The 10 Best Products to Sell to Make Money Rain Down
Whether you're looking for new business ideas, or you're already in business, here's the first thing you should know: businesses die every single day because those marketing them forget -- or never realized in the first place -- what they were really selling.
And in the biggest picture, there's only one product every business sells:
The opportunity for the customer to live a better life.
No one fundamentally exchanges their money for supplements, insurance, video games, dental care, donuts, antiques, movies, shoes, nail polish, mufflers, lawn care services, lemonade or any other product or service.
They exchange their money for the potential, small or large, of a better life.
Yes, this is even true of every single business-to-business transaction. The employee purchasing 10,000 sets of nuts and bolts for her company X from company Y does so because it potentially benefits her company, which in turn potentially benefits her personally.
So many marketers forget or never knew that -- regardless of whatever particular shape their product or service takes -- this emotional promise to another human being, this opportunity to live a better life, is what they are really selling.
Instead they promote only the less important details of their particular product, as if that's what the customer really wanted to buy.
It's awfully hard to sell if you're not fully aware of and promoting what your customer really wants.
So with that biggest picture in mind, let's focus the lens here down to the next level: the 10 different areas of potentially attaining a better life for which people will pay the most money.
Whether you're in a business now, or you're considering launching a business, you obviously should know which of these ten areas your products and services fall under. And then it's as important as it gets to maintain constant focus on reminding your market that this is the better life you are offering them.
Of course most products and services can fall under multiple categories. A car is a ubiquitous convenience, for example, but some cars are positioned as the most safe and secure, some as the most economical, some as the most prestigious. Religion, meanwhile, is a massive economic industry because it can be positioned for any of the 10 areas below.
If your product can fall under multiple categories, it's important to know and stay vigilantly focused on promoting one aspect far above all others, because with today's overwhelming competition for attention from everything, that's how people process.
1) Products That Enable Survival
People who feel like they are dying, or are in fact dying, don't want to feel that way, and they usually don't want to die. Collectively, they'll pay by far the most money for anything that might help that cause. That's why pharmaceutical companies and the medical industry can extort the money they extort from sick people and those in chronic pain. That's largely why "healthcare" is a $3 trillion industry in the USA.
Examples: Drugs. Surgery, anesthesiology and other medical services.
2) Products That Generate Wealth
Most people like to make money. Lots and lots of the stuff. So products that hold the promise of generating more money than was paid for them are popular, and people pay a lot for the potential of making a lot more. Over half of all Americans own some kind of stock, either individual stocks or via mutual funds or ETFs. 28 million Americans have bought real estate as an investment.
Examples: Stocks. Bonds. Real estate. For-profit crowdfunding. Art. Precious metals. Antiques and other collectables.
3) Security & Prevention Products
People want to live, they want to avoid serious catastrophe, and they want their loved ones to live and avoid serious catastrophe. That's why there's a $990 billion personal heath insurance industry in the USA. That's why global vitamin and supplement sales will top $270 billion in a few years. That's why the American public as a whole accepts her politicians spending $600 billion on defense yearly, and largely why personal firearms is a $50 billion a year industry.
Examples: Home security systems. Supplements. Weapons. Automobile equipment that enhances security. Health and other insurance. Family care doctors.
4) Products that Provide an Advantage
Education is the #2 industry in the US after healthcare. Globally it's worth over $4 billion dollars. And while perhaps there was a time when people invested in "learning for knowledge's sake," today more than ever learning at all levels is a practical endeavor geared toward gaining an advantage over others -- for the best schools, best jobs, most customers, the best and most in general. And it starts younger and younger: one of the fastest growing sectors is extra-curricular "tutoring" of very young children in everything from math and art to robotics and money management. People will also pay top dollar for instant advantages, such as front row seats and access via fundraisers to politicians.
Examples: Online and app learning. Mental enhancement/focus drugs and supplements. Training and learning centers. Motivational and informational speaking. Industry seminars. Backstage passes. AdvantageHacks.com.
5) Comfort, Convenience and Speed Products
People want easy and cushy, and they want it now. That's largely why mobile and computer apps are nearly an $80 billion a year industry, and growing fast. That's why Starbucks rocks. That's why these days it seems you see almost as many mattress stores as Starbucks, and why newer companies that make it ultra-easy to buy mattresses are coming on strong in the $15 billion a year mattress industry.
Examples: Apps. Tax, investment, other financial services. Home delivery of groceries and meals. Landscaping services. Oil change services. House cleaning. Dog walking.
6) Enjoyment Products
People want to feel like they're living Life with that capital L. They want pleasure, whether they get it through cheap thrills, deep awe, and anything in between. And they'll pay hefty prices for it. Video games are a $100 billion industry. The global chocolate market is worth $100 billion. The sports industry is near $70 billion in North America alone.
Examples: Toys. Movies. Travel. Candy. Porn. Novels. Music. Gardening. Donuts.
7) Status Products
Humans are naturally drawn to hierarchy, and most want to be perceived as at or near the top within their clan and as a whole. That's why virtually every basic type of product -- especially those others might see -- has an expensive, more expensive, and ridiculously expensive version. For example, you can buy a decent tee-shirt for $5, you can buy a Nike tee-shirt for five times that, or you can buy a Gucci tee-shirt for 400 times that. As another example, you can buy a 12-pack of bottled water from the grocery store for around $3 to $5. Or you can buy a single bottle of Bling H20, a bottled water that comes from a spring in Tennessee, for $40. And that's just a mid-range bottled water price: one bottled water brand sells for $60,000 per bottle.
Examples: Cars. Jewelry. Clothes. Homes. Food. Toilet paper. (Pretty much everything has a high- and very-high status version available.)
8) Relationships & Socialization Products
Humans are social creatures. We require the company of others. But loneliness is now being called a silent epidemic, and more hazardous to your health than obesity. Not surprisingly, products and services that promise to fulfill the need for romantic and platonic connection with others are booming. Online dating alone is a $2 billion industry and growing fast. Bars and nightclubs are a $700 billion industry, and are primarily about socialization. The pet industry is $70 billion in the US and fast-growing. And people are of course drawn to social media like Facebook for the socialization aspect (though ironically our addiction to "social media" may be feeding this loneliness epidemic.)
NOTE: In my estimation, because connection is a most basic of human needs and people are feeling lonelier than ever, and because relative to other areas we're still seeing less attention and innovation here, this area may hold the most potential of all for successful innovation. Think physical places where people can actually go to connect with others. Think robots designed to replicate humans and keep us company.
Examples: Bars and nightclubs. Dogs and cats and all the related products and services. Dating sites. Clubs. Conventions. Social apps. Mobile phones.
9) Products that Save You Money
While some people will pay scads of money for convenience, others will go to the ends of the earth to save a buck or two. Well, they don't need to go to the ends of the earth... they've got Walmart, The Dollar Store and Home Depot down the street, and Amazon at their fingertips. The worldwide save-money-and-do-it-yourself home improvement market is worth over $600 billion, for example. Walmart's annual revenues alone are $130 billion, more than many countries. Some of the most successful companies recently have both reduced costs and increased convenience, such as Airbnb with lodging and Uber with getting a ride.
Examples: Budget groceries. Do-it-yourself tax preparation. Cable TV alternatives like Netflix and streaming services. Car-sharing. Tiny homes, duplexes, shipping container homes, boat houses, house sharing instead of buying your own big house.
10) Social Good Products
To many people, thankfully, helping others attain a better life is key to attaining a better life for themselves. And in recent years especially, companies offering products and services geared toward this end have exploded in growth. Prime Five Homes, for example, is a Los Angeles-based company that builds beautiful but also highly sustainable homes that use less water and energy -- and 10% of every property they sell is donated to charities, such as one that builds homes in developing countries. One telling statistic: investing in socially responsible companies has grown over 30% since 2014.
Examples: Sustainably grown food products and natural clothing. Benches and bottles made from recycled products. Solar-powered products. ETFs and mutual funds centered on socially responsible companies.
What About the Basic Necessity Products?
Yes, people absolutely need water, food, and shelter, and industries serving these needs are here to stay.
In the modern day, they also need consumables like toothpaste and deodorant, utilities like gas and electric, services like duct cleaning and dental work, and transportation.
And of course for businesses to stay in business, they need a vast array of services and products, like attorneys, paper clips, and and screws, nuts and bolts.
But while there are some companies that still do make the lion's share of their revenue providing these necessities in their basic form -- many utility companies, for example -- in our society these necessities are largely perceived as maintaining current standards of life, not promising a better life.
As such, the much bigger money to be made is in elevating these necessities to other categories above, such as status, security, saving money, or social good.
Yes, you can buy a basic tube of toothpaste with fluoride for under $1. But you can instead buy toothpaste with fluoride that also claims to prevent gum disease and whiten your teeth for $6. Or you can buy a tube of Theodent 300 toothpaste which just might turn your teeth into diamonds for over $100.
Desire and Passion
So there you have it. The rankings on these ten areas above are of course an estimation, but the psychology behind each of them is rather obvious...
The greater the customer desire is for something -- such as not dying, avoiding catastrophes, or gaining an advantage over others -- the more people en masse are willing to pay for products and services that can fulfill that desire.
If you're searching for the best new business ideas with an eye toward building your own successful business, therefore, it's obviously smart to include this information as a key part of your equation. All things considered, to be blunt, it's probably harder to build a successful business with products focused mainly on the lower-ranked areas like Social Good versus the higher.
That said, it's also true that there are companies offering products and services in every one of these areas that are rocking it.
It's cliche time but its true...
The most important factor is to offer products and services you are passionate about now, and likely will be passionate about five years from now.
Finally, if you're already in business, or when you finally are, you do absolutely need to be keenly aware of which of the areas above -- which of these promises of a better life -- your products and services are targeting.
If your products and services fall under multiple areas, you must decide which one area above all else you'll focus your marketing spotlight on. Rolls Royce cars, for example, offer the convenience of getting from point A to B, they're a very enjoyable and secure ride, but everyone knows the brand for one thing: the status it confers.
Once you decide that one area above else you'll focus on, you then target the appropriate market with that promise of a better life accordingly. And endlessly.
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Brian Vaszily, Founder of Advantage Hacks, has grown 5 successful startups, launched many successful products, authored several books including a #1 bestseller, and coached many good people and 2 jackasses. For 20+ years it's been his passion to discover what MOST enables successful people to become successful. From timeless success strategies to new technology coming soon that will change our world, he reveals the most important secrets to you here, and usually does so in a damn enjoyable way.