What inventors need to know…
“Does the product infringe on a patent?” and “Should a patent application be filed?” are questions a product developer would want answered before going forward with manufacturing, marketing and distributing a product. But what makes a product a long term profit generator?
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw
There are many factors an inventor needs to take into consideration in order to create a profit generating product from from an idea. I asked Richard P. Conway, new product developer/ inventor and founder of Ingenious Products Inc. to help me put together a list of keys which contribute to a products’ long term sales success. Here’s the list we came up with:
- The product solves a real and obvious national consumer need; a convenience product which creates an easier, faster, less expensive way to deal with an old problem.
- It’s new and buyers understand they can’t get it anyplace else.
- It communicates instantly its use and benefits to the end buyer on the shelf. Obvious perceived value at the point of purchase.
- It provides a wide market solution for the national customer (broad market, i.e. something everyone uses like a toothbrush. Not a narrow market product like a tuning fork).
- It is clearly identifiable to the buyer and Branded with a trademark (set to enter the market with a unique name i.e. balance buddy).
- Eye catching packaging (looks cool). Attractive packaging can drive shelf sales and enhance or boost buying interest.
- It can be sold in multi-generations: i.e offer new improved generations to keep it fresh on the shelf for the retailer and end buyer.
- It is recyclable or biodegradable to match the “going green” initiatives set by retailers for packaging and product materials.
- It is priced right for impulse purchases by the end consumer.
- Product manufacturing costs are low enough to have a sufficient price mark up margin (i.e. 5x cost) to allow the manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer to make money. Factors in lowering the cost of manufacturing:
a) Low freight cost: not an odd shape; relatively small and light weight
b) Packaging: can be packed on pallets for regular store order fulfillment in 4 to 6 units
c) Easy to make: i.e. not labor intensive, small number of parts, made from a mold
Probability of success increases with with each additional factor. If your product doesn’t meet all these standards hopefully its strong points will carry the day. Can you think of any other relevant keys to success? Comments are welcome.