Salt. A lesson in Innovation through Differentiation
December 28, 2020

Salt is salt, right? It’s possibly the oldest commodity on earth and surely, it’s one of the most abundant minerals. Can we really differentiate such a simple product?

In a previous post I suggested that far from ‘needing’ a brand spanking new idea for a ‘thing’ or service, you actually only need an idea for something that already exists out there in the marketplace, but innovate to make it faster, better, cheaper.

There’s no better example of how we can differentiate a simple product by adding value than salt.

Yep, common old salt. If you thought salt is salt, nothing is further from the truth. Check out the cost per kg from this infographic. You can buy salt from 39p per kg or….nearly £50!

Incredible, isn’t it.

So, if you could start a business, how would you be the £50/kg offer? How do you add that much value to the user experience that people forget that it’s ‘only bloody salt’.

Of course, that’s the role of innovators: to find new, seemingly irresistible value from the mundane.

Choose a product or service — anything as replay the salt infographic;
– can you create value from the (hint of) providence (like the ‘spice cellar sea salt)
– can you make it better / less bad (like the reduced sodium salt)
– can we make it seem much better value / more convenient (like the large Cornish sea salt)
– can we borrow someone else’s value (like the Nandos salt)
– can we change the UX (like the grinder salt)