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There are essentially two ways to conduct business: you can do it “as usual,” or you can go off the beaten track and try something new. More often than not, new trends fade, new technologies fizzle, and new products and services fail to catch on. But for every ten (or hundred) failures, we also occasionally see an iPhone or skinny jeans. The five new offerings we’re discussing today are by no means destined for great success, but they certainly have a chance.
5 Stylish and Short
Entrepreneurial clothing designer Peter Manning is betting big on short, stylish guys. He has devised and launched a line of clothing specifically for men of below average height. Tired of finding himself forced to buy fashionable garments sewn for taller men and then pay to have them altered by a tailor, Manning is betting that his fellow below-average fellows will open up their wallets for tasteful, diminutive, great-fitting and great-looking clothes.
4 A Butterfinger Infringement
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are the bestselling chocolate “candy bar” confection in America. Butterfinger bars rank several slots lower than the sweet, chocolaty, peanut buttery cups. But if the folks from Nestle have anything to say about it, Reese’s crown will soon be knocked askew, if not knocked off entirely. Enter the Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups. Nestle will soon be releasing a confection that essentially apes the traditional peanut butter cup, but adds just enough of those beloved crunchy butter finger flakes to create a new, potentially improved candy cup. Everything old is new again, thanks to some crunch from a 90-year-old candy bar.
3 Starbucks Beyond Coffee
When you have a brand with as much global recognition as coffee giant Starbucks enjoys, branching out can be either a colossal and highly public misstep, or it can be a revenue generator par excellence. Starbucks is hoping for the latter as they dive deep into the juice business. The company is not only investing heavily in expanded production of its Evolution Fresh line of juices with a seventy million dollar “juicer” factory in northern California, but is even opening a line of stores that will sell only its Evolution products, no coffee at all.
2 The NFL Goes Online
The National Football League seems poised to tackle the 21st century. The NFL is considering adding several more Thursday night games to the schedule, and to offer them exclusively to online viewers. There would be fees attached, of course, and those fees could reap huge profits for the league now that so many people consume their media online. Players are largely opposed to the measure, feeling more games in close succession means more injuries and poorer play, but if the fans respond with their usual insatiable appetite for ballgames, fans soon might be streaming football and saying TGIT.
1 Email Cash; Anytime, Anywhere
Square is already considered an innovative company by both the tech and the business community. They’re the ones who made taking credit card payments using a smartphone as easy as swiping at a traditional cashier’s stand. And now, with Square Cash, they hope to make the big business of processing payments even simpler and even more lucrative for themselves. With the Square Cash service enabled, two people (or a person and a business, a business and a charity, etc.) would be able to complete a transfer of funds simply by sending an email stipulating the dollar amount in the subject line. It can’t get much simpler than that.