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How to Market Your Invention

Part of the Inventing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Do some thorough research about marketing your invention because whether you, or someone else, decide to produce, distribute and market your invention, the success of your idea is only as good as your marketing plan. A good product successfully marketed is worth more than a great product poorly marketed.

Going to market

You have three choices on how to bring your product to market:

  • You do everything — manufacture, market, and sell.

  • You subcontract the manufacturing and concentrate on marketing and selling your invention.

  • You license your intellectual property rights to a company that arranges the manufacturing, marketing, and selling aspects and pays you a royalty (a percentage on each unit sold).

Planning your marketing strategy

To paraphrase Thomas Edison, “I’m not going to invent anything unless it will sell.” You can create the greatest invention in the world, but unless the world knows about it, what difference does it make? The way to make a difference is through creative marketing and advertising efforts. Some marketing tips:

  • Find out as much about the industry your product sells in as you can. Educate yourself about wholesalers and distributors, manufacturers, and competition.

  • Use every resource you have for assistance, including the Internet, the Small Business Association, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, local college and university business schools, and inventor organizations.

  • Let the customer drive your product. Find out what customers like and — even more important — don’t like about your invention and try to accommodate their preferences.

  • Likewise, realize that the customer determines the price of your product. You charge what the customer will pay and work out your profit margins from that.

  • Most importantly, once you have customers, pay attention to them.

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