One of this weeks Learning Activities within Idea Developments is a Practical assignment with problem solving. You are given a teaspoon as an object. Now apply each one of the SCAMPER techniques to it and give a brief explanation of what new product comes of this and how it can be marketed.
I took a teaspoon from our kitchen drawer and started studying it. It’s made of metal, and it’s a classical teaspoon with no other attributes to it.
I applied the SCAMPER technique to it and came up with a lot of different ideas.
Different materials will give different opportunities in development:
- I can change the materials to bamboo to create a light weighted, recyclable and environmentally friendly teaspoon. The spoon won’t be warm whilst in hot liquid thus the user will not burn fingers.
- If I change the material to plastic, it would be possible to make the plastic changes colors with the temperature so that the drinker will not burn the mouth with too hot liquids.
Suggestion; Red for too hot and green for ready to drink.
- With glass, maybe the “head” of the teaspoon can be used as a magnifying glass as well as a teaspoon. The disadvantage would be its very fragile and easily breakable.
There are many possibilities to combine already existing products with the teaspoon:
- The shaft of the spoon can be combined with a straw.
- Part of the shaft can become a can opener.
- The end of the shaft can be made into a screwdriver.
- The teaspoon can be combined with a thermometer to show the temperature.
- With a glowstick – it would glow in the drink in the dark – party tricks!
- Combined with chopsticks – the ultimate utilities for noodle soup
- With a honey dipper at the end of the shaft
- Combined with a container, you can store artificial sweetener/ sugar etc.
Many inventions have been done before with the combinations with teaspoon, but it’s always possible to improve such products;
- The head of the teaspoon combined with a fork will become a “tea spork” – then you’ll need just one cutlery for coffee and cakes. Produced delicately and classical in silver, it could be a hit for the afternoon tea for the upper class in Britain.
- A teaspoon with a thermometer and timer – possible to program for what kind of liquid you’re having. Different types of tea and coffee requires different temperatures and timing for the optimal serving quality.
To modify the tea spoon as it is, there are a lot of possibilities, I’ll mention four:
- Earlier I’ve seen people using teaspoons to create art by bending it into different shapes; a tiepin, a peg for the wall, a handle etc.
- It can also be twisted at the middle of the shaft, to be able to hang at the edge of a glass/cup.
- As a child, I had a silver “shovel” to push my food together at the plate. I have not been able to find this for my children, so I could melt and form the head of the teaspoon into a shovel.
- I can drill small holes into the teaspoon, and it becomes a tiny sugar spoon.
Put to another use
Beside using the teaspoon for tea and food, there are endless ways of using it, such as:
- Weight for napkins not to blow away lunching outside
- Measuring spoon
- Can opener (end of the shaft)
- Tool for reducing vacuum when opening a new glass of jam etc.
- Hammer for thumbtacks
- Shovel (treating the soil in the flower pots)
- Wall hanging decorations
- If I take away the head of the teaspoon, I would be holding a kind of chopstick or a not very handy screwdriver.
- If I bend the teaspoon between the head and the shaft, it can become an eating tool for children learning to hold the cutleries themselves, and for disables persons.
CONCLUSION – FINAL PRODUCT
Of all the possible products, in the current market I would choose to make a temperature sensitive teaspoon to indicate the liquid is too hot/ ready to drink for grownups.
The teaspoon will be green, and whilst in liquid too hot to drink, the colour will be red until it turns green for the liquid ready to drink.
The material would be recycled plastic from the sea.
I would establish a cooperation with an environmental Organization such as Greenpeace and WWF and give a cashback from all sales. I would also collaborate with a worldwide coffeeshop like Starbucks to sell the spoons.
The marketing campaigns will focus on “Shit in – shit out” and show a pretty nasty piece of sushi on a plate with a payoff like; The fish cannot boil the water it drinks! – encouraging the recipient to keep the oceans clean.
The drinker will not burn their mouth with too hot liquids, but that’s just a positive side-effect for the byer and not the focus in the marketing campaign.
First, I would find idols, pioneers, innovators and early majority identifying with our values and give them the product to help create a credible and trustworthy brand. Making it a bit exclusive in the beginning for people to crave it, and then “open up” for the masses.
Media channels would be Snap, product sponsoring, posters (at coffee shops), word of mouth and video commercials on FB ads.