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…]

Could Your Product Work as a Service Business?

Licensing, selling through the Internet, selling to big box retailers and a few other options are the ways most inventors and entrepreneurs dream of selling their products, but there are many other ways to sell your product. In this article we will discuss an often overlooked option for inventors: starting a service business.

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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…]

Improve Your Business or Product Image

by Josh Wallace

May is International Business Image Improvement Month.  Is your business or product’s image stale, tired or out-of-touch with your target customers?  Try a makeoever!

Makeovers have become a popular trend with people because they like the idea of reinventing themselves and the attention they gain from the experience. The same concept can also be applied to your company and/or products. You could rework your current logo into a more modern, professional symbol. You could update your brochures, promotional and marketing materials with a new look, focus or attitude. Or you could come up with a brand new, unique ad campaign to put yourself in a different light. There are many possibilities and any route is going to generate interest.

Corporations get makeovers all the time. This process is called rebranding. A brand is the overall experience and association with a company, its products and/or services—it’s the identity that makes the company stand out. The central point of most brands is the logo, which can sometimes even become the reason why people spend their money on certain products. Logos never stay the same over their lifespan. Companies need to progress with time and with their marketing focus. Here are a few examples.

logo evolutions

logo evolutions

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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 Create Winning Packaging for Your New Product

Basic Steps Toward Branding through Package Design

Run a couple package design web searches and you’ll see this phrase repeatedly: “Packaging is just as important as the product.” It’s almost common sense, really. Some even go as far as saying, “The package is the product.” That may be bold, but nonetheless, packaging plays a tremendous role in selling your product—it’s the last chance (or maybe even the first chance) to advertise just before consumers make a purchase and studies have shown that most people make brand choices at the point of purchase. Spend the time researching packaging while thinking carefully about your audience and the stores you’ll be featured in and brand your product accordingly. Bring a designer into the picture early on and he/ she will help the package design solutions develop from the information and ideas that have gathered. [Read more…]