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Three Key Steps to Invention Marketing

Ever see a new product and say to yourself, "Why didn't I think of that?" Well, if you stop to think about it, probably everyone one of us has either had an idea for a new product, believe we are capable of a new product idea or knows of someone else who has had a new product idea.

To get an idea of the magnitude of new product ideas and activity, I did a quick search on the word "inventor" on google and back came 9,300,000 websites. If you do the same thing with "invention" you get 18,000,000 listings. We are not talking hundreds or even thousands, but tens of millions. The generation of new product ideas or inventions in our world 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 any kind of success with their idea.

How many of you have successfully marketed a new product or know someone who has successfully marketed that new product idea? My guess is few if any.

Why is it that with so many new product ideas, there are so few commercial successes?

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.

In today's world, knowing all about the customer is critical. Almost 40 years ago when I started into business, the buyers of products at the different retail chains knew more about the customers than did anyone else in the marketplace. Today, people move so quickly that there is very little knowledge about the consumer. The inventor must now do the work that used to be done by the retailer and the distributor and make the buying decision so easy that it is a no brainer for his channel of distribution partners.

As if that weren't enough, the inventor also needs to understand the option that are available for getting the product to market and balance that against the time, money and drive 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. While it is not impossible to figure out what options are available, this is an ideal time to get outside help in outlining the options and evaluating how each option fits that particular inventor. This can be done with an industry knowledgeable advisor, a consultant or possibly with a careful reading of the "Guide to the U.S. Hardware Market."

After the inventor has developed a clear picture of the product, the consumer and the options available to market the product, they must then understand the different channels to get your product to market and how to present the product to that particular channel. 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 of understanding, 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 know more successful entrepreneurs.

If you would like to know more about the steps to achieve success in preparing your new product for the U.S. Hardware market, visit

Copyright Bob Cannon/The Cannon Advantage, 2006. All rights reserved.

Bob Cannon helps people with new products for the U.S. Hardware Market find the best way to take their new products to market. Bob can be reached at (216) 408-9495 or mailto:

This article courtesy of You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact.

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