Is there anything worse than spending time and money developing a product just to see it fail? I think not.
But before you throw up your hands and toss out your investment, take a deep breath. Is everything truly lost?
Someone must’ve thought that promotion or content was a good idea; otherwise you never would’ve invested resources in the project. Chances are that something is still salvageable and can be repurposed.
1. Repurpose your content.
We’ve all been there: we’ve written a brilliant blog post or developed a SlideShare presentation, posted it, and then…nothing. The social shares never came; the comments never came.
Before forgetting about the content and moving on, think about how you can repackage your content in another medium. Can you reuse your SlideShare presentation in a webinar? Can you bundle some blog posts into an e-book or white paper? Maybe you can pull some important, digestible points from old blog posts and tweet them.
Real Life Example: In 1992, Disney released a movie musical called Newsies. The movie bombed at the box office, but slowly gained a cult following over the next twenty years. With the colorful characters and snappy musical numbers, there had to be a way to repackage this movie to reach a bigger audience.
In March 2012, Newsies: The Musical opened on Broadway. It was instantly labeled a family-friendly hit and a critical darling. The show brings in packed theaters every night and was recently nominated for 8 Tony Awards.
Good thing Disney didn’t bail on the project, huh?
2. Repurpose your products and services.
So you’ve come up with a product that’s best invention since sliced bread…
…but another company beat you to the market.
If you can’t carve out your own portion of the market, then take components from your product and translate them to a new service. Maybe some of your software can be adapted; perhaps your hardware can hold a different product.
Real Life Example: Remember how Microsoft tried to claim a part of the mp3 player market with Zune? The Zune never quite caught on like the iPod. In fact, I would say that it failed pretty spectacularly.
But Microsoft didn’t just toss out the Zune.
Instead, they used their Zune software and ecosystem as the cornerstone media player for all of their products. Now all Xbox consoles and Windows phones use Zune for their movie and music needs and the software is available for PCs.
3. Repurpose your promotional products.
It’s likely that at one point you’ll find yourself with leftover promotional items. Whether you have too many t-shirts lingering from your company picnic or a giant stack of tote bags from a rained-out county fair, those promo products can still help you expand you brand.
Make up gift bags for your interviewees, set them out at the front of your store, or offer them as prizes at your next office team building activity or competition.
Real Life Example: As we are a promotional products company, it’s only natural that Quality Logo Products has tons of logo items to pass out. We ordered ours to use at tradeshows, give to clients, and run promotions…but we still have a lot left over.
So we take advantage of our surplus by sending QLP swag packs to our awesome interviewees and some of our blogger friends. We surprised participants of our December Advent Calendar Facebook contest with extra QLP branded items.
So before you toss an idea, product, or scrap of content, make sure there’s nothing that you can do with it first. Waste not, want not, right?
Have you repurposed any sort of content or product before? Any other suggestions to help companies to hang on to their resources?