Adapting existing products, services and ideas

Aside from inventing a new product or service, an entrepreneur may also consider adapting an existing product or service to satisfy a demand for a new or previously unknown customer trend.


Adaptation is the process of changing an existing product or service so that it is suitable for different customers. This can often be seen as a less risky business option than launching a brand new product.

One form of adaptation is when a product is changed or altered to appeal to different customers. For example, a restaurant may change its menus and serve a wider range of foods as customers’ tastes change. One example of this is the move by some restaurants to offer a larger range of vegan dishes.

Types of adaptation

Types of adaptation include:

  • Changing a product’s brand name, packaging or logo to keep it up to date. Subtle changes to a brand name or to the packaging of a product might be all it takes to boost sales of an already successful product into a new market.
  • Changing the format of a product, for example, a cereal manufacturer might start selling cereal snack bars. Altering the colour or style of a product in response to new fashions and trends in the market. For example smartphone manufacturers continually improve on the original design of the first smartphones, each year making improvements on design and performance in new versions of their products.
  • Adapting the strategies used for promotion and advertising of goods and services. This might be achieved through special offers, discount codes or changing advertising to focus on social media or TV.
  • Some products can be adapted with new innovations. For example, the sausage roll has been adapted and modified to suit vegan consumers in response to the growing demand for meat-free products.
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