Marketing Your Invention!
The idea of marketing your product should be kept in mind throughout the entire Product Development Cycle. Ask your friends and family members to share their opinions with you. Shop and compare your item with others that are similar in the marketplace. Does your product offer more benefits, or could it be produced and sold more economically? Engineers and Toolers who work on your product will be able to give you feedback concerning the more technical aspects. Sometime after Prototyping and before tooling, take your merchandise to a trade show, or approach possible sellers for their perspective. Ask focus groups and individuals to use and evaluate the item. Their responses will help you decide how to finalize your product.
The finished invention must take on a form of selling that launches your brand, your product, and your Idea, through advertising and promotions. You will have to decide if you want to sell it yourself or license it to a company and collect royalties. I have seen people advance their products to this stage, and literally wait to be approached by someone to license their idea! Overall, this approach seems to be less rewarding than moving forward with the process. Although the financial hurdles of doing it yourself may be greater, your product becomes more attractive to licensors as you continue to push it forward. This also puts you closer to your end goal of having a successful product.
Some products may be launched by simply getting a logo, a packaging design, and a small website offering the consumer an opportunity to buy the product online, (like MPE.) It takes time for a website to be ranked and recognized by the major search engines, but you are preparing to have a robust product with little investment. As you move forward, internet advertising is offered by Google AdWords, and various others to help bring recognition to your product. Once again, a continuous effort to launch and advertise your idea will make it more appealing to consumers and Licensors.
As an engineer, I do not profess to be a sales expert. I have seen products succeed, as well as fail. Below is a list of several options you have as an inventor, to help sell your product.
Leading Marketing Options:
- Locate manufacturers, and present the features and benefits of your patent and prototypes directly to them.
- Hire an invention broker to present your product to manufacturers, etc. Most of these salespeople have good reputations, and are paid by receiving a certain percentage of your income.
- Trade shows are a quick way to gain recognition by manufacturers that offer similar products.
- Hire a contract manufacturer to produce, package, and ship your product. This saves you the complications of starting your own manufacturing plant. The marketing component here is the ability to offer a completed product.
- Use an Invention Submission Company. Although I don’t recommend them, they are an option. Make sure you thoroughly research the company, and ask for recommendations from other inventors.
- Get a website, and use internet advertising techniques to attract customers.
- Put together a small group of investors to fund advertising and marketing.
Your personal marketing options will vary, depending upon your product, your funds, and your goals.
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Product Marketing for the Inventor
Product marketing has become inexpensive and easy to do for inventors and entrepreneurs.
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