Deciding how to bring your invention to the next level can lead you into different directions. You may need to pitch your soon-to-be product to retail buyers, licensees, agents or representatives and should take the time to evaluate what may be the best options for you. Do your research and make sure you are not pitching a shovel to a kitchen gadget company!
Infomercial Companies and Inventions
Direct Response TV (DRTV) companies that sell products on TV are looking for mass audience appeal and will pick up where you left off in your invention process. Pay attention to infomercials you see, get a sense of how they are delivering their pitch and what type of audience they are focused on. Notice that most follow the pattern of problem-solution ideas. Ask yourself if you think your invention could be demonstrated in a way that the TV commercial delivers the message and evaluate the price points. Before presenting to a DRTV company, do your research and due diligence by visiting their websites, going to retailers that sell AS SEEN ON TV products and jot down the companies listed on the packaging to review online.
Presenting to Your Invention’s Industry
If you are want to pitch an industry specific product, look for the leader brands by visiting their websites and/or call their office and find out what their process is to pitch or submit your invention. Make sure your invention idea is relevant to the company’s product line. There are agents within industries that can walk your idea to the licensees or you may want to attend upcoming industry trade shows relevant to your invention. You can go onto trade show listing websites such as [Trade Show News Network] (www.tsnn.com), search by industry, area, and region. Once you find a tradeshow you can attend, visit the website, review sign up credentials needed and attend. Many are inventor-friendly and even have a dedicated area to showcase new inventions. When you are at the tradeshow, you have the opportunity to see new products from the industry, find potential licensees and maybe even bump into a few buyers along the way.
Catalogs and Inventions
Catalogs are looking for unique, specialty products to insert into their print and online catalogs. When you contact them and they accept your product, they purchase finished goods from you and do not license it from you. You need to be ready with inventory to ship from or a date when your product will be ready to ship to their warehouse. Be prepared to send samples to the catalog buyers after you have made contact and they are interested. Once accepted, they will send you a vendor agreement to be filled out and get set up with them, followed by a purchase order with quantity requested and window to ship. Catalogs can be a great launching pad for your new product with smaller orders and higher margins to get you started.
TV Shopping Channels and Inventions
Home shopping channels may also be a good way to gauge interest and make money when launching your invention. Spend some time watching the format of these channels and look at their schedules for the show times that are similar to your product. Go to the shopping channels direct websites and sift through the required product submission process or call someone that already has a relationship there that can make the process easier and quicker to get to the appropriate contacts. Finished products, demonstrations and pricing should be available to present to the buyers when called upon for next steps.
Be prepared when presenting your invention to companies by knowing your product and industry, who you are presenting to and determine what your expectations are as well as your potential distribution partner. Keep your emotions out of your decisions and put yourself in the marketer’s position. Think about what’s in it for them first, who their audience is and then make your decision to move forward..