How To Quickly Introduce a New Product to Market

1: Identify the Right Target Market

Identifying the right target market can often be the difference between success and failure for new products. The right market will be more willing to accept, and ready to pay more for, the right product, and the wrong market will be slower to accept your product and will require more marketing efforts, cutting down on your profits. So choose your target market carefully. There are many factors that determine the right target market, and this chapter will cover two important factors: market size and pricing. [Read more...]

How Narrowing Your Target Market Can Lead to More Sales

So you’ve got a new product and know just who to market it to. Here’s what to do next.

What’s a pair of thrill-seeking snowboarders to do when there’s no snow on the ground and no clouds in sight? If you’re Jason Lee and Patrick McConnell, you invent the MountainBoard. With a deck similar to a snowboard, all-terrain wheels, and a suspension system that can be used to go down a single trail or track on a mountain, the MountainBoard hit the market in 1996 and the company, MBS of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is still going strong. [Read more...]

Where to Find Your Million Dollar Idea

Where is the next million-dollar idea hiding, just waiting to be discovered? In many cases, it could be right under your nose–at your place of work, or perhaps as part of your favorite hobby. Inventors who work ideas gathered from jobs or activities they’re familiar with are most likely to find success, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, the inventor really understands what target customers want because he or she is also part of the group. Second, because the inventor is already familiar with the products currently on the market, he or she can usually introduce a product that doesn’t have much competition. And finally, when selling the product to customers, potential buyers perceive the inventor not as a salesperson, but rather as “one of us.” It’s a powerful situation that doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, but it’s definitely as good as it gets. [Read more...]

Structuring a Partnership Agreement

Inventors often need to consider partnership, sometimes for funding the invention, other times to get the expertise required to have a partner who can make the prototype, and often just so the partners can offer each other emotional support.  But a lot can go wrong with a partnership as people promise to do certain thing and then fail to perform.  I feel it useful to prepare a simple Memorandum of Understanding when you are considering a partnership of some sort just so each party can be clear on what the other party is doing.  Here is a sample of what an agreement would look like.  Each agreement you prepare will have differences but they should have certain key elements including who is investing what amount of money, what the duties of each party are, how much time people are committing to the project and some sort of performance guarantee. [Read more...]

Selling Through Home Shopping Networks

Home Shopping Networks, including QVC and Home Shopping Network, are often ideal spots for inventors starting to sell their product. Shopping networks like to sell products that aren’t available widely in stores, they take smaller quantities than major retailers, but still large enough quantities to justify investments in tooling and packaging, and selling on shopping networks is a much better option to build market momentum than trying to line up a large number of smaller retailers. The shopping networks create enough demand that some companies only sell to the shopping networks, and it is possible to be carried on the networks for years, but they won’t sell enough for you to become a substantial company. Your best choice of action is to sell through the shopping networks to build momentum, and then use the success in those markets to generate a wider distribution network. [Read more...]

What to Do if You Have No Money to Develop Your Product

Inventors often have more ideas than money. The result is that inventors have a tough time figuring out just how to proceed. One option most inventors don’t often consider is selling on commission. An inventor gets orders for his or her product and then has a manufacturer make the product. But instead of a license agreement, the inventor just becomes the sales rep and takes a commission. The inventor may have to surrender control of the idea, especially if the development costs are high, but they often still have a great deal of input and they can usually negotiate a long term commission agreement. This is often an easier deal for the manufacturer to accept and in the end the inventor makes more money at a 10% commission rather than a three to five percent royalty. The whole secret of success is land a big order, then manufacturers will be interested in talking to you, provided the product fits within their manufacturing capability. The benefit to the inventor is that he or she is selling the product with the backing of an established company. That backing both enhances the inventor’s credibility and provides the funding needed to launch the product. [Read more...]

How to Sell Your Product through Convenience Stores

Article also includes:

  • Description of various organizations typically found in an inventor’s distribution channel.
  • Explanation of how to find a distribution channel for your product.

Many inventors have small novelty products where they want their products sold to convenience stores. This has been a difficult market for inventors because the distributors are typically rack jobbers who actually own the merchandise and buy at 40 to 45% of retail. The distributors can be hard to find as they don’t have a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) dedicated to them, and most operate on the office supplies distributor SIC code. (For more information on SIC codes go to [Read more...]

Old Product Areas Ripe for Invention

Inventors often look at big new ideas with big needs but sometimes you can find a way to create a product idea in an old category and have some success.  I live in Minnesota and some years ago I started seeing many people with the new style of ear muffs that wrap around the back of the head, the 180s, They look great. Most people don’t realize this high style line was originally put out by a couple of inventors. You don’t need a high tech product, or even a product that is hard to make. Hopefully this story will inspire you to get out with your idea and see if you can make it. [Read more...]

Provisional Patents – An Additional Advantage

Provisional patents have the advantage of being low cost but they have another additional advantage that make them a plus for inventors.

Requirements per the US Patent Office

The provisional application must be made in the name(s) of all of the inventor(s). It can be filed up to 12 months following the date of first sale, offer for sale, public use, or publication of the invention, whichever occurs first. (These pre-filing disclosures, although protected in the United States, may preclude patenting in foreign countries.) [Read more...]