When you’re in the business of coming up with new consumer products, you’re bound to hit a dry spell now and then. Whether you’ve run out of creative ideas, or you can’t seem to make the ideas you have work, it’s important to take some time away from the drawing board to refresh your mind and get inspired again.
To help you get back on the inspiration train, take a look at this list of 5 of the best-selling consumer products of all time, according to a list created by 24/7 Wall St. And while you probably won’t come up with another Mario Bros. video game franchise, you never know what might spark your next great idea.
- Sony’s PlayStation. As of January 2016, this video game console had sold more than 380 million units worldwide, with 35 million of those being the latest version, the PlayStation 4. When the first PlayStation was released in 1995, it was the most powerful video game console on the market thanks to its 32-bit processor. The PlayStation faithful still extoll the console’s massive selection of games, amazing graphics, and well-designed controllers.
- The Mario Bros. video game franchise. While we’re on the topic of video games, the Mario Bros. franchise remains among the best-selling products of all time – even though they’re created for the Nintendo system, which isn’t as popular as the PlayStation.
- The Rubik’s Cube. This mind-bending puzzle has remained insanely popular since it debuted back in 1980 – according to Insider Monkey, about a fifth of the entire world’s population has played one. The cube has also inspired designers to create tons of different versions, including a Braille Rubik’s Cube for the visually impaired and a digital touchscreen version complete with accelerometer.
- The iPad. Although there were plenty of haters who deemed the iPad unworthy of Apple back when it debuted in 2010 (including a choice Onion article claiming Jobs glued a bunch of iPhones to the back of a cafeteria tray to come up with the idea), the original tablet has proved that those people were pretty much dead wrong.
- Coca-Cola. This one won’t be a surprise to anyone. This ubiquitous soda can be found in every single country in the world with a single exception: North Korea. And we’d bet you can probably find it there too, if you know where to look.
Part of this may be due to nostalgia. The first Mario Bros game debuted in 1981 and was a happy-go-lucky part of childhood for hundreds of thousands of gamers who later graduated to darker games like Assassin’s Creed or Resident Evil. But that’s hardly the only reason Mario is still so beloved. The Mario games are just pure fun, from Super Mario Bros. 2 to MarioKart and Super Mario Galaxy.
As of early 2016, the tablet had sold around 300 million units, and inspired plenty of other tech companies – from Amazon to Google to Samsung – to to get on the tablet train.
How the brand has become a global phenomenon is a testament to the power of marketing – the product’s great, sure, but there are hundreds of thousands of great products out there that never sell more than a few hundred units. If you ever consider skimping on the marketing campaign for your new product, take a lesson from Coke and don’t do it.