“I have a game changing product Idea – but no experience at getting a product to market”
So you’ve got a great idea. But negotiating your way from the invention you first sketched out on a napkin to a successful product can be daunting. The fact of the matter is – if you truly have a game changing product idea – something that has never been created before – there is no paved way and certainly no right way to making it a commercially successful entity. It’s our experience that every original product idea and its path, is as unique as the creator behind them and requires an objective and completely personal approach.
So, How to get your product to market? Laying careful groundwork can make all the difference in whether your product idea makes it to market – getting there requires more than just an original idea – long gone are the days of the scatter brained creatives, the new 21st century inventor needs to align themselves with the ever more complex consumer they’re selling to; becoming more hard-headed, committed, business like and in it for the long run.
It can be a long road and, in an increasingly crowded market, it can be tough, but success lies in getting the right advice and guidance along the way from the experts in the know. Finding out how to get your product to market is often more relevant to your success than the unique features and benefits of your product idea. Consumers don’t buy inventions, they buy products, so you need to shift your approach away from creative thinking and onto how you sell a new product in order to ascertain its real market potential.
It’s at this point where most product ideas live and die as the internal conflict between the inventor and the sales man can be too overwhelming – so building the right balanced team around your product early on is very important.
A prelim step is always to scope out the market landscape – how have others taken their products to market? What tools are available? What IP routes can you take to safeguard your product from the competition? And finally what does the general market space yield in terms of size and potential competition? There are several resources that can help you with this – books, courses and online communities set up to complement your research, however we have always found that the best person to decide which market is right for your product is you! and practical learning always outweighs being a book worm.
As a rule of thumb for most 3rd party product partners – if the IP owner has not been willing to invest energy and time into gaining information, studying their opportunity and even creating a basic business plan – regardless of how much money they have to invest – the risk is often too high to get involved and they should question their commitment to the project and whether this is something they really want to pursue.
There are typically three routes an IP owner can take to get their product to market;
- License your invention to a third party who will take over the marketing and manufacture of your product in return for it’s IP; paying you royalties as a dividend – this route comes with the least control and a high risk of being squeezed out at the first possible opportunity as the product evolves.
- Go it alone, managing the outsourced development, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution yourself in order to get a product to market – this is often a very costly and time consuming path to take – amassing large project fees can often turn viable products into non-commercially stable lead balloons.
- Take it down the OEDM route where by a 3rd party have all the right teams set up at your disposal, taking care of all development, management and manufacture activities in return for a manufacturing agreement, allowing you focus on the front end; sales and marketing of the product. – The quickest, easiest and most profitable route.
Things to consider when going it alone:
- Background Learning – Idea Conception and Evaluation.
- Determine a Core Market Sector.
- Objective Market Research.
- Develop a working prototype.
- IP Protection.
- Business Model Creation – Develop a Business Plan.
- Go for 1st round Funding – Angel Investors. Private Funding. Crowd Funding.
- Build a strong team with an aligned vision, experience and knowledge. From project managers to accounts and finance.
- Outsource Potential Partners; Design/Development consultancy. Contract Manufacturer. Distribution Partner.
- Kick-start Development Activities -Design for Manufacture. FEA.
- Develop a strong supply chain and appoint a manager to control it.
- Negotiate a scalable manufacturing plan.
- 2nd Round Funding.
- Marketing Activities – Branding. Packaging. Awareness Campaigns.
- Sales Activities – Creating Partnerships. Cold sales activities.