For years we, at Born Products, have tried to keep our offerings fresh and new. What has been our process in coming up with new products? In short, there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and that was just for one item!
Thursday mornings are where it begins for all products. We have met on Thursday mornings for years to discuss new items, from concept art to looking at finished samples. We especially like to design unique items specifically for Born Products. For each product, we analyze the shape, color, size, feel – you name it we talk about it. We discuss if the product will sell at the cost we have to set and ask each other if the item relates to today’s market. The best time of any meeting is when we get to play with new toys! We like to think we play with the toys to check function and durability, but really we just like to play with the toys.
We have many ideas. Some don’t make it past an investigation phase: how many do we need to make, what is the price, those types of questions. Some make it all the way to sample production but still don’t make it into our catalog. If we don’t feel it’s “right” or we can’t get the price down to what we want, we won’t produce the item. We want the best item for the best cost for our customers.
Where do we develop our new product ideas for these Thursday meetings? To start with our customers. We talk, look and listen to our customers whether over the phone or walking through their gift shops. We listen to what the wants and needs are and build from there. We also attend various conventions, international fairs and visit factories looking for that next great item. We shop our local stores and peruse catalogs we receive and ask ourselves, “How can we make a product like this to fit our needs?” You may wonder, from beginning to end, how long this process takes; well, sometimes it might take a month, but other times, it can take over a year.
And yes, some really do take blood, sweat and tears to make it into our catalog. But all new products start on a Thursday morning around a small round table.