Product Development

Avoid uncomfortable past product associations

Not all aspects of an upcycled or pre-owned item are valued equally. Some require sensitive communication...

There is no doubt as to the value of taking existing products destined for the scrapheap and turning them into new ones, complete with different use cases. There is much joy to be had at telling the story of where something came from and what it was in a past life, both for the brand and the consumer.

However, surfacing the history of a repurposed product better suits certain use cases over others. For instance, shoes recycled as underwear might not be as appealing as milk jugs remade into toys. It's important to balance concerns around product quality as well as feelings of potential disgust! What aspects of what you're upcycling could trigger negative (albeit unfair) associations with what it was in its past life?

If unavoidable, how can you control for this with your manufacturing processes? How might you show off this process on your website to reassure customers as to the steps you took to mitigate discomfort?

For instance, if running shoes were turned into drinking cups, people might want to know that they went through a stringent cleaning process as part of their manufacture. If old fruit otherwise destined for the bin were turned into dried fruit jerky, people might want to know what the threshold for using them would be. E.g. "All our bananas are thoroughly checked before being mashed up" or "Despite being a little older, we have a strict 5-step checklist on the fruit we pick. Watch the video here"

By extension, what other quality assurances could you provide? This could be in the form of certain certificates or badges from a known third-party organisation that can further allay fears. For instance, from where were the products originally sourced? What are their own processes? How might these origins and standards help reassure the uneasy customer. For instance, "All our fruit come direct from Organic Fruit Co, who we've been working closely with for years. Check out their website here"..

Product Development

Avoid uncomfortable past product associations

Not all aspects of an upcycled or pre-owned item are valued equally. Some require sensitive communication...

There is no doubt as to the value of taking existing products destined for the scrapheap and turning them into new ones, complete with different use cases. There is much joy to be had at telling the story of where something came from and what it was in a past life, both for the brand and the consumer.

However, surfacing the history of a repurposed product better suits certain use cases over others. For instance, shoes recycled as underwear might not be as appealing as milk jugs remade into toys. It's important to balance concerns around product quality as well as feelings of potential disgust! What aspects of what you're upcycling could trigger negative (albeit unfair) associations with what it was in its past life?

If unavoidable, how can you control for this with your manufacturing processes? How might you show off this process on your website to reassure customers as to the steps you took to mitigate discomfort?

For instance, if running shoes were turned into drinking cups, people might want to know that they went through a stringent cleaning process as part of their manufacture. If old fruit otherwise destined for the bin were turned into dried fruit jerky, people might want to know what the threshold for using them would be. E.g. "All our bananas are thoroughly checked before being mashed up" or "Despite being a little older, we have a strict 5-step checklist on the fruit we pick. Watch the video here"

By extension, what other quality assurances could you provide? This could be in the form of certain certificates or badges from a known third-party organisation that can further allay fears. For instance, from where were the products originally sourced? What are their own processes? How might these origins and standards help reassure the uneasy customer. For instance, "All our fruit come direct from Organic Fruit Co, who we've been working closely with for years. Check out their website here"..

Product Development

Avoid uncomfortable past product associations

Not all aspects of an upcycled or pre-owned item are valued equally. Some require sensitive communication...

There is no doubt as to the value of taking existing products destined for the scrapheap and turning them into new ones, complete with different use cases. There is much joy to be had at telling the story of where something came from and what it was in a past life, both for the brand and the consumer.

However, surfacing the history of a repurposed product better suits certain use cases over others. For instance, shoes recycled as underwear might not be as appealing as milk jugs remade into toys. It's important to balance concerns around product quality as well as feelings of potential disgust! What aspects of what you're upcycling could trigger negative (albeit unfair) associations with what it was in its past life?

If unavoidable, how can you control for this with your manufacturing processes? How might you show off this process on your website to reassure customers as to the steps you took to mitigate discomfort?

For instance, if running shoes were turned into drinking cups, people might want to know that they went through a stringent cleaning process as part of their manufacture. If old fruit otherwise destined for the bin were turned into dried fruit jerky, people might want to know what the threshold for using them would be. E.g. "All our bananas are thoroughly checked before being mashed up" or "Despite being a little older, we have a strict 5-step checklist on the fruit we pick. Watch the video here"

By extension, what other quality assurances could you provide? This could be in the form of certain certificates or badges from a known third-party organisation that can further allay fears. For instance, from where were the products originally sourced? What are their own processes? How might these origins and standards help reassure the uneasy customer. For instance, "All our fruit come direct from Organic Fruit Co, who we've been working closely with for years. Check out their website here"..

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