Successful businesses built around unique products

With the strain of the daily commute and getting up early, many people dream of starting their own business. Striking your own path in business always means putting in the hard work and effort and believing in yourself. While there is no shortcut, if you come up with a good business plan and pair it with good marketing, you’ll find that you can be successful.  

In the age of the internet, truly anything is possible. Many home entrepreneurs wonder if they could one day find themselves joining the ranks of the wealthy elite if they focus and scale their home businesses. If personal wealth is something you strive for, it’s worth noting that there are many cases of people becoming successful in the oddest and spectacular ways.

Pet Rock

Perhaps the most famous example of sensational marketing was the classic 1975 creation, the Pet Rock. The creator, Gary Dahl, took a simple joke about the “perfect pet” and created a full product around it. While the idea of a rock in a box would not likely have been successful on its own, the clever branding around the product helped it.

Like a real pet, similar to a hamster, the Pet Rock was sold in a dyed box with breathing holes, soft straw so the rock would be “comfortable” and an instruction manual filled with witty and comical puns. It was one of the first successful gag gifts and ultimately went on to sell over one million units, showing that the proper branding and marketing can go a long way when selling your own products. 

Minecraft (Niche Video Games)

The status of the video game market is very similar to the status of the Hollywood film industry. Because each product takes millions of dollars to create, development studios are becoming increasingly adverse to anything new, or risky. The result is game after game that is standard, boring, and unimaginative.

Games like Minecraft show us what is truly possible with something that takes a new approach and isn’t afraid to blaze its own trail. Released in 2011, Minecraft has been called one of the most influential games of all time for its sandbox environment, where creating anything is possible. The lead developer, Markus Persson, is worth over $1.7 billion after selling his company that produced the game.

While there are multiple lessons that can be taken from the story of Minecraft, the most important is that there is a large base of gamers interested in unique and niche games. Know the market, and provide something unique.

My Pillow

Oftentimes, companies try to come up with exciting new products that have never been seen before. While some people subscribe to the belief that new is always better, there are countless examples of people making a fortune selling standard products in new ways.

My Pillow is a great representation of this fact. The company may claim additional health and supportive benefits of their product, but essentially it is just a pillow. Through clever marketing, infomercials, choosing the right places to sponsor, and a few publicity stunts like the world’s biggest pillow fight, the company has since grown to over 1,500 employees and sold more than 40 million units worldwide. 

Product Reviewers

Nowadays, product reviewers are everywhere, and they are cashing in. If you feel that you have specialty knowledge or professional experience in a certain industry, you can have your own Youtube channel reviewing products for consumers. Not only will you get ad revenue from the platform, but you can also end up being the recipient of sponsorships and free merchandise.

There are many reviewers who have gone on to become multi-millionaires from their love of these products. Some of the most popular channels are things like toy reviewers, gadgets like cell phones and electronics, hotels and resorts. There are tons of different options.

Alternative Foods

It seems that a popular trend is to have food alternatives for people who have sensitive diets or want more healthy options. Many successful brands have been built around this principle and more are being launched every year. Meat substitutes have become widespread and many consumers are taking notice. There is also a growing market for gluten-free options in supermarkets. Even sugar-free alternatives to classic sweets and snack foods have found a niche.

Look around at the products you enjoy and envision a way to do them differently. There are many unique alternative foods you can create.