A Marketing Strategy For Inventors & New Product Owners
If you're an inventor looking to market a new invention or product, we recommend you call in the troops. Here is a marketing strategy inventors should consider first.
You've just been awarded the patent you worked so hard for and you now own the legal rights to your invention or innovation, which you feel will change the world as we know it.
Creating, researching, designing, prototyping, developing, improving... these time investments are mostly behind you now and green field lies ahead.
Marketing your new invention effectively is vital to the success and longevity of the product, not to mention your profitability from sales of the invention.
If you have ever heard the expression “first impressions are important”, multiply that by about a metric ton when it comes to a brand new invention, concept, product or even idea for your target market.
For marketing purposes, your goal is to introduce your product to all of the right people in all of the right ways to create a buzz in the marketplace, and do that in the most efficient way - targeted, relevant, and while wasting the least marketing and advertising spend on non-buyers.
Easy peasy, right?
Depends on your niche, your product/invention, and your goals.
That's why we're going to teach you a different approach right now.
Not Every Inventor Or Entrepreneur Is A Marketer...
...and that's OK.
For you to ideate a new invention, go through the patent process and invest so much of your time is commendable to say the least. It means your wrought with intelligence, savvy, patience, good intention, drive, and a whole bunch more.
But it doesn't mean that you're strapped with a BA in Advertising and up to speed on the latest social media trends or algorithms.
Advertising and marketing your invention is certainly key. But to get started, there may be another way than buying ad space on Google.
And yes, it uses all of those great inventor qualities you possess, plus your charm.
Drawing Up The Marketing Battle Plans
The term “war room” often associated with marketing strategists is an extremely accurate portrayal of the necessary mentality which is required to survive in today’s economy.
A full-on assault must be conducted, all the while taking into consideration the available resources in the form of weaponry.
Budget constraints may be the most significant factor in developing your marketing plan.
It is important to note that virtually unlimited resources could be spent on a new product, but if it is not presented in the appropriate light and liked, it will fail.
To verify the “likability factor” one could confirm it with many politicians, who failed to seem likable, even after throwing tens of millions of dollars in advertising around like it was Monopoly money.
Inventors: You must be heard and you must be well received.
Remember that as you spend any money on marketing.
Ask yourself before each campaign or advertisement: Will this help the right people hear my message, and am I framing it in a way that makes the right person want the product?
Form Your Own NATO
Targeting the specific group of people or corporations who can make the most or save the most money by implementing or selling your new product could be the first and best step in the right direction.
Starting from scratch with a new product is a seriously heavy lift and now it is time to do what we do when we need help moving furniture or equipment...we call our allies.
In this case, let's call them marketing partners - they just don't know it yet.
Suppose your brand new product is such a revolutionary concept that it might save a certain industry a large enough percentage in their manufacturing process to make the difference between a small profit or losing money and being required to layoff some of their workers.
You are definitely going to want to put your product right under their noses as soon as possible.
So the strategy here is to recruit partners or allies for various marketing efforts.
The way to go about this is to revert back to your research, think about your end-users and target markets, and take it one step further.
Apart from that end user, who else benefits from your invention?
If you've invented a component that helps car seats be moved from one car to another more quickly (by the way, someone should get on that idea), you might look at the largest manufacturers of car seats to see who you can get in touch with and how you can ride their waves. (In fact, you might even consider a licensing deal if that were the case)
Understanding Reality vs. Perception When Making First Round Drafts
Why is it that major professional sports teams overlook some of the most talented members of the draft each year?
Let’s follow the logic..best athlete, proven success, knows how to win...can’t control themselves off of the field.
They ordinarily choose the athletes who may not be as gifted, but will not ruin the morale or tarnish the name of a team by being overly arrogant, divisive or tarnishing the name of the franchise in the public eye.
Following that logic, some of the largest and most successful companies in the world have become hiding places for employees who are just trying to draw a paycheck and use the benefits they provide.
Their rosters are just too large to continually monitor performance of their players.
Unless you can establish a meeting with the person who founded a company, the true entrepreneur, exactly like yourself who believes in creating something and building dreams, you may not have success.
As a rule, the more layers of corporate structure to hide in, the more parasites who may not only be so incompetent that they would not know a great idea if it literally jumped up and bit them, but are jealous of people with the courage to pursue their dreams.
So what does this mean for you as the inventor...apart from some validation that you went into the right field?
If You Can't Get Your Arms Around It, You Can't Move It
Pro Tip: Building a strong alliance with medium size companies who will often be operated by the people who built them may make the strongest core group of allies you will ever assemble.
If they have been in business for a long time, they may have great contacts who will help you.
If they pick up the phone and set you up with an appointment with someone they have known for 20 years, they are endorsing you and your product.
Another reason the middle may be the strongest advocate for the “new product on the block” is they want to stick it to the huge corporate giants who many times have lost their souls, many years back.
These corporate giants have often forgotten that a company’s most valuable assets are still the employees, which they now consider replacement parts.
If given the choice of sitting at lunch with dad, son, mom and sister who own a company or wasting your time meeting with some mid-level, brown nose who is going to give you a quick brush-off so they can crawl quickly back into their little cubicle of incompetency before being noticed, hmmm….not that hard.
So form your NATO, and be surgical about your selection process.
Creating The Right Concept To Gain Marketing Partners
Mathematically, it is an easy choice: either sell your product individually to 1000 different clients or create 5 partners in success and let them drive 10,000 units each from their center of influence in the industry.
If you are sincere with these people and marketing partners, they will remember how it felt to start off from square one and genuinely want to help you, especially if your product is saving them money or driving sales.
If your product saves enough money from 5 members of an industry who are in competition, that big company is going to start feeling the pain in reduced profit margins.
Now here is where it gets interesting.
The group of loyal people who helped you expand are now rocking the giant so hard that the actual top people of Big Company X Inc. are likely going to call you.
Here is that first fork in the road from that famous poem… those two paths one must choose from. You can either join the giant or topple him with your allies.
If you join the giant you lose and hurt your allies.
If you help your allies topple the giant and then divide up the spoils between them, you have more than doubled your sales and created a strong marketing group of veterans who will use your product for many years.
If you build a foundation upon loyalty and choose to place the overwhelming strain of dishonor upon it, it will eventually shatter.
I can't tell you which decision to make; what I can do is give you this pre-warning: If you shake the tree, apples will fall.
Do you dodge them, eat them, ignore them, shake the tree again, or other?
I don't know, it depends on your upbringing.
Use your intellect, use your morals, and use your network.
Whatever you choose, make sure you think about this predicament in advance.
Creating Strong Bonds Is As Easy As P.I.E.
People want to be part of something; they want to believe and they want to be recognized as “special.”
Creative marketing packaging will blow competition away every single time. You can take a product which is half as good as the competition, market it two times more efficiently and create 10 times the sales of the better constructed product.
As a society we buy the same brands for years and we keep buying them because for some reason we are convinced they are the best...that my friends is what marketing people do - they create a strong bond with customers built upon perceived trust.
If you have a great new invention and develop a ground floor opportunity by identifying the right “Partners In Excellence” - your allies - the battle is over and you can run your brand up the flagpole where the other top brands once waved.
Something Old & Something New
The great thing about the way the business world has shifted is that most companies did the same things for many years - they created loyalty by exuding integrity and honor in their business practices.
If companies tried to pull even a fraction of the deception over on the consumer as they do today, they would have been ruined, fined, and imprisoned.
Today, accepted tolerance is the number of lives lost before a manufacturer is forced to recall the product they have known was exceedingly dangerous to consumers since they first produced it.
Today, an internet partnership is one where people hide behind the web and try and pick off buyers one by one.
People in the know get commissions on the sales as the consumer is blindsided.
Maybe the world is ready for a change. Just maybe your invention, which went above and beyond to be the best and safest, might genuinely change the world.
If conducting yourself in the business world with sincerity, honor and integrity puts you in a small and specialized minority, maybe that is the best strategy of all.
Everyone is fussing about the “safe place” when the only true safety comes from what lies within us as people. If you are willing to believe in the genuine goodness of humanity and do your best to promote your most proud invention with the utmost integrity, you are traveling back many years. You have found your marketing niche by presenting the most bold and new invention and packaging it in the age old comfy blanket of trust.