Marketing for Inventors

Marketing for InventorsAs an inventor myself, I know what it takes to bring a product from the idea stage to a successful launch. At each step along the way, there are marketing considerations—and pitfalls. Getting the help you need can avoid costly mistakes and help ensure your product’s success.

Stage One—Concept

You have an idea. Everyone you tell about it thinks that it is a good idea too. Is this enough to move forward on what will be a long, expensive journey? If you’re in Southern California, this is a great time to check out the San Diego Inventors Forum, a professional organization of inventors and service providers. Your next stop should be at the office of SDIF’s president, Adrian Pelkus. Adrian and his company, A2 Technologies, are a great resource for any inventor.

Patents. The patent attorney I use and recommend is David B. Waller.

Market Research:  Market research is critical at this stage. You must first clearly identify your target market, then use focus groups, surveys, and/or other research methods to determine whether your idea is a viable one. Inventors often avoid this step because they see it as too costly or, worse, they are so married to their ideas that they don’t want the truth. They also may be concerned that someone else will steal their ideas.

Properly conducted research can save tens of thousands of dollars in costly mistakes, and non-disclosure agreements can protect the inventor even if a patent has not yet been secured. Market research can range from small focus groups to sophisticated surveys. Dr. Edward Balian, a professor of market research at California State University/San Marcos and an entrepreneur himself, can guide you on what research methods are best for your idea.  To learn more about market research and focus groups, please visit the Q-Stat Group website.

Planning a Kickstarter Campaign?  You’ll want a branded way to get the word out to your family and friends and THEIR family and friends!  The best way to do that is with a Constant Contact email marketing account.  As a special service for my fellow inventors, I will set you up for free, create a template with your logo, colors, and images of your invention with a link to your Kickstarter page.  I’ll even provide you with training on how to use the system.  You must sign up for Constant Contact through me to get this special deal.  Call me at 760.436.8848 to get started and start building that email list—the success of your Kickstarter campaign depends on it! Learn more about my Constant Contact services. 

Target MarketStage Two—Concept Development, Prototyping, and Planning

Your product has passed the initial market research tests, and so far you have a green light. You must now determine whether it is feasible to make the product from a profit standpoint. Once you have your prototype, you should be able to get solid price estimates for manufacturing. You can then determine how much you will need to charge for the product, taking in consideration how you plan to distribute it. Will people in your target market buy your product at the price you will need to charge for it?

More market research is needed here. Is the product still feasible? Also at this stage, or even earlier, you should have begun the task of identifying distribution channels. Sales projections and profit margins can then begin to be forecast.

Next, you’ll need a logo, branding, a website, print collateral, and if your product is technical, a white paper. If you’re planning to pitch your product to investors, you’ll need a professional presentation and perhaps a video, and if you’re going to trade shows, you’ll need a booth, signage, and other promotional items. My associates and I have the expertise in all these areas who can do what you need on time and on budget. We’ll make you look good online, in print, and in person!

Email or call me at 760.436.8848 when you reach this stage.

Stage Three—Manufacturing, Distribution, and Sales

Our manufacturing sourcing partner in China is Direct Sourcing Systems. Adam Brougham and Angela Peng and their associates will find the very best factories to produce your product at the highest quality and the most reasonable price possible. You can count on their superior customer service and attention to detail.

Excoveries can help take you from idea to success.  Let’s get together!