Monday, October 1, 2007

A Night to Remember: Our First New Product Showcase

Pam and I get introduced to many new products all the time. Whether it’s just new to us or a new invention or idea, we look at dozens of products every quarter. Many of them catch our attention, cause us to linger and come back again and again, and finally persuade us to be added to our already robust array of products. Others might not be right at the moment, but impressed us enough to stay in our minds until the perfect opportunity arrives.

As this year unfolded, we talked about how we might engage customers and prospective customers to give us feedback on product lines before we purchased them. We love being part of the community and enjoy finding new ways to interact. And so the New Product Showcase was born. We held our first one last week at Capabilities. Engaging customers with us to examine a handful of new products, we reasoned, helps us stay focused even more on people’s needs and wants when choosing product, and not just on what we love.

What fun we had pulling the night together. It was nothing, however, compared to the actual event itself. It was our own little reality show! We showcased six very interesting products. Over the coming weeks we will detail each one here in a web log. We’ll share some of the comments of our “testers,” some of our own observations and thoughts, and will let you know if and when we actually purchase the product. You’ll get to meet the people behind these products and those who passionately market them.

We showcased one product that we already have in our store, Healthy Shelf. Sometimes we find a gem that others have not yet discovered. We love to shine a light on such treasures, helping others get there sooner. Creator and inventor, Renee Mazer, told the group about the moment she realized she needed something other than the family hand towel in the bathroom. She walked in on her small son cleaning up after a misfire! It had never occurred to her before to ponder just how many germs float around on surfaces and towels. Her research further convinced her that the time was right for a simple solution. You can read more about Renee and Healthy Shelf in a previous blog. It was wonderful to share our thoughts about the product and why we purchased it for Capabilities. Highlighting the benefits in real time to a roomful of attentive participants is a wonderful thing. We definitely will do this again!

Stay tuned for more of these new product showcases. We plan on hosting another in the new year. If you are already intrigued by the idea of participating, please email us to get on the growing list of those who would like to play with us next time. If you are one of the pioneers who stepped forward to join us last week, please post a comment here about your experiences that night. If you have a product you would like us to consider, please email us some details please and point us to a web site.

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