Previously we shared the secret to creating products quickly and easily. Today we want to explore instant products. Whilst not quite instant, as in click your fingers and they will appear, these instant products can be created in about an hour to one single day.
The key to creating Instant Products is not to start from scratch. Instead, start with a template that already gives you the blank canvas. This means you simply need to add your own content.
In this post we want to share some familiar examples of product templates that make it super easy for you to create an instant product. We’re not suggesting you’ll want to create any or all of these products. Simply, we want to start you thinking about products in a new way. In particular, we want you to start thinking about off-the-shelf components that you could use to accelerate your product development cycle.
As per our previous post, a t-shirt is a simple piece of clothing. However, viewed as a wearable advertising channel they become a powerful product template. They’re perfect for creating an instant product for anyone running a community who wants to unite the identity of their tribe in a public way. Many years ago I created a series of t-shirts for the Deakin Architecture Club that I was the president of. We sold them to members, made some money for the club and created a strong visual presence on campus.
Would you like to create a product in one hour? Like t-shirts, almost everyone has a mug. What does your mug say? Again, another simply way to create an instant product is to grab a ready-made canvas for your message. Mugs work really well for catch phrases or if your product or service has something to do with relaxing over a cup of coffee or tea. I recently created an instant mug product for around $25 as a personalised gift for a friend who was celebrating their birthday. I found an image of him online, added a caption and emailed this to a print company who put the mugshot together. It took me less than an hour to create.
If you want to take this further, I got a great gift from Lenore Miller of Your Business Mojo for presenting at her Mojo event. It was a handmade mug by Brooke Clunnie with Lenore’s branding on it. It’s beautiful, it’s rare and it’s mine! For under $100 you can create a magnificent gift or product this way. (Tip: Another way to create an instant product is to hire someone to create it for you!)
This is one of my favourite instant products. And, it was my general family Christmas gift this year. I simply went to Ikea, bought some neat looking frames for $3-4 each. Then I added an insert that personalised the gift. For instance, ‘What’s your big goal for 2014?’ or ‘Who would you like to meet this year?’ Pictures frames as off-the-shelf products are brilliant for anyone with a take-home message. Simply put the message in the frame. Instant product!
One of the easiest ways to create a book as an instant product is to use the product template for a picture or photo book. Simply take a few photos or buy them on iStockphoto.com and upload them to a picture book. Apple have a picture book service as does Blurb. I haven’t used them and I have seen some stunning examples. This is perfect instant product for a photographer, and illustrator or anyone with a visual portfolio to share.
I recently got the shock of my life when I visited a colleagues office. There it was. Up on her wall was a postcard from a presentation I delivered more than two years prior. Whilst I’d forgotten about that presentation, clearly she hadn’t and she had the visual reminder to prove it. Postcards and cards (like birthday cards) are a simple and easy way to share your message and create an instant product. The design can be as simple as a stock image with a message on it. And, if you have a series of cards you can easily sell these as a basic set. These are perfect for anyone with an inspiring message or even a coach or trainer who wants to leave their message with their audience in the way that I did.
I’ve been threatening to produce a public calendar for a number of years. And, the closest I’ve come was to create a family calendar using a classic family portrait. I simply went to Officeworks (or try Vistaprint) with my photo and they made up the calendar. Instant product! This can be a stunning gift because if your client loves it they may put it on display for 12 months. You can also take this much further by creating a custom calendar. This is perfect for anyone who runs programs about time management or has seasonal or monthly content. Simply add your content to the years timeline for a personal touch.
Love to hear any other examples of instant products you’ve created or seen. Please share them below.