Where and how do ideas for great products emerge?

Great ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. It comes down to being creative, smart, inspired, opportunistic, fortunate, and being at the right place at the right time.

Someone with a good idea may need a lucky break to turn it into a reality, or an investor with a hunch and a healthy appetite or risk.

ideasA great example is Richard Montañez, who spent a decade working as a janitor at a Frito-Lays plant in California.

Fuelled by a strong work ethic and curiosity, Montañez realized that Cheetos, one of the Frito-Lays’ major products, was missing a huge opportunity to penetrate the Latino market.

He developed a home-made recipe to create spicy Cheetos and then directly approached the company’s CEO, Roger Enrico, with his idea.

Enrico took a huge gamble by not only taking Montañez’ call but agreed to let Montañez make a presentation to senior executives.

To make a long story short, a market test of Montañez’ version of Cheetos was enthusiastically received and became a mega-hit that has spawned more than a dozen different versions of Cheetos.

Montañez’ idea catapulted him out from being a janitor. He’s now vice president of multicultural sales for PepsiCo America (the holding company of Frito-Lay).

Speaking of ideas, my book, Marketing Spark, has lots of them to jump-start your brand storytelling and marketing. It’s super user-friendly with lots of worksheets and templates that make marketing easy.