When conceptualizing an invention, and planning its path to market, it’s easy to become distracted by the ultimate goal of retail or licensing success, and ignore the important steps that are essential to making that success a reality. No retailer or licensee is going to risk their resources on a product unless they judge it to be the “complete package.” For a product to be pitch perfect, it needs to have a few things:
Media Presence: Often neglected by inventors, a strong web and social media presence is crucial to garnering attention from potential business partners. A Facebook page with no likes, and no consumer interaction, is going to look suspect to licensees, as well as potential buyers. Companies who are interested in the product are looking for a quick education in how it functions, what it looks like, and who the target audience is. Pictures and videos are instrumental in achieving this, and their strategic placement on a webpage or social media page can make all the difference.
Brand Consistency: Licensees and retailers aren’t thinking of the product solely in terms of functionality, but also with regard to the brand as a whole, how it looks, and how marketable it could be. In addition to maintaining a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, etc., it’s important for the brand to have aesthetic consistency. This includes creating an eye-catching logo, a tagline that conveys the product’s benefits, and the perfect product name that is easy to remember, and brings the brand together. Since licensing companies think in terms of “brand potential” and “marketability”, so must the inventor.
Get Creative: It’s common for inventors to develop a product with a single demographic in mind. It can be helpful to broaden your scope, to think “who else might find this useful? What other markets could be a good fit?” If you’re going out and pitching a product to retailers or licensees on your own, do yourself a favor and don’t limit your options. What might seem like a novelty to you could actually prove a useful home goods item. What might first appear to be solely an outdoor/summer item could also be appealing to children’s toy-makers. Don’t be afraid to create new opportunities for yourself.
Building a strong foundation will help elevate your product above the rest, and give it the best chance to succeed.