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THE ONLINE INVENTOR

(c) 2003 Market Launchers, Inc.

http://www.marketlaunchers.com/customer-testimonials.html

Editor: Paul Niemann

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EDITOR'S NOTES:

Fellow Inventors -- as a reminder

We'll be giving away a FREE, 3-MONTH WEB PAGE on May 25. Submit a drawing, picture or sketch AND a description of your patented or patent-pending invention. The one invention that I like the best will win a FREE WEB PAGE on the MarketLaunchers.com web site for 3 months. Those who have already purchased a web page will automatically have your listing extended for 3 full months at no extra cost. It's my way of saying, "THANKS."

We're offering 2 new PRODUCTS / SERVICES - 1 for the novice inventor and 1 for the experienced inventor: 

1. For the experienced inventor:

THE INVENTOR'S 3-PACK, WHICH CONTAINS: 

* A copy of "Web Sites for Inventors." This list of more than 50 links is "The Ultimate Links Page" -- pre-screened and arranged in an easy-to-follow format.

* A list of companies who have either licensed in new products from outside inventors in the past, or are believed to be open to looking at new products from outside.

* The past 2 years worth of articles that I wrote for Inventors' Digest (12 great articles in all).

The total cost of "The Inventor's 3-Pack" is only $75, and it comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. This is a great deal, and you have absolutely nothing to lose. For details or to order, visit http://www.marketlaunchers.com/gold.html 

2. For the novice inventor:

THE INVENTOR'S 3-PACK and a 1-time professional consulting session - up to 30 minutes long. This Question & Answer session is ideal for the beginning inventor who has a lot of questions and wants a lot of answers. You'll receive:

* Do's & Don'ts on inventing, marketing and licensing.

* My opinion on whether or not I believe your invention can succeed and, if there's a chance that it will succeed, you'll learn what I believe it takes to succeed.

* Help with your strategy: Should you manufacture your invention yourself, or try to license it to an existing company?

* Contact names of legitimate people / companies who can help you in the licensing process.

The Inventor's 3-Pack alone has been selling for $75 value, but you can purchase it AND the evaluation for only $95! And, if you later order a GOLD or SILVER web page, then the $95 purchase price will be deducted from the cost. 

Price is subject to change without notice at any time, so call 800-337-5758 to get started.

Best Regards,

Paul Niemann
http://www.marketlaunchers.com/customer-testimonials.html

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FAMOUS / INFAMOUS Quotes  

"Sorry for being late. I was busy pouring my French wine over my Dixie Chicks albums," -- Anonymous

"What this country really needs is a good five-cent nickel,'' -- Franklin P. Adams, American journalist-humorist (1881-1960)

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Article # 1:    "The Consumer Product Pipeline," by Ron Docie, excerpted from "The Inventor's Bible"

Article # 2:    "Location, Location, Location - NOT! Actually it is Marketing, Marketing, Marketing," by Randy Moyse, excerpted from "The Inventors Pocket Guide" 

Article # 3:    "Why 98 % of All Inventions Fail to Produce a Patent," by Paul Niemann

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Article # 1:    "The Consumer Product Pipeline," by Ron Docie, excerpted from "The Inventor's Bible"

Let's start our journey through the channels of distribution, using my own first invention, the Docie wedge mirror, as an example. Our first stop will be retail outlets where a consumer might purchase my invention: in this case, Kmart , Wal-Mart, NAPA Auto Parts, Western Auto, Car Quest, Pep Boys, and Auto Zone. Try to get a good mix of outlets --chains and independents, specialized and more general stores. 

When you first walk in the door, spend some time looking around.

Write down the names and addresses of the manufacturers from the packages.

Now find an experienced store clerk or store manager to interview. At this stage in your interviewing process, it's a good idea to be honest about your intentions. Explain that you are an inventor and have a new product. It is easy (and important) to talk about the general nature of your invention without revealing exactly what it is. For example, say, "I have a blind spot mirror for automobiles that has a design feature that improves the field of view." It would be nearly impossible for anyone to guess your exact design, even when you go on to explain that it is an improved stick-on mirror for outside mirrors on vehicles that offers 30 percent greater viewing image without taking up any more space on the existing mirror. This description mentions two of the advantages of the invention without revealing design specifics. It also lets the clerk or manager know you are talking about vehicle mirrors and, more specifically, add-on accessories. By discussing a particular feature, such as greater view, you provide a basis for the clerk to comment on consumer demand for such a feature.

Clerks or managers may respond positively by stating that your idea sounds like a needed improvement and that they perceive a large call for it. On the other hand, the response may be negative or indifferent. Whatever the response, try to get them to talk about why they feel that way. And don't let a positive response excite you too much or a negative one stop you in your tracks. Each interviewee is one person in one store in one part of the country representing one link of the distribution chain. You have lots of other folks to talk to. 

More helpfully, interviewees may name other products that are purported to offer similar advantages. The manufacturers of these products may be either your potential competition or your potential licensees. Make note of these manufacturers. You'll want to research their product lines further and, perhaps, eventually talk to their key decision makers. Don't forget to ask to see these similar products if the store has them in stock. If it doesn't have them in stock, find out why. Are they sold out? Don't they sell well? Not right for this kind of store? This is all valuable information.

Have a list of questions ready for store clerks and managers. Be sure to ask:

This last question is critical. The people you are interviewing will be basing their answer on years of experience in the industry. They will be considering numerous factors, including which companies have introduced products in the past along these lines and which ones have had successful track records.

Interviewing store managers and clerks (or in the case of industrial inventions, plant managers and engineers) is crucial. It gives you a real, up-to-date image of the marketplace for your invention. It also helps you practice interviewing so you can communicate effectively with others along the distribution channels. When obtain-ing the names, addresses, and phone numbers of distributors, salespeople, and oth-ers in the distribution channel to contact, ask permission to use them as a reference.

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Reprinted with permission from "The Inventor's Bible: How to Market and License Your Brilliant Ideas." Copyright 2001 by Ronald Louis Docie, Sr., Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA

Ronald L. Docie, Sr.
Docie Invention Services *
73 Maplewood Dr.
Athens, OH 45701
USA
(740) 594-5200
http://docie.com

*Includes Docie Marketing, an Ohio Corporation, & Docie Development LLC

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Article # 2: "Location, Location, Location -- NOT! Actually it is Marketing, Marketing, Marketing," by Randy Moyse, excerpted from "The Inventors Pocket Guide" 

Okay, so you have sent out or broadcasted your concept or idea to hundreds of (well, 
maybe ten) possible suitors. You keep getting those inquiries back and you keep sending back out the NDA'S * for their signatures.

How do you sort through and find the company that will be the best fit for your particular idea? As stated before, the first step is to find out what it is they do "in-house" the best. Is it sewing, fiber, plastic, injection molding, glass, and/or sheet metal? Finding out what it is that they excel at will help you to determine whether they will have to subcontract that work out, meaning another hand in the pie.

The next step in defining who it is that you want to be building and marketing your product (if it is possible for the same company to build as well as market) is scoping out the marketing possibilities. How well is the company known? How much of their overall budget is spent on advertising? How often do they change their catalogs (if they use a catalog)? When will the next catalog go out? If it is January now and the next catalog goes out in January, this should be taken into consideration if they have a catalog.

How many pages is it, and how many other catalogs are they involved in? Can they deal on a national level, and have they done so successfully? How about on an international level? Would they consider marketing your idea to Japan or Europe? if you had a golfing idea and they were unwilling to consider marketing it in Japan, that might be a red flag for a "PASS" on them, considering the fact that Japan is a huge fan of the sport.

Another area to consider is how are they at cross sales? Maybe your idea is multifaceted. You would not want your product limited to one source or section of sales. Also, this is where you can throw in the NON-EXCLUSIVE CLAUSE. That way you may shop to a couple of different companies all at one time for different outsourcing and sales. Maybe this for national and another for international sales, or one may be for kitchen uses while another is right for hardware or outdoor uses. The proverbial sky is the limit, but you must identify and clearly state your intentions in full in writing and have them be agreed upon by ALL parties involved, or your goose will get cooked!

As you can see, there is a lot to be taken into consideration when evaluating the needs of your product in relation to what the companies can offer and how willing they are to see it through to the end. I feel that the marketing company can offer are paramount when making the choice about who will be marketing your product for the next several years.

Take it from me, I have had several companies with excellent national sales drop the ball big-time when it came to promoting and marketing my ideas. I have gone both directions. one company spent the time and money to send out several thousand flyers touting the excellence of a new product they had (my little tool gizmo), only to produce very sad products. At the same time, another company went so far as to hire a special marketing agent specifically dedicated to marketing a line of products I had with them.

What I am trying to get at here is, it is up to you to dig around and ask the hard questions. What can your company do for my product? How far are you willing to promote and distribute my product? What is the extent of the financial resources you will dedicate to the promotion of new products? What options do I have if I am not satisfied with the results of your company's marketing capabilities?

Randy C. Moyse's pet peeve # 9,991: Have you ever called a company to order that special heather gray mock turtleneck, only to find out that it is back-ordered for three months? Well, if that was my company making those turtlenecks and they could not keep up on the demand, I guarantee you they would be adios, gone! That is your royalty going down the toilet. When a company is too SLOW to keep up with the demand for a product, resale and repeat business will be reduced considerably.

* Actually, according to Patent Cafe's 10 Fraud Warning Signs (#6), your NDA should be signed (or a negotiated version of that by the company wanting your product, not the otber way around. If they refuse to sign your NDA and substitute their own, you may want to take a closer look at that company.

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Randy Moyce is owner and Founder of Inventors HQ & Inventors Mentoring Services.
http://www.InventorsHQ.com 
Author of The Inventors Pocket Guide: http://www.inventorshq.com/thebook.htm

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Article # 3:    "Why 98 % of All Inventions Fail to Produce a Profit," by Paul Niemann of MarketLaunchers.com

The statistic that I see over and over again is that fewer than 2 percent of issued patents ever produce a profit for the inventor. 

What a tragedy to invent a product, go through the time and expense of getting it patented and, in many cases, getting a prototype made, and then realize that it might not sell.

There's a better way. 

In my five years of working with inventors, I've learned that there are two main reasons why inventions fail: 

Reason #1. There's no market for the product. 

Reason #2. The inventor fails to market it properly.

Here's what you can do to avoid becoming one of the 98%, although this won't necessarily make you one of the 2%: 

Reason #1. There's no market for the product: 

Do your homework: Research your market. This includes the following: 

* Read your industry's trade publication and check out your industry's trade association.

* Talk to potential end-users of your invention to find out whether they would likely buy your product if it were available, and at what price. Make sure you have adequate patent protection, or have them sign a confidentiality form to protect your invention.

* Talk with store managers where your product might someday be sold; ask them if they would use this type of product. Don't get discouraged if some tell you that they haven't had any requests for your product, because it's NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to request something that has not been invented yet. If it appears that there's no potential market for your invention, then it may be best to forget about it and move on to your next great idea. If you came up with one great idea, then you will probably come up with another. 

Reason #2. The inventor fails to market it properly: 

Either do the marketing work yourself, or hire someone that is capable of doing it for you. The key words here are "someone that is capable" and not the invention marketing companies that advertise on TV. Those companies' expertise is in selling YOU to pay them, rather than selling companies to license their clients' inventions. On the other hand, there are capable licensing agents who specialize in doing this, although they are rare. The toy industry is known for working almost EXCLUSIVELY with agents rather than with outside inventors when it comes to licensing in outside products. 

Many inventors either don't want to or don't know how to market a new product. Hey, it's not something they teach in school. Fortunately, it's something that can be learned. Another reason for learning how to do your own marketing is the fact that, as I said earlier, if you came up with one great idea, then you will probably come up with another. And another . Besides, who is more passionate about YOUR INVENTION than you are? Who knows more about YOUR INVENTION than you do? Who is more concerned about YOUR INVENTION than you are? 

So why entrust the business aspect of your invention to a total stranger? Is it because the marketing part seems foreign to you? If so, then jump right in and immerse yourself in your industry. Become an expert in your field. Plus, you can keep all of the profits yourself.

You'll probably never hit your full potential as an inventor if you hire someone else to market your invention; take that role upon yourself if at all possible. The marketing aspect can actually be as gratifying as the inventing part of the process. 

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Paul Niemann's specialty is creating web page advertising for inventors and small businesses. For help in designing your ads, or to get a web site built, contact Paul at (800) 337-5758 or visit his web site: www.MarketLaunchers.com. Inventors who have a web page on his site have their inventions seen by companies looking for new products.

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Until next month, Successful Inventing To You! 

Best Regards,

Paul Niemann -- http://www.marketlaunchers.com/customer-testimonials.html 
(800) 337-5758 (within the U.S. and Canada)
(217) 224-7735 (outside the U.S.)

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