinvention of existing classics is a far safer financial bet for TV companies. Not only do the characters have a proven track record, but there is also a sense of nostalgia for both the parents and grandparents.
What products and services from the past could you reimagine or reinvent?