So, you have a product that you want to sell to the public?
Before dumping all of your cash, time, and resources into your big idea, make sure to avoid these common pitfalls.
Once you have a brilliant concept for a product, it’s difficult not to want to go out and immediately create. But before investing a ton of cash into building prototypes or manufacturing multiple units, you need to develop a plan to actually sell your product.
An effective marketing plan involves defining your target market; developing brand positioning; evaluating the competition; and finally, developing a multichannel marketing strategy.
Too many entrepreneurs fall in love with creation, but not marketing. The result? They end up with a ton of product and no plan for actually making a profit…or even recouping the cost of manufacturing.
Once you’ve come up with your “big idea,” consider who will want to actually purchase. How old is your typical prospect? What’s their average income? What are their demographics and additional interests? Having a grasp of this information will also help you to write marketing copy that persuades your prospects to buy.
Most entrepreneurs also overlook these critical keys to selling product:
-Not developing a prospect database using 3rd party resources – targeting the specific audience that you believe will want to purchase…
-Not hiring a designer to help with brand positioning…
-Not investing in a professional to create lifestyle photography…
-Not incorporating video and animation to show your product in action…
-Not investing in professional copywriting to build a story around the product and develop copy…
-Not having a grasp of a customer/prospect database, and knowing how to target that database, and finally…
-Not knowing how to create content that persuasively positions your product.
The patent process for a small business is not your friend. It can be extremely expensive and painfully time-consuming. You can file a provisional patent, which gives you a one-year window to file for a longer-term patent…but is that enough time to know if your product is really going to take off?
Furthermore, how are you going to enforce a patent? Are you really going to sue a company that may or may not be infringing on your patent? And what about outside of the United States?
While there are some practical reasons for filing for a patent, your better use of resources is to invest your limited capital in building your brand and gaining market share.
Retailers have no interest in unproven ideas that aren’t supported by a history of sales, or at the very least, evidence that your product has a strong market. Retailers want to move inventory, period.
In order to show retailers that your product will actually sell, you’ll need to leverage research and marketing. You need to show them that your product has a specific target audience, and that you already have a strategy in place to sell to this audience. Furthermore, you need to show results – meaning you have to have some track record of directly moving units.
Having a big idea is a great starting point for launching a product. But effective marketing and brand positioning lay the foundation for a profitable business.
In Part 2 of this series on Crowdfunding Marketing, we’ll take a look at how you can use crowdfunding to develop a strategic marketing plan and successfully launch your product.