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Posts Tagged ‘inventing’

Take an all-Inclusive trip to China to tour factories and learn manufacturing overseas. 

With our DRTV Summit quickly approaching, most of the talk around the water cooler here at InventionHome has been about the latest infomercial products… (honestly, can you believe that Happy Hot Dog Man??).  While we’ve been busy searching for inventions with the “Wow! Factor”, the United Inventors Association (UIA) has teamed up with China-2-West to wow us with an inventor’s dream trip. 

Any inventor interested in manufacturing his or her product should seriously consider signing up. The first 20 inventors will have the opportunity to learn about off shore manufacturing first hand through factory visits, educational seminars, and entry to the world’s largest product tradeshow in Canton.

When:  October 20 – 30, 2011

Includes:

o       Round trip airfare between New York or San Francisco and Hong Kong

o       Transportation in China

o       All hotel accommodations in 4 & 5 star hotels

o       3 meals per day

o       All access pass to Canton Products Show

o       Factory Tours

o       Inventor Education Seminars

o       Local Sight Seeing and Cultural Visits

The educational value alone would be worth the expense, but add the cultural experience of China to an already unbelievable deal and Wow! you have the trip of a lifetime! 

For More Information or to save your spot – Contact Eric Bouldin by email on eric.bouldin@china2west.com or by phone on 650-921-3088.

 

 

 

For help with your invention or patent call 1-866-844-6512

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In light of our upcoming DRTV Product Summit (September 28, 2011), we thought a few words here on what makes a great product “pitch” would be beneficial to our readers.

In preparation for the Summit, we put together some guidelines specific to the Direct Response (infomercial) industry, but in reality many of these tips can apply across all categories.  Bottom line is…if you are meeting with a company in order to pitch your invention, whether it be a household gadget or a medical whatzit, proper preparation will increase your chances of success. 

First tip:  EDUCATE YOURSELF.  This means know the category/market into which your invention falls.  Clearly understand the “problem solved” and consider objectively just how big that problem is.  Research other products that solve the same problem and know their shortcomings. 

Second tip:  KNOW YOUR PRODUCT.  Know the patent status of your invention (and for that matter, of any competitive products/prior art, too).  Clearly define the benefits and features of your product and compare/contrast with your competition.  If you have sales history, be prepared to share.  If you have (or can obtain) manufacturing costs, be prepared to share.

Third tip:  PITCH LIKE A PRO.  Be enthusiastic, but remain factual…to say that “my invention is the only one of its kind”, or “this is a million dollar idea” don’t really help your credibility.  Tell your story…define the problem…but keep it brief (not boring!).  If your invention is conducive to an on-site demo, practice it at home and have all the props organized for a smooth presentation.  If you can’t demo on-site (maybe your invention requires a hot oven as a prop), can you provide a video? 

Should you find yourself face-to-face with a company evaluating your invention, we hope these tips come in handy and wish you much success.

2011 DRTV Product Summit – Private pitch sessions with 6 leading infomercial companies in one location  CLICK TO SUBMIT

Click here to download the DRTV Product Summit Tip-Sheet.

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Chances are that if you own a television set, you have witnessed the phenomenon known as DRTV.  Called “direct-response television”, DRTV advertisements have the goal of generating instant action by the viewers, and they typically include a toll-free number and website address to facilitate orders.  Some famous examples of DRTV spots include the Snuggie®, PedEgg®, and who can forget the Ginsu Knife ads of the 1970’s?

If you are considering presenting your invention to a DRTV company, take some time to learn about the industry, develop your presentation to address their market needs, and also set yourself some appropriate expectations.  Here are some tips…

  1. Understand the market.  There are certain qualities that most DRTV products share.  Consider how your invention will stack up to these criteria and address them head-on in your presentation:
    • They fall in categories that appeal to very broad audiences, such as housewares/kitchen, cleaning devices, tools, fitness/exercise, weight-loss, and personal care.
    • DRTV products can be easily demonstrated, and that demonstration usually depicts some sort of problem-resolution…like demonstrating how one can become more beautiful, happier, skinnier, and the like. 
    • Price point is extremely important.   A product that sells on DRTV for $19.99 will ideally cost $4.00 or less to manufacture.   

 

  1. Put your best foot forward.  Convincing a DRTV company that your invention is the next multi-million dollar Snuggie is the goal.  The question is; are you putting your best foot forward to convince them to invest in your invention, which could potentially cost a DRTV company thousands in developing, manufacturing and marketing your invention, depending on where you are in the process. If your invention is not already developed, your best bet is to have either a high quality virtual design or working prototype, which can tangibly demonstrate your invention.   Even a basic or crude video of your invention can help in catching these companies’ attention.
  1. Be willing to let go.  Some inventors want to dictate the design, materials, even what factory the potential DRTV company must use.  Don’t let this be your downfall!  As mentioned above, DRTV products have extremely demanding price models due to the large sums of money spent both on developing the commercial and buying the television media/spots.  In most cases, the DRTV companies can achieve more competitive pricing from their factories than inventors can provide, based both on the companies’ clout and the sheer volume of product that they can potentially order.  Other things like product features, manufacturing materials, and accessories can also play a significant role in determining price, giving companies even more reason to maintain product control.

 

  1. Have Realistic Expectations!  Along with their well-defined pricing model, most DRTV companies have standardized license agreements for inventors with very little wiggle-room on royalty percentages.  Although their royalty levels may appear on the low end, consider these factors before saying no to a deal: 
    • Are you comparing apples to oranges?  There could be a BIG difference in how DRTV royalties are paid versus more “traditional” product royalties.  Since most royalties (at least in my experience) are based on net revenues, let’s consider what that means.
      • For a “traditional” distribution model, there could be many middlemen.  A company might sell their widget to a distributor for $8.  The distributor might sell to a retailer for $10.  The retailer might sell to consumer for $19.99.  In this example, an inventor royalty is based on the only cost the company actually controls, which is their net revenue of $8 (less any agreeable fees).
      • For a DRTV distribution model, the DRTV company might sell their gadget through a television ad, which targets the consumer directly, for $19.99.  Guess what?  In this scenario, the inventor royalty is based on $19.99! 
    • Consider the volume of product sold!  Successful infomercial products don’t just sell hundreds…or thousands of products.  They sell MILLIONS.  Enough said?

 

  1. Prepare yourself.  It’s widely understood in the DRTV industry that a large majority of products tested will actually fail, which is the nature of the business.  Many DRTV companies will say that “9 out of 10” products they test will fail, which is why they are interested in market testing many products to see which will ultimately succeed.  If you enter the deal with this knowledge and understand the odds, you could save yourself a lot of heartache if your product doesn’t ultimately succeed.

 

Best of luck to you as you navigate the DRTV arena!

Need help protecting, designing or marketing your invention?  Call 1-866-844-6512.

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2010 proved to be a year of great growth and progress at InventionHome even though the economy was sluggish and challenging.  In addition to developing many new partnerships and relationships, we had a record year in completing licensing / marketing agreements for our clients, reaching 40 deals for 2010 (120 overall). 

We are pleased to share some 2010 highlights.   

 

 40 New Deals Completed…  After wrapping up 2009 with 20+ deals for the year (80 overall), we were determined to double the number of deals in 2010 for our clients.  After completing our 100th marketing agreement overall in late April on an invention called “Leaf Wizard,” an innovative lawn & garden product, we went on to finalize 20 more reaching our goal of 40 for the year (120 overall). 

 

InventionHome launches tradeshow invention portal!

Through partnerships with the National Hardware Show, International Housewares Association and Response Expo, we created and launched our innovative, new search portal strategy to enable national tradeshows to be able to offer their members and site visitors easy access to InventionHome clients’ inventions directly from their websites.  Today, each of these tradeshows has our portal on their websites, with more shows to come.    Example: http://inventionhome.com/invportfolio/portal.aspx?source=nationalhardwareshow

 

TV Debut of five InventionHome products!  We saw the national test of two Infomercial campaigns for our “Sofa Caddy” (rebranded “Couch Commander”) and “Access Door Lever” (rebranded “Turneez”), as well as three of our products which were featured on QVC:  Micro Mixer, VibeAway and Leaf Wizard.

 

InventionHome sponsors National Hardware Show!  We were honored to sponsor the 2010 National Hardware Show in May, along with the United Inventors Association and Garden Weasel®.  It is one of the largest annual trade shows in the world, gathering over 2,800 consumer products companies at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  While there, we connected with many manufacturers in the hardware industry, exhibited side-by-side with inventors in the Inventor Spotlight are of the show, and assisted then-UIA Executive Director Patrick Raymond with judging and managing the Inventor Spotlight merit awards.

 

InventionHome sponsors Response Expo!  InventionHome personnel returned from Las Vegas’ Hardware Show for just enough time to pack some clean socks before leaving for San Diego and the Response Expo.   The Response Expo, considered the industry’s foremost direct response marketing trade show and conference, is produced by Response Magazine and the Direct Response Marketing Association.  InventionHome was pleased to sponsor the Inventor Pavilion area of the show, interact with many inventors in attendance, and also build upon our relationships with some key players in the infomercial industry.

InventionHome partners with TAGIE (Toy and Game Expo)!  InventionHome was pleased to sponsor the Toy and Game Inventor Expo (TAGIE) in November, the only industry event designed exclusively to help the new toy and game inventor and entrepreneur by providing networking and educational opportunities. 

 

 

InventionHome launches the North American Product Innovation Network!

We were excited to launch a first of its kind gateway for providing inventors easy access to North American companies seeking innovative products and inventions available for wholesale, license or acquisition.  North American Product Innovation Network(SM) also provides companies across North America with a centralized source for finding innovative products within the United States and beyond

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inventionhome-launches-north-american-product-innovation-network-sm-99484469.html

 

 

InventionHome president, Russ Williams, began his term on the United Inventors Association Board of Directors!  Russ is committed to helping inventors through education and programs, and as a UIA board member, he has a great vehicle to continue on his mission.

Call us at 1-866-844-6512 to learn more. You’ll be glad you took the first step.

For more information about Invention Home you can visit the following websites – http://twitter.com/inventionhome, http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home

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by Amy Frey

 

 

 

 

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about Chicago being dubbed the “The Toy and Game Inventing Capital of the World”. 

After experiencing the Toy and Game Inventor Expo (TAGIE) last week in the windy city, held in conjunction with The Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTag), I’d have to say that both events are key to the city earning the well deserved designation.  TAGIE brought together over 40 experts in the toy industry eager to share their knowledge with novice toy inventors.  For two full days, panels of experts addressed topics from licensing your invention for royalties to manufacturing it yourself overseas. 

 

Since InventionHome was a TAGIE sponsor, I had the opportunity to attend the discussions and meet with toy industry executives from companies such as Hasbro and ThinkFun.    Large companies such as Hasbro typically work with professional toy developers and brokers to source new products from inventors. They simply don’t have the time (or the need) to work with the independent inventor that doesn’t understand their product needs at the required level.  Large companies want products that meet their business initiatives and can be implemented quickly without any handholding.  Many smaller companies are more willing to take an undeveloped product and massage it to fit their product and brand requirements, but inventors must still do their homework in order to be taken seriously by any company.  Here is some basic advice on the first steps to market your invention from the industry experts:

 

  1. Research the market for similar games/toys. Understand how your game play or toy is different.  Look online and in toy stores and mass retailers.
  2. Test the game/toy with strangers (your family and friends are going to like it no matter what!)
  3. Make sure the product is a good fit for the company.  For example, if the company sells adult games don’t send them a pre-school toy! This seems obvious but it’s a pet peeve of many companies that continually receive inappropriate product submissions.

 

Obviously, there’s much more advice and helpful information on all kinds of topics for inventors than I’m able to share in this brief blog.  If you’re considering “next steps” for your own invention, consider taking advantage of InventionHome’s experience, knowledge and industry connections and contact us today for more information on how to get started.  If you are a toy inventor, whether looking to license or manufacture your invention yourself, I encourage you to consider attending TAGIE next year.  Mary Couzin puts on a fabulous event that really lets you learn how the toy industry operates while giving you the chance to show your product to companies interested in inventions.  Even if you don’t get lucky and snag a deal, you will gain valuable feedback on your product.

 

In addition to TAGIE, InventionHome is also pleased to sponsor the Kid Invention Show to air on Got Invention Radio in January of 2011.  Brian Fried, the host of the show, was at ChiTag interviewing 40 kid inventors that took part in the Young Inventor Challenge.

 

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InventionHome’s president, Russell Williams, will be a guest on an upcoming show to discuss the inventing process and how InventionHome helps inventors commercialize their inventions.  Look for more information about both shows on the InventionHome blog.

Call 1-866-844-6512 for information on licensing your invention for royalties!

 

For more information about Invention Home you can visit the following websites – http://twitter.com/inventionhome, http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home

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The second week of October proved to be an exceptionally busy week for InventionHome’s marketing & licensing department, which netted an incredible FOUR license agreements in one week!  With the additional four agreements finalized, InventionHome marketing and licensing successes now stand at 117.  2010 is shaping up to be their highest performance licensing year on record with a 100% growth rate over 2009.

The four agreements mentioned include products called the Bead Bender, Lawnmower D’Light, Step Ramps and Cargo Sling.  Each of the license agreements was born by the hard work and dedication of an independent inventor.  Two of the licensed inventions fall into the automotive/vehicle category.  They were both licensed to a company that focuses on motorsports products.  The company hopes to see both products on the market by third quarter 2011.  The third licensed product can best be described as a headlight for a lawnmower.  A company with strong ties to Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears, etc. licensed the product with hopes that their customers will embrace the clever device.  Our fourth licensed product may be featured on a television infomercial coming soon!  We can’t disclose too many details.  Suffice it to say that the simple product will keep your car nice and tidy.

These four licenses exemplify the effectiveness of InventionHome’s marketing program.  Granted, not every invention is going to succeed.  But InventionHome has laid the framework to get invention details into the hands of key decision makers at thousands of companies.  By developing streamlined processes both to share invention details, and also to assist companies with any interest inquiries, InventionHome has become a respected resources for companies seeking new products for license.

Call 1-866-844-6512 for information on licensing your invention for royalties!

 

For more information about Invention Home you can visit the following websites – http://twitter.com/inventionhome, http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home

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The invention of candy corn occurred over 130 years ago in a small town in Philadelphia and is credited to the Wunderlee Candy Company.  An employee of the Wunderlee Candy Company named George Renninger, was credited with the invention.  Wunderlee was the first to begin manufacturing the product in the late 1800s; then Goelitz Candy Company (which later became the Jelly Belly Candy Company) started making these candies and continues to make candy corn today.

Candy corn instantly became popular among farmers due to its appearance of an actual piece of corn and the three colors making up the single piece of candy made it a revolutionary invention for its time.  However, since manufacturing was cumbersome and slow in the early 1900s, candy corn was only produced between the months of March and November. Candy corn has changed very little since its invention and has become has become the most popular Halloween candy of all time. 

Today, nearly 8.3 billion candy corn kernels are sold every year – 80% of which are sold during the months of September and October!

For help with your INVENTION, call 1-866-844-6512!

 

 

source – http://sweetcandycorn.blogspot.com/2008/10/who-invented-candy-corn.html

For more information about Invention Home you can visit the following websites:  http://twitter.com/inventionhome, http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home

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