As I was browsing through the website of the WD-40
- Removing stickers on CD cases.
- Lubricating hinges on crawfish traps.
- Removing boa constrictors stuck in engine compartments of cars.
- Spraying bathroom mirrors to keep them from fogging.
- Softening stiff leather sandals.
- Giving bowling balls less "grab" on the lanes.
- Using full cans as nifty paperweights.
The list made me realize that even though some of the uses were a bit, well, exotic to me, most of us could indeed find some unprecedented uses for the stuff. The bottom line: We'd be more likely to use more WD-40, now that we could think of more things to do with it. It's a win-win situation -- we win, and so does the company.
This simple principle is at work at many other companies. The pharmaceutical industry, for one, frequently gets approval from the FDA to offer various medicines for new "indications." The drug Avelox, for example, which is marketed in the U.S. by Schering-Plough
As investors, we might do well to watch for companies expanding the ways customers use their products or services. If you don't see your companies being aggressive in this department, you might want to drop them a note, along with any ideas you have.
You might suggest to Kellogg
Those ideas may be silly, but you never know. Forty years ago, would anyone have thought overnight package delivery could grow into a multibillion-dollar industry for shipping companies like FedEx