10 Steps to Bring a Product to Market – Start Your Own Company
Create Sales Materials
Now that you are launching your company, you will need a logo, letterhead, business cards, sales flyers, product packaging and press materials. All of these things contribute to the image of your company and product. If these are low quality, people will think your company is low quality, so you must carefully consider these items.
Packaging is an especially important part of every product, but most inventors underestimate its value. Without an extensive sales force, you will need to rely on your packaging to sell your product off the shelves. You need to match your packaging to the image of your idea whether it is a high-end luxury product or an impulse item. Also your target distribution channels may have very specific requirements for either the quality or the display method of your packaging (i.e. hanging from hooks, stacked on a shelf, etc.).
Here are some guidelines from Missy Cohen-Fyffe, you can see the whole story in the articles section on Missy Cohen-Fyffe – The Clean Shopper. Just enter the inventors name in the search box on OneStopInventioShop.net to get the article.
- Establish a brand name. “I wanted to create a brand name everyone could identify with,” says Cohen-Fyffe. “I also wanted the name to be easy to remember. That’s why all our products start with ‘Clean.’ The term clean is important because our products are designed to protect infants and toddlers from the disease-causing bacteria found on common surfaces.” Inventors should consider branding possibilities when deciding on both their company names and their first product names. The best names clearly reflect benefits the products offer consumers. In Cohen-Fyffe’s case, the word clean is a better branding tool than her company name, Babe Ease, as it more accurately conveys the product’s benefit.
- Create a unified look. Inventors can reinforce the brand name by having a packaging strategy that clearly identifies the product’s brand. Cohen-Fyffe’s packaging strategy reflects a uniform look. “I wanted a recognizable look that reinforced the brand name,” she says. “That’s why all of our packaging now sports our signature color splash.”
- Make quality a priority. A branding strategy only works if your first product has a high-quality reputation. In fact, Cohen-Fyffe absorbed big losses early on to ensure every customer was satisfied. In 2003, when her Clean Shopper product was just gaining popularity, Cohen-Fyffe’s staff unknowingly shipped out some defective products. “We started to receive calls from customers complaining of sewing defects and other problems,” she says. “We had never had complaints like [that] before.” So Cohen-Fyffe recalled the defective items, exchanged them for high-quality replacements and refunded some customers’ money. “I thought the costs might bankrupt my company, but my customers stood with us because we took care of the problems.”
- Find complementary products. A new product does better for your distribution channel of reps, distributors and retailers when it’s part of a multi-product line that can be sold at the same stores to the same target customers. According to Cohen-Fyffe, “Once we offered the Clean Diner [in addition to the Clean Shopper], getting it onto store shelves proved much easier than anticipated. I believe that having only one product significantly limited our sales potential.”
- Match the look and packaging. Try and have your logo, brand and package work well with the complementary products on the market.
For another inventor story check out the article Kathryn Goetzke – Mood-Lights. Just enter the inventors name in the search box on OneStopInventioShop.net to get the article.