Invention Marketing is about knowing the right steps and avoiding the traps. The generation of new product ideas or inventions is huge. Yet when most people stop to think about the people they have been exposed to with new ideas, they are lucky to think of even one who has achieved an kind of success with their idea.
My experience both in the corporate world and as an independent consultant leads me to believe that it all boils down to a lack of understanding. First and foremost is a lack of understanding of who the customer really is, what they expect of the product and what they are willing to pay for it. This by far is the most common shortcoming in most inventors offering. I can’t even begin to count the number of people who have spent their entire budget on producing product, getting patents and developing sales materials without knowing who the customer is, how the product will be used and what the consumer is willing to pay for the product.
Coming up with the new product idea is only the first step in having a successful new product.
Today, everything is moving so quickly that there is very little knowledge about the customer in the channel of distribution. The inventor must do the work that used to be done by the retailer and the distributor. They must make the buying decision at all levels so easy that it is a no brainer for his channel of distribution partners.
The inventor also needs to understand the options that are available for getting the product to market and balance that against the time, money and effort that are available to devote to achieving success in the market. The more the inventor knows about their own motivation, the easier it will be to choose among the options. (To speed up your learning curve, you might want to consider a knowledgeable advisor or a careful reading of the “Guide to the U.S. Hardware Market.”)
After learning about your options, it is important to understand how to tailor your presentation. How to present the product includes things like pricing, packaging, promotion and service. All need to be tailored to the particular channel that best fits your needs.
Once you have addressed all of these areas, you have the basis for a plan to go to market and the next step is execution. Even the most well thought out plans can fail if there isn’t a means to gather feedback and modify the plan as needed.
There are so few people who go through the necessary steps to introduce an invention or new product idea, that it is no wonder we don’t have more successful entrepreneurs.