Have you ever stumbled across a business that sold items that seemed contradictory? Like a store that sells ice cream and custom-made incense? Sometimes business combinations seem bizarre, like they don’t make sense. However, there’s usually a reason for strange combinations.
Sometimes, businesses sell contradictory products because those products have a predefined season and they want to capitalize on sales year-round. Other times, businesses sell unique products together because they’ve found an actual market for the combination.
If you’ve ever wondered what kind of interesting (successful) business combinations are out there, here are four examples that actually work.
1. Coffee, cocktails, and beer
You probably wouldn’t drink coffee and alcohol simultaneously, but this combination draws a crowd. Imagine being able to go to a local business and get coffee or beer – whatever you’re in the mood for at that time. You can sometimes get coffee at a bar, so why not get beer at a café?
One of the most successful examples of this business combination is Sip Coffee & Beer. Originally, this business was a single coffee shop in Old Town Scottsdale. Today, there are three locations.
Sip Coffee & Beer offers breakfast and lunch, including hearty oat cereals, breakfast burritos, bagels, sandwiches, and salads. For coffee, they’ve got a smooth cold brew, nitro-infused coffee, and standard espresso drinks like americanos and cappuccinos.
It’s the perfect place to take your family for a meal and enjoy amazing beer, cocktails, or coffee. The company is doing extremely well and offers catering and online ordering.
Original businesses like this tend to pop up in places like Scottsdale. If you’re an entrepreneur looking for a good location for your business, consider launching your business in Scottsdale. Although the housing market in the U.S. is hot, it’s not hard to find homes for sales in Scottsdale from home search sites like Kay-Grant.
2. Ski equipment and patio furniture
Selling ski equipment and patio furniture is probably the oldest and most successful combination of opposite products. However, the success depends on the area. You can’t sell ski equipment to people who live in the desert unless they’re planning on taking a trip out of town for the winter.
The best place to sell ski equipment and patio furniture is an area that isn’t too far from a skiing destination. Patio furniture sells better in areas with warm weather, but people still use patio furniture in cooler temps – just not as much.
3. Drive-thru coffee and pizza
Have you ever seen a drive-thru coffee shop that also sells pizza? It sounds amazing, right? While the wait times will be much longer at any drive-thru that sells food, it’s worth the wait.
One example of this type of restaurant is Rainier Pizza and Espresso. They sell standard espresso beverages made from their house-roasted coffee beans, but they also serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition to sandwiches and burritos, they are most known for their pizza.
Although coffee and pizza sounds like a strange combination for a drive-thru, families regularly visit this shop to pick up dinner when they don’t want to cook.
4. Human restaurant meals and meals for dogs
If you’ve always dreamed of taking your dog out for a gourmet meal, The Lazy Dog has your back. At The Lazy Dog, you can dine with your human friends in the main dining area, or you can bring your pup and dine outside on the patio as a group.
This restaurant goes the extra mile to make sure all dogs get a good meal and not just table scraps. The restaurant offers two meals for dogs – grilled hamburger or chicken breast in a bowl with brown rice and dog-friendly veggies.
These options are perfect if your dog is allergic to chicken. If your dog is also allergic to beef, you can ask for a bowl of rice and veggies without the meat. If you see something else on the menu that your dog would like to eat, you can order it as a side and slip it into your dog’s dish – as long as you don’t let your dog eat from your plate.
In addition to not letting your dog eat from your plate, there are other rules to follow when dining with your dog, but they’re easy to remember. For example, your dog needs to be on a leash within reach. You can’t put your dog in your lap, on a chair, or on the table. If you have a miniature breed that needs to be propped up, you can always bring your own folding chair.
Having your dog dine with you at a restaurant is such a great idea, it’s hard to believe this type of business hasn’t become more popular.
Experimentation leads to success
If you’re trying to come up with a good business idea that combines several products that seem contradictory, don’t give up before you’ve done your market research. Unusual combinations often lead to breakthrough ideas. For example, whoever decided to put wheels on a suitcase was an absolute genius.
Other examples include combining a printer/copier with a phone to create a fax machine, and using a wine press and coin punch to make books.
There is a reason large corporations ask customers for ideas. There are so many possibilities that it’s hard to come up with ideas on your own. For example, many food manufacturers run contests for people to come up with unique flavor combinations, and the best combinations become standard, new flavors.
Are you trying to start a new business that combines unique products or services, but you’re stuck on ideas? You might want to do some interactive market research and reach out to people to find out what they prefer. Test as many ideas as possible and gather sufficient data before making your decision.
Pursuing the right idea might result in a unique business that gains popularity around the world.