One Can Be More Important Than The Other, But It’s Ideal For Both To Be Strong By April Mitchell


YOUR INVENTION or product itself matters, as does the presentation. But is one more important than the other?
Let’s take a look at these different aspects and see what you think.

How great marketing rocks
Have you ever watched a commercial or infomercial showcasing a new product and thought, “I have to have that!”? Most people have, because this is the marketer’s goal. The way a product is presented and marketed to a potential licensee or consumer can make just about everyone want it if done well—even if the product itself is maybe not the brightest idea or the most innovative.
Take the Pet Rock (July 2017 Inventors Digest), invented in the 1970s by Gary Dahl in a bar after listening to friends complain about their pets. The “pet” rock would not need to be fed, walked, bathed or groomed, and it would not die. Maybe you or your parents had one, but can you believe that people actually paid for a rock instead of grabbing one from their backyard to become their “pet”? More than a million were sold in a short time. There was fun advertising and even instructions on training your rock!

Get your material first
Having solid marketing material before starting to pitch or present your product is crucial. Whether you have a pitch deck, sell sheet or sizzle video or all of them, preparation is key. You may even consider hiring help. I have seen many inventors show me their marketing material they have created themselves. Now, many inventors have these talents and skills and they should definitely use them. However, not all of us do. I know I don’t! I can make a great pitch deck and sizzle video, but when it comes to layering and Photoshopping for a sell sheet, I just don’t have it down yet. We need to know our strengths and weaknesses and hire out things when necessary to give our product the best possibility of making it onto retail shelves.

The pitch person matters
I have found that the person selling or pitching the idea is just as important as the product itself because of their enthusiasm, passion and knowledge for the product. An inventor can have the best idea in the world, but often the world doesn’t get to see these amazing ideas. Why? Not everyone who creates ideas has the ability to also market and sell them. These skills can be learned, but it takes time. Sometimes, inventors are so excited to show their idea or get it into the world that they do so before sufficient marketing material is made. It is hard to hold back our excitement; I know this feeling all too well. However, being premature with presenting a concept that is not fully ready can hurt your chances as an inventor to either license your concept to a company or make the big sales to retail buyers. Having the right person to pitch or present a product is key. It may be the inventor, or it may be another professional. Just make sure the person pitching truly believes in the product, because that will be evident to the audience.

The product side
Of course the product matters!
is done or can be accomplished? Does it solve a problem or make life easier? Is it just so adorable you have to have it? Is it exciting or fun? Does it make you think “Wow!”?
We have all bought products that we thought were amazing, and I am sure we all have bought products that were made to solve an annoying problem. Now think back on that product and whether it really delivered.
Did it work as well as you thought it would? Did it do everything it said it could? Did it last as long as it should have, and were you genuinely happy with your purchase?
Now, think back at why you bought it. Did you purchase it because you were looking for a new product to solve a problem you had—or did you need to replace a product and thought this one is new, so maybe it’s better? Or, did you see the advertising and think it would solve a problem you didn’t even realize you had?
Most often the product matters, as well as many aspects about it. If the product is good enough, many times it will help sell itself.

What’s your market?
Have you ever seen products and wondered,
Is it a new innovation? Is it something that is state of the art? Does it change how something “Who would ever buy this?”
Not every product is for everyone. Not every product is going to be made or sold for the mass market, and that is OK. You may have a product that fits a very small niche, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it.
It can take time to find the right company for your product. However, if there is not a lot of room for many sales, you may want to re-evaluate your time and efforts before deciding to move forward.
For example, if the tooling for your product is going to cost more than the profit you could make on 1,000 or even 10,000 units, it may not be worth your time and money or a licensing company’s. Be sure to think about these things and evaluate them before going all in.

The power couple
Awesome product + amazing presentation— that is a power couple.

The Pet Rock is a prime example of presentation over product.

If you have a great product and a fantastic presentation, you increase your chances of either licensing your product or making those sales if manufacturing on your own. Both the product and presentation matter. But can you win with just one of these as a strength? Yes—but if you can combine the two, you will more likely land where you want. And if you add that wonderful salesperson to the mix, you will go even further.