Nonwovens Industry Magazine released an article by Karen McIntyre recently regarding the INDA report, "North American Wipes Market: Trends and Forecasts 2012-2017." McIntyre interviewed Brad Kalil, the director of Market Research and Statistics at INDA, who stated that the wipes market is expected to grow at a respectable 16% per year until 2017. As more and more people utilize disposable wipes for more applications, the possibilities become seemingly endless.
This is when product innovation can mean big things for converting companies and manufacturers. Here are four ways companies can capitalize on an existing market's growth trajectory:
- Ask questions. Don't be afraid to dig deep into your existing product line and ask fundamental questions. Can there be different applications for your product? Is there a complementary product that would add value?
- Tweak an existing product to enhance product quality. Product innovation doesn't have to mean you're creating something entirely new. For example, you can take a product you already make and add an ingredient or streamline the packaging. You can make it faster, lighter, smaller, larger, softer, thicker or even simply more convenient. Small changes can sometimes mean big results, especially in a market that's already ballooning like the disposable wipes market.
- Connect with others. Build an Innovation Team at your company. Reach out to existing manufacturing partners and share ideas. Ask your end users for product improvement ideas.
- Remember: failing isn't failure. Innovation requires reaching beyond existing mindsets to solve a problem outside the scope of current business models. Sometimes, companies reach too far or they reach too fast and the market won't bear the change. There are times when an idea looks great on paper but not so good in production. But if you aren't failing sometimes then it probably means you aren't moving forward. In today's economy, the companies who can adapt the fastest are often the ones who grow.
Taking advantage of market growth in any industry is smart business.