14 new creative candle business ideas for start-ups.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

No comments

Thinking of starting a candle business, or wanting to introduce something new in your existing business? Than this article is for you. For this post, I've decided to use 3C creativity tool to come up with creative business ideas for nothing less than beautiful candles. I included a note if the idea came from the complementary, contradictory or 'crazy' combination exercise of the 3C tool. 


Why candle business?

The candle industry shows steady year-on-year growth with an expected USD 13.72 billion market value by 2026 (according to Zion Market Research). The entry costs are relatively low, which makes it an attractive industry for small business owners. 

As a result, the market is flooded with candles of various styles, shapes, scents and colours. Business owners are facing fierce competition and are require to create outstanding products. One way to stand out from the competition, especially among the large established companies, is to create unique candles for niche audiences. 

Here is where your creative muscle comes in. Creativity is not just about making something different. The novel idea has to provide value. Such value can also be entertainment.  

When coming up with the ideas, I got all excited with the 'new' idea until I realized it already exists. In these cases, I am including which businesses use it and some options on how to evolve it further. Let's dive into it. 


1. Tantra & Sensual massage candles

Massage candles already exist in the market. They are not as common as our standard candles, which is great opportunity to explore this niche. Massage candles are usually made of soy or beeswax with added shea butter, cocoa butter or jojoba oils with essential oils. Their melt temperatures are substantially lower than usual candles. What a great sexy evening this could be! 

I came across my first massage candle only two months back. Unfortunately, the design was far from inspiring, with a title: Massage candle. How about spinning it with something sexier? 


Tantra massage candles do also already exist. You can check some Tantric candles on Amazon. In most cases, their designs are also largely uninspiring. Improving the designs of Tantra massage candles can be your opportunity. Make it sexy, make it classy, make it fancy. 


Some of the essential oils are great for the skin. For example, lavender, sandalwood or ylang-ylang have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, elevate symptoms of sunburn and smooth fine lines. Besides, did you know that all three essential oils are also aphrodisiacs? (wink wink). 

Additional variants:

  • If you select your ingredients carefully, such candle can also be used as a lubricant. Just note that oil-based lubricants are not condom safe. 
  • You can consider ingredients that are safe for digestion. Edible candles already exist. You can market yours as 'lick-able' candle instead ;)


This idea was created using 3C tool - complimentary combinations based on the word 'sexy'. 

2. 'Sleep-safe' candles

Candles are a fire hazard. According to National Fire Protection Association 'Candles caused 2% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 4% of the direct property damage in home fires. Roughly one-third (37%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. Three of every five (60%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.'

Candles' firehazard represents a problem that needs solving. Starting your business idea as a solution to a problem ensures that your idea brings value.

Here is one idea about an aluminum (light lid) that close the candle opening & prevents the source of oxygen from coming in if the candle falls on the side.



To prevent candle fire get too close to any flammable materials, we can borrow an existing idea from grave candles. Most of us would not decorate our house with grave candles. Why not make it use the concept with some chic look? The below image is not exactly what I had in mind when I said 'chic', but you got the idea. 


Disclaimer: No matter the designs, never sleep with a candle in a room. 

This idea was created using 3C tool - contradictory combinations based on the word 'darkness'. 


3. Masculine candles not just for men

The cosmetics industry for men was neglected for a very long time. That is until it experienced a massive boom in recent years. We moved from days when men had only one basic, blue Nivea shampoo or shower gel to choose when they did not want to smell like roses. Candles for men started appearing in recent years too. You can get inspired by some amazing masculine candles on Amazon

Are you one of those ladies who love how man perfume smell? Burring your face in your partner's shirt, making you feel at home and safe. Candles with a 'masculine' scent may not be just for men. An opportunity to explore is 'masculine candles' marketed for females. 

You can take it one notch further, creating candles with scents similar to some common colognes. While a little creepy for some, nostalgic couples in a long-distance relationship may be in the market.


This idea was created using 3C tool - contradictory combinations based on the word 'darkness'. 

4. Anxiety candles

It is not a surprise that the 'anxiety' keyword was googled a hundred thousand times every day in the past year. Anxiety is another 'pandemic' that hit our world. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I am aware that treatment is not simple and a candle is not a fix to the complex problem. 

Some scents, sounds and colors, however, help elevate some of the anxiety symptoms temporarily. Learning how to relax an anxious mind on regularly is key in my healing and anxiety management. 

Some of the scents that help with anxiety are lavender, bergamot, vetiver, ylang-ylang and lemon.  

This idea was created using 3C tool - complimentary combinations based on the word 'relaxation'. 


5. Singing candles

Several innovations emerged on the market, which translates movement into music. This idea proposes a candle holder with this technology. As the candlelight flickers, the candle holder generates music. Every single time the song is unique, different, unrepeatable. 

The idea is that you would replace the candle with new candles, thus re-using the candle holder. 

This idea was created using 3C tool - 'crazy' random combinations based on the word 'bird'. 


6. Color-changing candles

Color changing candles change their color with heat. So-called thermochromic colors are offered as pigment powder. Based on bit of research, I discovered that such candles already exist. However, they do not seem very common. 

I came across one color changing candle on Etsy, which claims that the color changes according to your mood (What a BS, but I give it credit for originality and uniqueness!). What's more, this candle sold close to 8,000 times. 

This idea was created using 3C tool - 'crazy' random combinations based on the word 'entertainer'. 


7. Candles with a secret message 

Similarly to the color-changing candle, this candle would reveal a message as it heats up. Such a paper appears the first black but shows a message when it warms up - what a cute gift, especially if you can write a secret message for your loved one. 


This idea was created using 3C tool - 'crazy' random combinations based on the word 'entertainer'. 


10. Candles with a night sky

This candle will cast stars on your ceiling. The idea is based on several existing ideas. There are lamps that cast the night sky on your ceiling. You may have also heard of candle carousels such as by EmmaMolly. As the hot air rises from the candle, the blades spin casting beautiful shadows on walls. 

You may need to create a few prototypes until you get to the most beautiful version. If you get to do this, do get in touch. I will be your first customer. 

This idea was created using 3C tool - contradictory combinations based on the word 'night'. 



11. Make-a-wish candles

A surprisingly high number of people seeks fairy tales and magic. All the craze with Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are your proof. The fantasy world gives us an alternative to our usual days. Our drawn to magical and mystical creates an exciting opportunity for business ideas. 


Basic Make-a-wish candle 

When I came up with this idea, I thought of making a wish bracelet made from a very fine string. The bracelet says that your wish will come true once the bracelet breaks. What a brilliant business idea to sell hope & magic. On Etsy, SweetheartsDarlings (whose picture is below) sold over 19k of these!



Witch-craft candle  

White magic is considered magic that uses its supernatural powers with a good purpose. Essential oils and herbs are often used in various rituals and candles, gemstones and moon cycles. You can combine the key concepts for some 'magic' inspired candle. On the backside of the candle, you can include a small spell for good fortune. 


Sidenote tip: Whenever I come up with ideas, I like to check its feasibility on Google Trends to understand keywords search valumes and thus indirectly assess interest. Based on the advice of an SEO guru, Neil Patel, I benchmark my searches with 'digital marketing'. You can check out how much more 'magic' and 'spell' is searched in comparison to 'digital marketing.'



Law of Attraction candle

You have probably heard of The Secret that popularized the 'law of attraction'. The law of attraction believes that whatever you think about will eventually appear in your life. If you want to achieve success, you need to think and feel as if you are already successful. The idea is to make a candle that will help you quiet your mind and visualize your goals.

The idea is to make a candle that will help you to quiet your mind and visualize your goals. 



Other ideas on a similar principle are a mantra candle with a mantra written on it. Positive affirmation candle, letting go candle, burn your fears candle, journaling candle & meditation candle. 

Finally, sage is burned to remove negative spirits and energetically clear space. A sage candle to clear negativity in your room already exists. You can try to be playful with the name.  


These ideas were created using 3C tool - complimentary combinations based on the word 'magic'.


13. Candle that plays fire sounds

One nice way to relax is to sit by a fire. Not everyone has the luxury of having their own fireplace.  Candles can generate electricity which in turn can power music or campfire sounds. The candle holder would start playing the campfire or any other sounds whenever you lit up the candle. 


14. Diet candle 

Did you know that some scents decrease your cravings? Some of these are grapefruit, lemon and bergamot. Blue, black and purple are colors that suppress appetite.

According to the Journal of Marketing Research, smelling unhealthy foods will make you initially crave the treat. Still, after 2 minutes, your craving is diminished. If cookies are your guilty pleasure, cookie candles may also be helping you with a diet!


Do you have any candle ideas that you would like to share?



Read More

How to create a killer business name.

Monday, 12 April 2021

No comments


Picking a business name before settling for one business idea is like buying a wedding dress before getting a boyfriend. It is exciting, and all, but chances are you will get stuck with a misfitting name (and a dress). Having said that, choosing a name is super-exciting, and I am guilty of coming up with names, and picking wedding dresses, way too soon. This article will take you through the key points to consider when picking your business name.


Do you already have some names up the sleeve? Check if you can answer 'yes' to all the below. 

  1. Is it memorable? 
  2. Is it easy to spell and pronounce? 
  3. Is it relevant but also expandable?
  4. Is it better than your competitors? 
  5. Is it available (URL, trademark, social media)? 
  6. Does it have only positive meanings in other languages? 

I prepared a bit more detail for each category in case you do not have any name yet or if you replied 'no' to any of the above. 


1. Make it memorable. 

This seems obvious: when you mention your name to anyone, you want it to stick. You want it to stick so that people can find you later. Usually, you will remember some words and word combinations more easily than other. So what makes names memorable? Here are a few tips.


Unique combinations 

Unique combinations will make your audience pause for a second. This extra second will be an extra second to digest the name and remember it for longer. The combinations can be complementary, contradictory or completely random. If your business idea is based on one of these combinations, you will have an easy job coming up with your name. 


Some examples of unique name combinations are Mystery & Make-up (complimentary), Pink Floyd (random), Rolling stones (complimentary), Guns 'N Roses (random). 


Alliteration, Rhythm & Rhymes 

Names that rhyme or have a rhythm are easier to remember. So do names with alliteration, that is, when the same letter or sound occurs at the beginning of two words. People also enjoy saying them. There is a fine line between a creative name that sticks and a cheesy one. For that reason, I prefer names with alliteration and rhythm instead of rhymes. For example, Coca-Cola, Best Buy, BlackBerry, Dunkin’ Donuts, Brooks Brothers are so easy to remember thanks to alliteration and rhythm. 


Try to come up with a few name variants that have an alliteration or rhyme. If you get stuck with words, you can use pages such as Thesaurus.com for synonyms and antonyms and RhymeZone to find words that rhyme. 


Tell a Story 

Creating stories is one of the tricks to memorize long lists of unrelated words. Our brain is capable of retaining stories substantially longer than word combinations. You may have a story about how you came up with your name, or even better, have your name tell the story. 


One of my side hustles was called Blue Moon Studios; why? Because I got to work on it only once in a blue moon. Unfortunately, this was so much true that it never fully took off. 


The founders of ‘Virgin’ admitted through their name that they were completely new to the business, hence the name. I bet you will never forget their name now.


2. Make it easy to spell & pronounce.

Once, I was helping a friend to come up with a band name. After some wine and throwing ideas around, we came up with the name Gypsy Genes. My friend saw himself as a bit of a nomad and gypsy soul, so it fit him and his music. He was immediately sure that this was the name. The rhythm of these two words made it easy to remember and pronounce. However, the name had one pitfall, which we did not see. When the name was announced on the radio, people thought it was Gypsy Jeans


Try to say your name out loud. Share it with someone and ask them what they understood. Imagine how understandable it will be when you say it over a call when the signal is not strong. Once you start hustling, you will be spelling your name over a call a lot. Make it easy on yourself! 



3. Make it relevant but expandable. 

I remember a story from a successful entrepreneur who wanted to name her business after her dog, and so she did. She owned a candle business. It took her about a year to convince people that her business is not about dog cookies. 


Your name does not have to be necessarily related to your core products. Some even argue that associating it too closely with your core product may lead to future troubles. Mostly if you decide to add new products to your product line. 


On one hand, if you relate your name directly to a specific product, your customers will easily understand what you are about. On the other, if your name is loosely connected to your business, you will have more expansion options. The right choice depends on what you plan to do. 


Consider relating your name to your business core that is such a key point of your business idea that it won’t change. Such a core can be some of your business values or why and how you do what you do. 


Your name should, however, not be easily relatable to completely unrelated industries. Try to share your name ideas with someone who has no clue what your business is about and ask them for feedback. This may be the best investment of 5 minutes. 


Can you see what Fiverr, Shopify, Pinterest, Facebook, Paypal and similar companies have in common? The names are directly related to what the business is about. Fiverr is about gigs that cost 5 dollars, Shopify, and the rest does not need an explanation. The names communicate what the business is about but do not prevent its growth. 


4. Make it better than your competitors. 

Check out your competitors and the names they choose. Check out other businesses similar to yours that are located in other countries. What is it that they did right, and what is that they could have done better? Is their name more memorable than yours? Then you better sit down with a pen and paper and keep brainstorming. 


5. Make it unique.

Speaking of competitors, your name definitely cannot be too similar to any other business. Trademark protects a name from using or creating nearly identical names. The related law will prevent you from using Adldas, Starbacks and similar. Now to the tricky part. In U.S., the law states that certain sets of words are considered the same such as curtain and blind. In that view, Betty’s curtains and Betty’s blinds would be considered as the same name and not allowed. 


When I am coming up with names, I immediately check each for available URLs. It happened to me way too many times that I got excited about the name, which was taken. 


If you plan to have your business only in a specific country, picking your local domain may solve this issue. Avoid adding dashes to your URL so that you can keep your favourite name. People will keep forgetting the dash and ending up at your competitor's site! 


If your URL is available, check the key social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest for availability. While you would be able to create alternative usernames, it will always make you a little more difficult to find, and besides, your business cards will look a little untidy. 


6. Make it foreign-language-friendly. 

Maybe you plan to stay in your home country and never step across borders. Even so, cross-check that your name is not something obscene in another language. It will prevent unwanted attention and traffic. If you have any other tips on the best name, share them in the comments below.

Read More

Mirror, mirror on the wall what is the best idea of them all.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

No comments
You are probably one of those creative minds that pop ideas like popcorn on a hot pan. You want to do them all, and you want to do them now. That is until you get paralyzed with the sheer amount of choice. You are experiencing 'idea fatigue'. 


Your creative mind can quickly get out of control and behave like a kid in a candy store. Wanting to touch and taste everything. Like a kid, even your mind needs to have a 'parent' to guide it to the best choice. 


Important takeaway: The surprising truth is that you need to organize your creative mind. 


There is a time when you should let your creative mind get loose and just come up with as many ideas as it dares to. There is also a time when you need to be very structured in evaluating and selecting the best idea. The best idea that solves your problems and that can turn into the most profitable innovation. This article is just about that. 


1. What is your goal? 

A clear goal will make selecting your idea so much easier. That is even if you are relatively vague about your goals. Do you have multiple goals? Write all of them down. 

Here are some examples: 

  • I want to be able to support myself while I travel. 
  • I want to live in various places. 
  • I want to be able to have enough time for my kids during the day. 
  • I want to create something that will make the world a better place.

Now, mark the goals that are must-have with M and nice-to-have with N. This will come in handy later on.


2. Understand the core problem 

What problem will your idea solve? The better your problem definition, the better your innovation. All innovation should provide value. Otherwise, what is the point of doing them? 


Your customers will find your idea valuable if you are solving some of their current problems. The bigger the problem, the higher your opportunity to succeed. Not sure if your idea is solving any problem? Read the article on why you should base your innovation on your frustrations. 


Here are some random examples of problems: 

  • Fast fashion does not last long, and production is one of the most polluting industries. 
  • Fast fashion is made of cheap materials which are not always good for the skin and do not last very long. 

Like most of us, you have multiple ideas. Write at least one problem for each. 


3. Choose your criteria 

Now, we are getting to the pragmatic step. You will need to come up with several evaluation criteria based on your goal and the problem you are trying to solve. I know this may seem tedious, but it may be the most valuable thing you will do before committing to one idea


Based on your goals, you may decide to pick criteria such as: 

  • Profitability 
  • Scalability 
  • Opportunity for remote work 
  • Hourly commitment 



Do you have ideas that each tries to solve a different problem? Choose one criterion such as Problem resolution.


Do you have many ideas that solve the same problem? Write down the core of your problem, such as: 

  • Sustainability 
  • Quality 


Write all your ideas and criteria in a table. The ideas will go in a column and the criteria will go in a row. Here is a free idea evaluation template to download. 


The final step is to give a number from 1 - 5 to each criterion based on importance. 5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. All the criteria you marked M (must-have) in the first step should be given marks 4 or 5. All criteria that you marked N (nice-to-have) should get a number below 3. 


4. Score your idea 

Go through the list of ideas and assign it a number from 1 - 10 based on how much it meets specific criteria. 10 being the highest score and 1 being the lowest one. 


Let's say one of my ideas is to start an online coaching business. I will rate it high on the 'opportunity for remote work' but low on 'scalability.' 


After I plug in all my ratings, I will multiply each number by my number assigned to my criteria. For example, the online coaching business is 1 on scalability because it is not easily scalable. The importance of scalability was 4 (fairly important). I will multiply 1 x 4, resulting in a total of 4 for scalability. 



In the end, you should get to a final score for each idea. The idea that scored the highest is your best bet. The results are based on your current evaluation of what is essential. If you change your criteria, your scores will change. You need to somewhat know what you want and what is crucial for you. 


You may say: Hey, but the idea that is ranking the highest is not the one I am excited about the most. Well, maybe your criteria for excitement should be added to your table. Just keep in mind, if you give the highest value on excitement, you may be the most excited about it, but it may not be the most profitable. It is the choice that you and only you have to make. 


Once you have your core idea, try to bring it up to the next level with 3 simple games


Good luck and happy innovating.


Read More

In 3 steps, turn your frustrations into business ideas.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

No comments


Do you want to come up with a successful business idea? Start with your daily dose of 'Fuck'. 

Step 1: Write down your frustrations. 

Find a notebook, ideally a pocket size. Even better, create a notebook on your phone (we all know you bring it to the bathroom, ewww.) 

Write down everything that stirs up that feeling:  “fuck this shit” (yes, this page is for an adult audience only). 

  • Did you go to brush your teeth and the toothpaste cap fall on the floor? 'Fuck' - write it down. 
  • Is your towel still slightly wet from yesterday? 'Fuck' - Use it quickly & write it down. 
  • Your kid threw a tantrum because he did not want to brush his teeth. 'Fuck' - write it down & pour yourself a glass of wine. 
You get the gist. Within a few days, you should have a pretty long list. Your frustrations are likely shared by thousands (if not millions) of people every single day. This is your business opportunity. I recommend you keep your notebook handy for the next couple of weeks. You are likely to come across frustrations and subsequent breakthrough ideas. Don't give up. 

Key takeaway: Turn your frustrations into opportunities. 


Step 2: Rewrite your frustrations into problems. 

The better you define your problems, the more successful you will be in coming up with valuable ideas. Your frustration is an outcome of a problem. Something is not working as you expected or needed.

Defining a problem is not an easy task. It will get easier if you first describe why the situation frustrated you. Give it a few trials until you get to the core. 

  • A toothpaste cap fell because my fingers are too big. 
  • A toothpaste cap fell because I tried opening & closing it with one hand. 
  • A toothpaste cap fell because it is small and not easy to screw on. 
  • A toothpaste cap fell because there is a toothpaste residue that makes it difficult to screw the lid on correctly. 
  • A toothpaste cap fell because the toothpaste residue hardens when exposed to air which makes it difficult to screw the cap quickly back. 

Rewrite the above details into a problem definition:  A toothpaste cap is hard to screw on, especially with one hand because the cap is small and toothpaste residue hardens over time around the threads, making it more difficult to screw on the cap. 

There is already a solution to some of these issues,  a flip-top cap. The innovator of the flip-top toothpaste cap came up with the idea to address most of the above problems. As he said, ''the flip-top cap permits consumers to open and close the tube with one hand while holding the brush in the other. It also eliminates the problem of lost caps.'' 

The flip-top innovation is a solution to some of the problems with toothpaste caps. It does not address the residue that builds up on the threads, interfering with the cap screwing on properly. So, maybe this is your niche! 

Step 3: Come up with solutions to your problem. 

As we covered in the flip-top toothpaste caps, coming up with a solution to your problem is also a critical step. This step will, however, not be successful unless you understood and defined your problem. Start this step only if you finished step two. 

Take a piece of paper or a sticky note and make an exhaustive list of ideas to solve your problem. Now, scrap all the ideas that are cool but do not actually solve your problem. 

Finally, evaluate your ideas and choose the best one. The simple solutions are often the best ones. After this step, there will be many more to come, such as prototyping, user-testing, more prototyping, and all that jazz. 

Key takeaways: You have to define your problem well, and the majority of successful businesses solve some critical problem. So, start your next business idea with ‘fuck this shit!’. Let's repeat it out loud.





Happy Innovating! 

Read More

Supercharge your business idea with the 3C Creativity Tool

Sunday, 4 April 2021

No comments
Do you want to start your own business or improve your existing business? If so, this article is for you. It does not matter what the core concept is. Be it a vegan restaurant, facemask business or yodelling classes. You have a choice to make. What is it that will make you unique? What will make you stand out from all the competition? 

You can always aim at outperforming everyone in quality, amazing service, locally sourced bio produce, or the best fabric. This is all well and good but it is unoriginal, and to be honest a bit boring. I want you to challenge yourself. 

Sit down with a pen and paper and try to push your idea to the next level. Create something unique that was not done before or at least something that was not done before in a particular, unique combination. For short, I refer to it as the 3C Tool. The below points will help you through this process.

1. Complimentary unique combination 

In this step, you are challenged to find unique idea combinations to create extra value. Add to your idea something that fits well with your initial idea. Start with a simple exercise that will let you brainstorm as many ideas as possible. Even better, play this game with someone else. There is only one rule; no idea is judged at this stage. All are written down. 

Game:
Play a game with words associations.  Visualize and write down your initial idea, for example ''vegan restaurant". Do not limit yourself to ideas that are related to food. You can add anything that comes to your mind such as; yoga, avocado plants, mediation, mandalas, juices etc. After you create a list of associations, create a new list. The second list will focus on how the concept can work with the initial idea e.g. a vegan restaurant where customers can colour mandalas while waiting for food, a vegan restaurant with food presented in mandala shapes, vegan restaurants that use mandalas on plates etc. Once you are done, read an article on how to evaluate your ideas and choose the best one

Example of success: A local business called "Gin & Tapas'' offers, yes that is right, gin and tapas. What’s more, everyone knows them and everyone loves this unique combination. Their restaurant stands out and is very memorable. They combined two complimentary ideas and it was a hit. 

Another example is Mystery & Makeup YouTube channel by Bailey Sarian. Bailey shares gruesome crime stories combined with a make-up tutorial. Who would have thought of that? She did, and she did it so well that her videos have around 4 million views each. This unique combination makes her stand out from the crowd. Moreover, she figured out what her female audience liked: crime stories and makeup. This combination may seem random, but it is complimentary thanks to a deep understanding of her audience. 

2. Contradictory unique combination 

Contradictory combinations work on the same principle as complimentary ones. The only difference is that you will come up with ideas that are somewhat contradictory to your initial concept. This exercise is a little difficult so the game has slightly different rules. 

Game: First, come up with 3 words that you consider contradictory to your initial idea. Write these down in 3 separate columns, then write down word associations to the 3 contradictory words. If we stick with the example of a vegan restaurant, three contradictory words are e.g. meat-eaters, barbecue, hunter. Underneath the meat-eater category, the associated words are e.g. animals, meat-flavour, traditional & festive dishes. Underneath barbecue, the word associations are e.g. summer, beers, chicken wings, burgers, barbecue sauce. Underneath the hunter category, the words are e.g. masculine, strong, rough. 

The next step is the same as in the previous game. Start creating unique combinations from your ''contradictory'' list, e.g. a vegan restaurant that specialized in traditional meals, but with a vegan twist; a vegan restaurant that focuses on attracting meat-eaters; a vegan restaurant that has rescued rabbits living in the restaurant; a vegan restaurant that combines craft beers with vegan burgers; or a vegan restaurant that is decorated in posters of some hard-core looking tattooed men who are vegan. 

Example of success: Beyond Meat took the vegan world by storm. The company did not try to compete with other vegan products; instead, its aim was to position itself as an alternative to meat and attract the meat-eaters. That is combining some contradictions. Today it is recognized as one of the most innovative companies in the food industry & a leader in the vegan food industry. Today its estimated value is anywhere between $12 billion and $18 billion, and it is expected to become the next $40 billion food company (at least according to InvestorPlace.com). 


3. 'Crazy' radom unique combination 

Here, the main aim is to explore uncharted territory and come up with a novel idea that was unlikely used before. In this case, the game is slightly different from the previous two versions. 

Game:
Write down three unique words that come to your mind. If you want to challenge yourself even more, use a random word generator. Beneath your three words, list the associated words that you can come up with. After that work again on creating unique combinations with your initial idea. My three words from the generator were: trainer, language and singer.  If we stick with the example of a vegan restaurant, some combined ideas are a vegan restaurant that offers cooking lessons, a vegan restaurant that shares recipes, a vegan restaurant that offers vegan dishes from my travels around the world, and a vegan restaurant with dishes inspired by famous singers etc. 

Example of success: Rainbow bagels are a so-called 'must-have' if you visit Brooklyn. Scot Rossillo, who calls himself ''World’s Premier Bagel Artist'', combined art with bread. This unique idea combines two very unrelated topics. Rainbow Bagels business skyrocketed when their colourful bagels hit Instagram. 

Important takeaway: When you come up with ideas for your business, especially if you are in the restaurant business, always consider what may be "instagramable''. 


After the 3 exercises, you will end up with quite a list of unique ideas that can help you stand out in the industry. The next (equally important) step is to evaluate and pick the idea with the most potential

Here is an example how you can use 3C creativity tool. 
Download your free copy of the 3C tool from Dropbox. It may take a minute before it loads.

What are other examples of creative ideas that use a complimentary, contradictory, or random combination? Leave a comment below.
Read More

What can we learn from the 'eternal' rose idea?

No comments


When I came across the 'eternal' or 'infinity' rose concept, I immediately thought of Beauty & the Beast. In the story, the rose kept dying and losing petals unless the Beast learned how to love. If he failed, he would remain a beast forever. Only if he knew that he could preserve a rose for at least a year thanks to science. 

You may have heard of an 'eternal' or 'infinity' rose that will keep looking 'alive' for (drumroll) more than a year. The name 'eternal' rose is slightly misleading; however, it does not make it less cool. 

I got mine as a birthday gift and was so impressed with the concept that I decided to share it with you (and show off a little). 


How are the roses preserved?

Today, there are several methods on how to preserve roses. Most of them are based on glycerin with oils or chemical compositions with grafting wax when the sap is replaced by a natural wax-based substance. Some methods are more successful in keeping the original rose's smell than the others. The latter is solved by adding unique oil fragrances. 


The long-lasting roses come primarily in boxes because of the preservation method, which cuts most of the stem. Thanks to the preservation process, the roses can come in many colours. The roses can soak in preservatives as well as colourants. 


Where did the idea for long-lasting roses come from? 

Venus et Fleur flower shop in New York got quite a publicity for the 'eternal' rose. They may be considered as the innovators of long-lasting roses by some. 


The owners, Seema Bansal & her husband Sunny Chadha, did one more thing very right; they shared the story of how they started their flower business. Sunny ordered flowers to Seema for Valentine's Day, but the delivered flowers' quality was too poor. That is when they decided to start a luxury rose atelier of superb quality in 2015. 


Important lesson: If you are thinking about starting a business, make sure to write up a great story that is memorable and relatable. 


You may notice that they shared the story of how they started the flower business but not necessarily how they came up with the idea of an 'eternal' rose. They also kept their preservation methods a secret. 


Some searching brought me to a patent for a 'Method for preserving flowers particularly roses' filed in 1990. The patent was submitted by Lars E. Sellegaard and extended all the way until 2010. In 2010 the patent expired, and so did the protection to use the idea by the others. What is more, the patent includes full details on how to preserve roses (together with the smell!). You can view the patent on how to preserve roses here


Important lesson: Getting your hands on an expired patent is also one way to get to some fantastic innovation.  


Where can you get your eternal or infinity rose? 

We do not know if the Venus et Fleur floral business used the recipe from the 1990 patent or created their own. We are not even sure if they were the first business that started selling 'eternal' roses. What we do know is that today, there are many similar businesses all around the world. 


As the competition increased, so did various price-points. You can buy your flowers at some luxury shops such as Venus et Fleur, La Fleur Bouquets (that claim to last for years!), Amarante London, Eternal Fleur, Eternal Roses New York and many others. These will cost you around $250 - $299 per 12 - 18 roses.


If you are after some more reachable options, you can check out quite a variety on Amazon.com. Mine 'preserved' box of roses with 18 rosebuds was $99 with free shipping within the U.S. On the other hand, this type did not keep the rose smell.  


Is it worth it to get a long-lasting rose?

If you wonder if it is better to get the 'real' roses instead of 'eternal' roses, here is something to consider. Depending on where you are located, 12 - 18 roses can cost somewhere between $50 - 80. A usual bouquet lasts for about a week. The 'eternal' roses are between $99 - $300 for about 18 roses and last for more than 52 weeks. (That is about $2 - $6 per week of beautiful petals!) 


Another plus is that you can order them online in a durable box ahead of time and keep them ready for the special occasion. No more last-minute sprints to flower shops. If your girl or mum are flower lovers and into house decor, this may be the perfect gift for them. On the other hand, if they like simple surfaces, the box of flowers may be one extra item to dust off.


Finally, you may hit a jackpot with a nerdy girl, who gets so excited about the science of the 'eternal' rose, ending up researching its science and patens for the whole afternoon (as I did). 


Can you make a long-lasting rose at home?

You can preserve roses at home. The most common methods use silica gel (the same thing that keeps your chips crispy) or wax dipping. The first method is very inexpensive in comparison with the 'eternal' roses. However, the roses do not keep their entirely fresh look. There are a few recipes on YouTube you may want to check out. 


Can you make eternal roses your own business? 

As we learned today, most of the current long-lasting rose businesses did not come up with the idea themselves. It may not be a coincidence that these roses started to spring up like mushrooms after the patent expiration. 


Discovering expired patents is one of the ways to get your hands on some fantastic ideas. The other option is modifying and innovating an existing idea. The modification needs to be substantial enough to avoid patent infringement. This is under the assumption that such a patent even exists. If a patent doesn't exist, it does not mean that you can just copy whichever idea you come across. 


Important lesson: Always focus on adding value to existing ideas. 


The critical question you need to ask is: What else can I substantially improve? This will lead you to the following question: What are the current issues with the concept? 


Get your hands on some long-lasting roses from several suppliers to test them for yourself. Don't stop there; ask your family and friends for their views. What would they improve? A cost-effective option is reading reviews, e.g. on sites such as Amazon and checking especially the negative ones.


Finally a few words from Seema Bansal: “Be open to learning; take advantage of every learning opportunity. Learn from those you aspire to be like…”


Happy Innovating!



Read More