Web and SEO companies are a dime a dozen. The app market is saturated. Yoga pants are overpriced and they all look the same. And nobody really needs another stainless steel coffee mug. If you want to start a business that matters – one that makes heads turn and people talk – start a business that gives people a voice.
People naturally want to express themselves
If you want to build a successful business, it makes sense to produce something people want. Even better, something people can’t live without – like the ability to be fully self-expressed.
The ability to express is part of what gives people fulfillment in life. Unfortunately, many people have struggled their entire lives just to be heard and have become rather shut down. They’re continually searching for outlets of expression to regain their voice. Many also want to make a statement by sharing messages that aren’t always verbal.
The benefits of being fully self-expressed
People want to be fully self-expressed because it makes them feel good, especially when their message is received. Healthy self-expression is also linked to the ability to avoid destructive behaviors.
A research study interviewed over 150 teens and their parents about drug and alcohol use, their daily interactions, and relationships. Teens who were able to freely discuss issues with their moms – like grades, money, and friends – were better able to stand up to their peers and say no to drugs. Kids who have a chance to be heard are more likely to make responsible choices throughout their lifetime
Can a business really give customers a voice?
If you’ve never been involved in a business that gives people a voice, you’re probably wondering what that type of business might look like. It’s simple: any business that sells a product or service that facilitates someone’s self-expression.
For instance, people express themselves through clothing, accessories, and even social media platforms. That means Nike, Hollister, and YouTube are all businesses that give people a voice. They’re not the only ones.
Opposuits, for instance, gives their customers a voice in the form of fashion. This company makes suits adorned with loud prints that are marketed as prom attire, but can be worn anywhere to make a statement. Similarly, Vans offers shoes with custom prints, available to anyone with an idea. Another business that gives people a voice (without selling a physical product) is any coaching business that trains people to become fully self-expressed.
From this perspective, Tony Robbins built an empire around giving people a voice by helping them find empowerment in their lives. His empire is proof that when you help people find their voice, they’ll become fiercely loyal and spread the word.
Emotional impact gives more power to customer recommendations
People are more likely to spread the word about products and services that impact them emotionally. When your product impacts people on an emotional level, the perceived value will be greater.
For example, you can sell a good coffee maker to people who drink coffee, and they’ll tell everyone your product works perfectly. However, when you sell the ability to automate the coffee making process to busy people, their delight for an automated process will be reflected in what they say about you. They won’t just promote your coffee maker as a functional coffee machine – they’ll talk about how much time it saves them, and how they’d be lost without it.
When it comes to self-expression, if your product provides that outlet for your customers, you’ve automatically scored points in the area of emotional impact.
A business can facilitate silent expressions
If you haven’t considered launching a startup in the clothing industry, you should. T-shirts alone accounted for $3 billion in sales in 2014, and that number is still growing.
What’s so great about t-shirts? They’re easy and affordable to customize, and allow people to walk around literally wearing their favorite message without having to say a word.
A business can facilitate anonymous expressions
One business that gives people a voice anonymously is WordPress. Although it’s free, the WordPress blogging platform allows anyone to express themselves anonymously.
If you’re still looking for business ideas, consider providing an outlet for expression for people. You can come up with a way to do this in almost any industry. By supporting the basic need for self-expression, you’ll gain some of the most loyal customers you’ve ever known.