(c) 2003 Market Launchers, Inc.


Editor: Paul Niemann



Welcome to the more than 100 inventors who have recently subscribed. "THE ONLINE INVENTOR" now goes out to more than 1,000 inventors. 

Benjamin Obdyke, Inc. continues their ongoing search for new products in the area of exterior home construction. More specifically, they're looking for products that relate to residential roofing and siding. For more details, please visit http://www.BenjaminObdyke.com. You can submit your product online (if it's patented), or fill out the confidentiality form and send it in to them (if it's not patented). I'm serving as their Product Scout, so you can submit your patented product to me if you choose, and I'll forward it on to them. 

Congratulations to MarketLaunchers.com customer Margo Smith, inventor of Mother's Third Arm, who was 1 of the 10 winning inventors in the New Product Hunt co-sponsored by Inventors’ Digest magazine, the United Inventors Association, the Academy of Applied Science and Proctor & Gamble. You'll learn more about Margo's Mother's Third Arm in the first story below, and you can see it at http://www.marketlaunchers.com/innoventions.html

Best Regards,

Paul Niemann

President of MarketLaunchers.com



"Sometimes it's better to be good than lucky!" -- Author unknown
"Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things!"
-- Author unknown


Article # 1:    "Industry Authorities Announce TOP 10 Hot New Consumer Product Inventions"

Article # 2:    "Are You Ready for the Star Search for Inventors?" by Paul Niemann of MarketLaunchers.com (reprinted from my most recent article in Inventors’ Digest; reprinted with permission)

Article # 3:    "The Increasing Power of Publicity … and how it can benefit your business," by Todd Brabender of Spread The News Public Relations, Inc.


Article # 1:    "Industry Authorities Announce TOP 10 Hot New Consumer Product Inventions"

Boston, Mass. – Three industry authorities, The United Inventors Association, Inventors’ Digest magazine, and The Academy of Applied Science, today announced the TOP 10 Hot New Consumer Product Inventions for 2003.

The TOP 10 inventions were selected after the initial field of more than 400 new product inventions was exhaustively evaluated and narrowed to 34-semifinalists. To keep the competition as fair as possible, the initial field and the semi-finalists were scrutinized by different teams of judges.

The inventions were submitted by inventors across the United States into the organizations’ 2003 National New Products Hunt call for entries held during August to celebrate National Inventors’ Month. The search was sponsored by the Proctor & Gamble Company.

The hunt for the new products was prompted by corporate America’s increased interest in finding new product ideas from the public sector. The UIA, Inventors’ Digest Magazine and The Academy of Applied Science answered this call and proudly unveiled The TOP 10 Hot New Consumer Product Inventions for 2003 (in alphabetical order):

The Gearmax Backpack, a backpack that opens up to a hanging portable locker with a wall of pockets, making it easier to find packed items. Inventor: Kenneth "Buck" Albritton of Richmond, Virginia.

The Hand/Wrist Restorer, a disposable device which can be used for the relief of symptoms related to carpal tunnel syndrome. Inventor: Clyde Morgan of Olathe, Kansas.

Little Steps Handrail, an attachment designed specifically for small children, that can be easily mounted and removed without damage to the wall or existing handrail. Inventor: Karen Hargis of Livonia, Michigan.

Mother's 3rd Arm, a holder for bottles and cups with a universal flexible "arm" that easily attaches to wheelchairs, tables, strollers, etc. Inventor: Margo Smith of Phoenix, Arizona.

Multi-Alert, a multiple-unit wireless smoke detector that sends signals to all units in succession after one sound. Inventor: Richard Kirchner of Janesville, Wisconsin.

The Multipurpose Single Sheet Container, a single shipping box that can be configured to different shapes and sizes. Inventors: Richard, Bobby, Susie and Debra Kim, of Aurora, Colorado.

Polar Fusion SoundFlips, acoustic ear warmers that allows users to hear outside sounds more clearly. Inventor: Spring Faussett of Mountlake, Washington

Roller and Stamper, a tool that creates "talking foods," with embossed messages and graphics for advertising, branding and fun. Inventor: Rich Errera of Nesconset, New York.

VISITCOM Doorbell Intercom, a user-installed, wireless front door communication system. Inventor: John Stuart of Scottsdale, Arizona.

The waveRoaster, an at-home coffee bean roaster that eliminates smoke and heat typically associated with the process. Inventor: Glen Poss of Spokane, Washington.

The job of selecting the Grand Prize Winner went to two of our country’s esteemed National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees – Dr. Forrest Bird, inventor of the respirator, and Dr. Robert Rines, inventor of high definition radar and sonar.

"All of the products had great merit, but we looked for the one that we felt would appeal to the most people," said Dr. Rines, after he and Dr. Bird announced that the Grand Prize winner was Kenneth "Buck" Albritton's Gearmax™ Backpack. Gearmax looks like a typical backpack when it's closed, but unzipped it's an extremely well-organized sports or travel equipment bag that can be conveniently hung and used as a "virtual" locker with a built-in ventilation system. Dr. Rines was impressed by the high-quality, detailed components of the product, and Dr. Bird indicated that its usefulness could potentially extend into the medical industry where the Gearmax could be packed with different sizes of respirator equipment when responding to emergencies. "Often we don't know if the emergency is an infant or a large adult," he shared. "This product is perfect to neatly pack different sized equipment and be able to access it quickly." The Grand Prize winner receives a cash prize of $1,000 in addition to other prizes.

According to the Executive Director of the UIA, Robert Lougher, "The Procter & Gamble Company is not the only industry leader reaching out to the independent inventor community. This growing trend is a direct result of the Internet. Because of the educational material available on the Internet, inventors are much smarter and are beginning to understand corporate expectations—which has been a major stumbling block in the past."

The United Inventors Association (www.uiausa.org) was founded in 1990 as an outgrowth of a U.S. Department of Commerce program on innovation in America. This non-profit 501(c ) (3) organization’s membership includes inventor organizations as well as individual members. The UIA’s mission is to educate and support those entrepreneurs who are developing new products.

Inventors’ Digest (www.inventorsdigest.com), founded in 1985, is a national magazine dedicated to educating independent inventors about the new product development process. Articles include success stories and "how-to" pieces as well as networking opportunities for those individuals who have ideas for new products and are seeking assistance.

Since 1963 the Academy of Applied Science (www.aas-world.org) has been dedicated to stimulating people of all ages to think creatively and to realize their innate innovative talents. This non-profit 501(c) (3) organization administers several national and regional youth science and invention programs.

The TOP Ten Prize winners can be viewed online at the United Inventors Association Website: http://www.inventorhelp.com/FirstScreen/HuntTopTen.htm 

Photos of Judging are at http://www.inventorhelp.com/FirstScreen/TopTenJudging.htm 



Article # 1:    "Are You Ready for the Star Search for Inventors?" by Paul Niemann

In the last few years, there have been an increasing number of "New Product Hunts." These Hunts are an opportunity for inventors to receive exposure, prizes, recognition, money, a licensing deal or all of the above. If the Hunt is sponsored by a nonprofit organization such as the United Inventors Association, then the purpose is to create greater exposure for their inventions. If it's run by a company, such as a Hammacher-Schlemmer, then the purpose is to receive new product ideas for possible licensing deals. 

Whether the New Product Hunt is being sponsored by an nonprofit organization or by a company that is looking for new products, there are some very definite and positive things you can do to present your product as well as possible. I am currently a Product Scout for one company and was a judge in the United Inventors Association’s 1st Annual New Product Hunt that was held in August. During those experiences I saw many inventors make mistakes that greatly diminished their chances of success. The following suggestions could possibly have made them winners, and those who will be exhibiting at a trade show or trying to attract the attention of a product scout should also follow these tips!

1.    Find out where the Hunts are.    Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to learn which organizations are sponsoring New Product Hunts. Listings can be found in a number of sources, including this magazine and its web site, www.InventorsDigest.com. On the Internet, do a keyword search on a major search engine.

2.    Follow the rules.    If the rules state that submissions will be accepted ONLY by the Internet, don't mail your information to them. Conversely, if they want ONLY mailed or faxed material, don't call them and don't send e-mails.

3.    Write a great description.    First, simply define the problem. Second, explain how your invention solves the problem. Include details of testing that has been done, as well as objective evaluations from experts in the field. 

4.    Proof-read your submission before sending it in.    Make sure that your contact info is accurate and complete. Surprisingly, some entrants left off part of their address, such as the zip code, while others sent a wrong e-mail address or web address. After you complete the entry form, take couple of minutes to proof read it for accuracy.

5.    Have a web site, or at the very minimum, a web page on an existing site.    "A picture is worth a thousand words," and certainly worth more that the limited text description that you write for the Hunt or for your trade show ad. A web site is fast becoming a necessity in today's business climate.

6.    Have a full presentation ready.    If you have a prototype, that’s good. If you have a working model, that’s better. But if you’ve already made and sold a number of units, that’s the best! Nothing sells like a proven track record because it reduces some of the risk, which is especially important when pitching your product to a product scout.

7.    Sell! Sell! Sell!    Toot your own horn. If you’re selling 500 units per month, say so. If you received positive feedback from the market research that you’ve done, then say so. The product scout or the New Product Hunt judges haven't seen your invention so you have to promote its benefits and its potential in the marketplace. Leave out the painfully excruciating technical details. If you pass the initial screening, you'll be asked for the details. This is your chance to sell ... so do so.

Hundreds -- even thousands -- of people respond to these Product Hunts. Make your submission stand out, and you may be one of the big winners!

Here are a couple of New Product Hunts worth entering:

# # # #

Paul Niemann is president of MarketLaunchers.com, a company that specializes in building web pages for inventors, where they can be seen on his web site's Invention Database by companies who are looking for new products. To get your own web page, visit http://www.MarketLaunchers.com or call Paul Niemann at (800) 337-5758. Niemann also writes a weekly newspaper column about inventions, which you can see at http://www.InventionMysteries.com


Article # 3:    "The Increasing Power of Publicity … and how it can benefit your business," by Todd Brabender of Spread The News Public Relations, Inc.

The Increasing Power of Publicity … and how it can benefit your business.

The call came into my office and the voice on the other end was very energetic, almost giddy: "I have finalized my marketing budget and need your help launching an advertising campaign for my new product," he breathed. "Congratulations," I replied, "but before we implement an ad campaign, I want to make sure you have explored potential PUBLICITY opportunities that could generate some cost-efficient media exposure first." Then, silence. "I never thought about that," he sighed. "Frankly, I don’t know much about it."

He is not alone. It’s a common conversation. Although many entrepreneurs or business people know a bit about publicity or media exposure, the majority of them simply don’t understand the full benefits of "publicity placements" or how to go about generating them successfully. Publicity placements have always been a cost-efficient way to market a product/business and generate clients or customers, but because of lack of knowledge or a misunderstanding of what publicity is and does, many entrepreneurs don’t take full advantage of publicity opportunities -- and that can lead to missed marketing chances.

I recently surveyed a few dozen business owners and entrepreneurs in some newsgroups and business chat rooms about their knowledge of "publicity placements" in the media. I found out that only 37% knew that a simple "product profile" in a magazine was generated as a result of publicity efforts. Most thought the company had paid the media outlet to run the feature, much like an ad. And of that 37%, less than half of them knew HOW to generate a similar placement.

Another interesting fact, because of the recent slowdown in the economy, expensive advertising budgets have been slashed. As a result, many businesses, like your competitors, are turning to publicity/PR campaigns as a more affordable means of marketing to compete with other companies. Here are some ways to use publicity placements to help your business:

Editorial Placements / Media Notification:

What some entrepreneurs might not realize is that we see editorial placements from publicity efforts everyday in the media: product profiles, feature articles and contributed by-lined articles in magazines, newspapers, trade industry newsletters or on TV/radio/cable newscasts & shows. This is not advertising, this is "EDITORIAL Placement" or "Media Notification" of a product, business or industry expert. Notify the appropriate media that your newsworthy product is on the market or your business is offering a unique new service and let them run a feature placement that will spread that message to your consumer market. These placements can detail your product or business very effectively, giving consumers some objective, pertinent information that may well entice them to become future customers.

These editorial placements are looked upon much more credibly than ad placements. That is not a slam on advertising. Paying for advertising placements is indeed an effective way to market your product. But the fact is, a positive editorial placement such as a product profile in a magazine or a newspaper can be much more persuasive than a glossy, over-hyped advertisement – and a fraction of the cost. My point is that editorial placements are an often time overlooked marketing vehicle for a business, and that entrepreneurs should understand the full benefits of these placements to make the most of their marketing efforts.

Editorial placements are a wonderfully reciprocal way for you and the media to work together for the betterment of your business. The media needs to fill its pages and airtime with interesting information -- and you need to get the word out to your market. Research the media market to find those media outlets and editorial contacts with which you can forge that mutually beneficial relationship. But you have to do your part and do it right - or the media will forge that relationship with your competitor. Make sure your media message is solid, contains newsworthy angles and isn’t disguised as overly commercialized ad copy. Have high-quality photos and media samples available and do all you can to make the media’s job of featuring your product as simple as possible. It also helps to have some sort of clipping service in place to track your placements and get you copies so you can use them in your secondary marketing programs.

Expert Branding:

This type of publicity placement generating takes advantage of the expert knowledge within a particular business. It is an effective tool for entrepreneurs whose businesses are more service related, like consultants or specialists. Expert branding basically treats the expert like a product. Alert the media as to your expertise on a specific topic and avail yourself to serve as an expert interview resource for future articles or news feature segments. Additionally, the expert should write a few brief articles on a specialized topic and make them available to editors for review and possible publication. The challenge of this type of publicity placement is the tedious task of finding out which outlets accept "expert editorial contributions" or contributed by-lined articles in their publications. Again, it comes down to meticulously researching your media market to find those media outlets that may be in need of the editorial content that you can provide them.

With some creativity, expert branding can be effective for product-based businesses as well. One client of mine runs a fresh wild salmon distribution business in the Pacific Northwest and was looking to increase consumer awareness of his products. Based on his more than 20 years of experience in the wild salmon harvesting business, we are expert branding him as a viable interview resource to health / food editors for features detailing the differences and benefits of wild salmon over farm-raised fish, as well as other related topics. In this case, my client (the expert) is identified and quoted in features and the name of the business and even a link to a website are often included for consumers to check out. This is great credibility building exposure at little or no cost.

Overall, when using the media to help market your product or business, take advantage of as many FREE media opportunities as you can. If you lack the expertise or time, a PR agency or publicist can generate the editorial placements for you. But the fee you pay them is a FRACTION of what it would cost you to buy similar sized ad placements. And those publicity placements typically lead to a much better consumer response right out of the gate – which is just what you need to boost your business to the next level.

# # # #

Todd Brabender is the President of Spread The News Public Relations, Inc.
His business specializes in generating media exposure and publicity for 
innovative products, businesses, experts and inventions.
mailto:[email protected]
(785) 842-8909


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.)
Copyright 1998 -- 2003

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Click here to read the October 2003 issue.