You can’t reinvent the wheel, but what about redesigning it?

The phrase “you can’t reinvent the wheel” is often used to discourage innovation that will only complicate a basic function. Here, we deem that the most basic solution is the purest solution — but what if we changed it in a way that doesn’t interfere with the functionality? Logic says the most efficient process is the one that is the fastest, cheapest, and uses the less materials. However, what if we were to complicate the mechanisms — defy rational thinking?

Imagine other possibilities and capabilities of a simple material and then complicate it until it changes purpose entirely. I’m not suggesting turning one gear into a thousand miniatures; but rather thinking how tinkering with a basic design can create an entirely new function or inspire a new product.

If we were to take this thought and incorporate it in marketing decisions we could get out-of-the box ideas — and with thousands of brands competing for consumers, an original marketing strategy can be extremely successful. For example, take the standard marketing methods of mail promotions and imagine the “mechanical parts” of it differently. The original purpose of the mail inserts would be to alert consumers of a sale or provide coupons to prompt a visit to the store. If the organization were to alter this, they may come up with a more creative way to share the same information.

New methods can excite/entice consumers to purchase a product or donate to a nonprofit.


Getting coupons in the mail isn’t a new sensation for consumers and often the marketer’s attempts end up ignored or in the trash.

Walking in the mall and getting flocked by surveyors is an annoyance and a tactic well-known by consumers who respond by avoiding “the people with the clipboards.”

T.V commercials that show a problem being solved by the company’s product doesn’t alert the consumer. It serves to inform them… if they were listening.

and so on.

Bottom line, the message itself is important but the way it is delivered is equally as important. Remember that every detail in promoting, whether it be for a nonprofit or a standard business, is a chance to stand-out.

Happy Designing

Like what you read? Give Evelyn — a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.