Using my Market-Step process your idea will come to life as we progress in the following steps from idea to launch:
Product and Market Planning
Product Development and Marketing Tactics
Product Launch, Marketing and Selling
Please use this roadmap as a navigational tool to guide and monitor your progress. (See www.Product-Coach.com > Articles for a graphical flowchart.)
* Protect Your Idea (Chapter 4)
When you have an idea, you need to protect it. The first line of defense is to set the date of conception. Start by documenting your idea in an inventorís notebook, but donít file a patent until you evaluate its marketability.
Market Research and Evaluation
* Self-Evaluation (Chapter 9)
Start the Market-Step process by evaluating your product ideaís marketability. Your product idea is marketable if and when it solves a problem, meets a need or want, overcomes competition, and generates a profit.
* Concept Evaluation (Chapter 11)
The second step of the Market-Step process is to determine if people like the concept of your product idea. To test your invention, youíll need to uncover which people or companies are your future customers. After identifying potential customers, ask them to evaluate how well your product idea solves a problem, or meets a need or want.
* Prototype Evaluation (Chapter 12)
The third is detailed evaluation by giving people a prototype to examine. A prototype is a working model that looks, feels, and functions similarly to the finished product. Iíll lead you through the process of creating a prototype that resembles what your customer wants. Then, Iíll show you how to get detailed feedback by interviewing potential customers.
* Funding Your Idea (Appendix F)
Do you need to raise money to develop and market your product? Initially, youíll need money for expenses such as market research, equipment, and prototype development. Raising money is a normal part of doing business when you start, grow, and expand.
* Patent Review (Chapter 13)
You performed a preliminary patent search earlier. Now itís worth your time and money to perform a detailed patent search and possibly file for a patent.
* Self-Market or License (Chapter 14)
What do you do with your new product? Your choices are to either self-market or license it. In some cases you can do both or sell the rights. Self-marketing means turning your idea into a marketable product that you intend to sell directly to an end-user, and/or through a distributor or retailer. Under a licensing agreement, a business will produce and sell your product in exchange for royalties.
Path A: Self-Market Development
If youíve decided to self-market, follow the remaining steps on Path A. If youíve decided to license your idea, see the next section for Path B.
* Product and Market Plan (Chapter 15)
Plan your work and then work your plan. The fourth step of the Market-Step process involves planning product design and marketing programs. Product design results from combining your innovation with needs and wants youíve discovered through research. Market planning involves positioning, pricing, and communications.
* Product and Market Development (Chapter 16)
In the fifth step youíll develop your product in stages (i.e., alpha, beta, commercial release). Youíll use the beta product to obtain feedback to confirm functionality and eliminate bugs before final production.
* Product Launch, Market and Sell (Chapter 17)
In the sixth step youíre ready to move into production and launch your product. This is the most exciting part of your project. Youíve given birth to your idea and are bringing it out into the world. And as you would with a child, youíll need to nurture and grow your product, with marketing and sales strategies and tactics.
Path B: Licensing
Youíve determined that licensing is for you. Follow the steps in Path B to license your product idea.
* Licensing Proposal (Chapter 5)
Before approaching a company or product agent, organize your marketing research into a proposal. Some companies have their own forms to fill out; others ask to submit in your own format.
If you feel comfortable presenting and negotiating, seek companies on your own to license your product. Otherwise, find product agents who will seek companies and negotiate on your behalf.
If the company likes what you have, youíll then negotiate a licensing agreement, then carry out the obligations, and collect royalties.
Now that you have an overview of the steps, my book Product Idea to Product Success, takes you through the details of the Market-Step process, one step at a time.
* This article can be freely published as long as it is not edited, author information is present, and copyright notice is posted.
Copyright 2004 Matthew Yubas. All rights reserved.
Matthew Yubas is a Product Specialist who assists inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into winning products. Mr. Yubas is a Certified Professional Marketing Consultant for the Small Business Development and International Trade Center. He has earned a B.S. in Engineering and an M.B.A. in Management. For more information and free articles, see his website: http://www.Product-Coach.com.