Brand Funding And Licensing Timing Issues with David Lieberstein

2021-02-22T16:40:08+00:00August 16th, 2018|Brand It, Licensing, Office Hours, Podcasts|

As inventors, when we have great ideas, we like to find the perfect manufacturer to license our product and sit back and make tons of money. Dream product guru David Lieberstein is an expert in brand licensing and got to experience the pros, the cons, and the pitfalls of all that's entailed in doing so. David had his own companies for a number of years in the houseware and gift industry. The last company he had for 25 years was called Wine Things Unlimited where he worked with the artists for designs but also did a lot of licensing for the designs to put on their three-dimensional sculptures. Five years ago, he became a consultant to work with inventors to help them launch their own companies and take the next steps to find the right manufacturer to license their products. David talks about what to focus in on and what [...]

Amazon Wants to Buy Your Product Directly – Is That a Good Thing?

2021-02-22T17:18:36+00:00July 23rd, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

If you are already an Amazon seller, or maybe an entrepreneur looking for opportunities to grow your brand who is considering to sell your products on the world's leading e-Commerce platform, you might have heard of the terms "seller central," and "vendor central." Being on the seller central side in Amazon means you own the product and have complete control of the sales process of your products, from listing to marketing and promotions-- while being on the vendor central side means Amazon has bought your product. While it seems like a very handsome prospect, being a vendor central brand means there will be some restrictions with regard to your products' sales cycle process flow. Brenda Crimi discusses the pros and cons of being a seller central brand versus being a vendor central brand on Amazon, so you can make an informed decision on how to manage your sales on the [...]

Is Product Patent Protection Worth It?

2021-02-22T17:40:32+00:00July 12th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Two of our legal experts on Office Hours, Attorneys Jason Webb and Rich Goldstein, have both emphasized the need to do a thorough assessment of one's overall business strategy before considering filing for a patent because it can both be a daunting and costly process. With over 38 patents (pushing 40) under our belt as product designers, Tom and I have pretty much mastered how to make a business case for patenting products under development in our business. We have learned that patents should be filed only when you are truly sure of selling or commercializing your idea or product, especially if you are a small business owner, product innovator or inventor up against bigger brands with deeper pockets. Grow your business by learning how to maximize intellectual property, and knowing how to make the crucial business decision of whether you should patent your invention. Watch the Episode Here: Listen [...]

Amazon First Steps

2021-02-22T18:01:45+00:00July 9th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Certified Amazon experts Jeff and Jenna of Turnkey Product Management teaches you how to market on Amazon faster with the definitive building blocks of a high-converting online store on the world's biggest e-commerce platform. They apply these basic principles in their own Amazon production management company, where they help clients from a range of different industries with widely diverse product categories sell over $1,000,000 in total a month. Jeff and Jen give you the lowdown on why selling on Amazon is worth the time and effort, and reveal concrete fundamental solutions on how you can extend your reach by maximizing the e-commerce platform's many useful features to prime potential clients with spending power to buy from your very own Amazon store. Watch the Episode Here: Listen to the podcast here: --- I’m Jenna Lieber from TurnKey. I'm Jeff Lieber from TurnKey Product Management. We just wanted to go through [...]

How to Create a Me Only Product with a Killer Unique Selling Proposition

2021-02-22T18:04:23+00:00June 22nd, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

We often talk about how having a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for any brand is vital for product launch success. In the product design world, we also call a unique or original product as "Me Only Product." When we say "Me Only," it means that it is something that only you are manufacturing, that you are the only one selling it in the market, that you are the only game in town. It is easy to throw unique features, and all sorts of bells and whistles onto a product at the marketing stage and say that it's the only one in the market-- but being in the real "me only territory" means that you cater to your target market's needs, that they are able to make an emotional connection with your brand or product-- and doing it right entails a great deal of product development planning, which will definitely cost [...]

Meet Branding and Video Marketing Expert Rick Cesari

2021-02-22T18:05:38+00:00June 21st, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

After graduating with a degree in biology, our branding and video marketing expert Rick Cesari, founder of Direct Branding got involved into real estate marketing, and discovered that he had a knack for it-- from then on, he continued treading the marketing path and branching out to other industries, approaching things with a direct response mentality. His passion for marketing and branding lead him to set up his own company back in 1989, where he became part of the team that made juicing popular to consumers, and in bringing other health products into mass retail. Since then he has contributed his expertise to help develop and market billion dollar brand names like the Sonicare, George Foreman Grill, Oxiclean, and many other consumer products, including, more recently, the GoPro. Get monthly access to Rick's in-depth industry know-how so you can create and implement a solid business strategy that highlights your brand's [...]

What Comes First, Brand or Product?

2021-02-22T18:10:33+00:00June 19th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

So you have a product that you think will sell on Amazon, or through Walmart's or Target's shelves. Maybe you are still playing around with the idea, or you might be in the early stages of product design and development and you want to take a step back by asking which comes first before launching your product: is it branding, or perfecting your product? Many innovators, inventors, and non-business savvy people get completely shocked when we say that branding must come first. The truth is that many of the things involved in product development and the design process are expensive and time consuming. Discover why knowing your brand the first step in determining the best product design as well as in identifying the perfect retail price, and in knowing how to channel your marketing efforts in the most effective way possible. Watch the Episode Here: Listen to the podcast here: [...]

Meet Design for Manufacturing Expert Dennis Shaver

2021-02-22T18:10:29+00:00June 18th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Our resident design for manufacturing (DFM) expert Dennis Shaver from Product on Demand serves you "inventreneurs" his invaluable industry knowledge and insight to help you get from mind to market to profit faster. Born and raised in a dairy farm in Michigan, Dennis has the unique experience and skill set honed by years of working side by side with his brothers and parents for the farm's upkeep-- during those formative years, he learned how to be resourceful when it came to repairing and inventing things as he dealt with both livestock and machinery. This has become a solid foundation for Dennis as he took on more advanced jobs throughout his flourishing career in manufacturing and production. He is eager to share with you how to increase efficiency and reach your business bottom line with solid planning, as well as proper communication across all units involved in manufacturing your product. --- [...]

Pricing By Design: Formulas for How to Profitably Price Your Products

2021-02-22T18:12:30+00:00June 18th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Many of you probably think that product pricing is purely science, because it involves a lot of math, data, and pieces of information consolidated and analyzed to get optimal results. We are seasoned product designers and entrepreneurs here, yet pricing products is an ongoing struggle because it does not wholly rely on scientific data and mathematical formulas-- identifying the perfect product price also relies heavily on human psychology, on ever-changing cultural, sociological, economic and political climates, and ultimately rides on how much you understand your target market's behavior and what drives them. It requires making a thought-out plan with clear revenue goals based on your specific business model, on your product, and on proper timing, among other things to create a realistic profitable pricing strategy that will up your revenue. You can always schedule a call with us, or with one of our experts like Tim Bush so we can [...]

Avoid These Top 7 Market Research Mistakes

2021-02-22T18:12:28+00:00June 17th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Our resident consumer market research expert Laura Hazzard warns product launchers about the top 7 consumer market research mistakes that can cause a lot of damage and possibly torpedo your overall business and marketing strategy. She packed in a lot of meaty information in a span of seven minutes, solidifying her excellent points on quantitative and qualitative market research fails and how to avoid them. Laura says that good market and product research sets the path forward to great product development, usability, distribution, advertising and marketing, building your brand, and ultimately selling more products for bigger profit. You can get a deeper dive into her market research expertise and use it to grow your business through our membership podcast, where she will happily answer all your market research concerns. Watch the Episode Here: Listen to the podcast here: --- Welcome back to another Office hours. This one is [...]

Know the Difference Between Styling, Branding, and Design

2021-02-22T18:13:38+00:00June 16th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Styling is just one small component of design. Think of celebrity stylists who dress celebrities for red carpet events-- they shop for their clients, putting together accessories, clothes, and other components to make a whole look. Product styling is not so different, in that it merely deals with combining colors and materials that work well together. There is no design or invention involved, as it does not deal entirely with features that are focused on the users' primary needs, unlike in product designing. At its core, styling is about achieving a certain look to convey brand image-- that is why it is problematic if you only have a stylist designing a product that you are making. The best product designers understand the limits of manufacturing, as well as how to get the most out of design techniques to get the perfect balance between form and function, as well as aesthetic. [...]

Meet Joseph Tarnowski, Expert in Connecting Brands to Retail Buyers

2021-02-22T18:14:51+00:00June 15th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Office Hours Expert Joseph Tarnowski has multiple industry experience when it comes to watching companies do what goes right and what goes wrong in terms of retail and marketing. With a degree in Trade Media Journalism, he has had extensive experience working in the food industry, general merchandise, health & beauty, and pharmaceutical industry. He is with Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing (ECRM), a company that helps connect retail buyers to prospective retail suppliers such as you product launchers. We have known Joe through ECRM, where we used their time-saving and cost-efficient service as buyers in the contract furniture industry. Know the basics of getting a great match between buyers and suppliers in retail by touching base with Joe, who will share his no-nonsense know-how on connecting brands to retail buyers. --- Watch the Episode Here:  Listen to the podcast here: --- I have a great new experts [...]

Secrets To Working With Your Spouse

2021-02-22T18:18:31+00:00June 12th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

People think it's kind of odd that we're a husband and wife design team, but our dynamic works perfectly for us. We started working together back in college. Our complimentary set of skills overlap at the right touch points, especially when it comes to our overall mutual user-focused design principles. Unlike in corporate settings where people have qualms in speaking out for fear of untoward judgment, we are both capable of having an open, honest debate when it comes to our job as product designers. Most importantly, we have a high level of trust and respect for each other. It is not without its challenges though-- there are lots of other husband and wife teams running a business together and we're not much different, we just happen to be designers doing it. It's because we work together 24/7 that we are good at what we do-- we never stop designing [...]

Do It Right: Early Stage Funding for Your Business

2021-02-22T18:26:29+00:00June 8th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

We first raised money for an invention way back in 1997 and had around 13 angel investors-- way more than what we recommend now that we have learned through our years of professional experience as product designers and entrepreneurs. The two of us are cautious about raising capital via crowd funding because there is truly a lot of pressure in giving small pieces of your company to investors, and often times it does not necessarily go into the best interests of the business. From the perspective of inventors trying to build a company from the ground up, it is absolutely necessary for you to have complete legal compliance when it comes to documentation of your intellectual property, getting a great product or business plan presentation together, and to use systems in place that can help you track your progress. We will be talking about equity crowd funding, warnings about Kickstarter [...]

To NDA or Not To NDA

2021-02-22T18:30:31+00:00June 6th, 2018|Inventors, Licensing, Office Hours, Podcasts, Produce It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Sourcing|

Here you are, with a great idea or invention and wanting to explore business opportunities with another company to expand your brand. Then suddenly, when you propose a legally-binding non-disclosure agreement (NDA) at the infancy of the negotiation stages, often even before your initial consultation with them, all communication with them stops. While you should seek proper legal counsel to make sure all terms within the contract are fair, and that first step alone takes up so much time, money and effort---one of the most important lessons we've learned through our many years of practical experience as product innovators is that NDAs almost always slow or stop negotiations if you propose them first. Despite its popularity, filing an NDA, also known as secrecy agreement (SA), confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), or proprietary information agreement (PIA) has its drawbacks. It can sow distrust between parties, foiling a mutually beneficial relationship before it matures. Learn how NDA's can put you in the wrong position [...]

Meet Small Business Patent Expert Rich Goldstein

2021-02-22T18:30:33+00:00June 5th, 2018|Licensing, Office Hours, Podcasts, Protect It|

"People ask me, 'what's the costliest part of patenting?' I'll tell them, the costliest part of patenting is your misinformation about patents," says our Product Launch Hazzards expert Attorney Richard Goldstein, author of the American Bar Association's Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent. Rich graduated with an Engineering degree before being a patent lawyer, and has the unique combination of having a systems-oriented brain from his engineering background, combined with a liberal arts mind that enables him to write really well, allowing him understand the finer details of product designs and explain precisely what is needed for effective applicable patents . He has dedicated his law career into educating and helping individuals, small business owners, startups, product developers and inventors understand the core principles of patenting. He started teaching the patent process in the early 90's, and has created a 6-part video series on the basics of patenting with over 10,000 views. Discover [...]

Working Prototype or Appearance Model?

2021-02-22T18:31:37+00:00June 4th, 2018|Capital Funding, Inventors, Licensing, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Sourcing|

The choice between creating a working prototype (a product sample that looks, feels, and works like the actual product), an appearance model (non-functional, but adheres to actual products physical appearance, and dimensions), or a functional prototype (a crude model with limited functionality, often used to present a a product under concept development) for product presentation has often confused product innovators. There are a range of factors to consider, from budget constraints, product liabilities, to meeting deadlines-- but the key to selling your product lies in having in-depth customer knowledge so you can manage the expectations of your potential consumers or investors, as well as future retail buyers, and being aware of the circumstances that surround your product presentation so you choose and create the right type of prototype to make your presentation a success and get your product or idea sold. Watch the Episode Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmNzTZ7MZEI Listen to the [...]

Why We Love Being Product Designers

2021-02-22T18:35:47+00:00May 31st, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

We have been product designers for more than two decades and have won awards for our designs through out the years-- but the ultimate accolade for us would have to be the longevity of our products in the market. Over 80 of the products that we have designed for mass retail have been bought and used over and over again by consumers for the past 20 years and counting. We believe that our success in this regard lies in the genuine joy we find in the process of product design, and most importantly, in how it betters the lives of consumers. Reading positive feedback from online customer reviews, especially when users recommend our products to other consumers, gives us immense satisfaction as designers. Watch the Episode Here: Listen to the podcast here: --- You're going to see on our Membership platform a lot of great experts in all [...]

What To Do When Mass Retailers Like Amazon Become Your Competitors

2021-02-22T18:40:14+00:00May 29th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

If you are a thriving vendor with products on Walmart, Staples, other mass retailers' shelves, or you are selling online through Amazon, Alibaba, or any other big e-Commerce platform, be warned: the days of vendor loyalty are long gone, which is why it is essential for you to secure your products and customer base before launching your products. As experienced product designers, innovators and entrepreneurs, we have learned from first hand experience as well as vicariously how big companies can take advantage of entrepreneurs who offer private-label products or services. Take Amazon for example-- if you have an unpatented original product that you get from another manufacturer and the e-Commerce giant sees that your product is selling like hotcakes through their platform, it could go two ways-- they can either source any number of variations of your products' Stock Keeping Units (SKU's) from your manufacturer and persuade them to make [...]

How to Invent Must-Have Products

2021-02-22T18:42:45+00:00May 25th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Tracy and Tom are a husband and wife team of Industrial Designers. They are lucky to be working together not just because they enjoy each other's company-- they have a complimentary set of skills, and unlike in corporate settings where people have qualms in voicing out their opinions we are both capable of having an open, honest debate when designing products that involve gender-related perspectives because of our shared vision. They have coined a term called "gender blending," which refers to meeting the needs of both male and female consumers when it comes to designing products. Launching many successful products for themselves and their clients through out the years was made possible by combining their strengths, which includes their unique ability to factor in the needs of both genders in their product designs. Watch the Episode Here: Listen to the podcast here: --- We want to share with [...]

Meet Patent & Trademark Expert Jason Webb

2021-02-22T18:44:24+00:00May 24th, 2018|Inventors, Licensing, Office Hours, Podcasts, Protect It, Prototype It|

Is your idea, product or service competitive? The truth is, the best ideas don't always win because there are many things in your way to making it happen. As an entrepreneur or an inventor, you should have the best system and marketing tactics to get ahead of the competition. One of the most crucial steps is to protect your trade secrets, original business concepts and ideas. Join internationally recognized intellectual property lawyer Attorney Jason Webb of Pearson-Butler every month as he explains how to make patents, trademarks and copyright work for protecting business owners, inventors, and product developers in this ruthless global economy. He has successfully negotiated licensing agreements for Fortune 500 companies, with products and services that are sold worldwide. Get honest, educated business perspectives from Jason through the Product Launch Hazzards membership office hours. Watch the Episode Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUdY_ybO0EU Listen to the podcast here: --- Jason, welcome [...]

How to Design What Women (and Men) Want

2021-02-22T18:46:37+00:00May 21st, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

We are a team of Industrial Designers. We are lucky to be working together not just because we enjoy each other's company-- we have a complimentary set of skills, and unlike in corporate settings where people have qualms in voicing out their opinions we are both capable of having an open, honest debate when designing products that involve gender-related perspectives because of our shared vision. We have coined a term called "GENDERBLENDING" product design, which refers to meeting the needs of both male and female consumers when it comes to designing products. Launching many successful products for ourselves and our clients through out the years was made possible by combining our strengths, which includes our unique ability to factor in the needs of both genders in our product designs. Watch the Episode Here: Listen to the podcast here: --- We are bringing you a defining definition of something [...]

Meet Retail Sales Expert Timothy Bush

2021-02-22T18:49:23+00:00May 18th, 2018|Brand It, Inventors, Licensing, Office Hours, Podcasts, Private Label, Retail & Big Box|

The number one question that On The Shelf Retail Expert, Timothy Bush gets is,"How long does it take?" As entrepreneurs get inundated with a ton of planning and preparation, they can get flustered with the influx of work involved with product launching. For those that work in the real trenches of retail, trying to launch a new brand, whether it be retail goods or a huge celebrity takes time. Success does not happen overnight. Tim understands that measurable success requires intensive planning as well as proper guidance from industry pros who know the ins and outs of branding and retail. Timothy helps people overcome roadblocks so they can get ahead of the competition. Watch the Episode Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUbu7574ThQ Listen to the podcast here: --- Tim, I'm so glad to have you on this show and get everyone on Product Launch Hazzards to get to know you. Great [...]

Product Promotion: Reserving Capital to Promote It

2021-02-22T18:49:27+00:00May 17th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

It is not enough to put your product out there on Amazon, HSN, Walmart, or any other retail store. Those who spend at least 10% of their capital on brand promotion are guaranteed to sell more and increase their brand's overall acquirable value. The key is to get your message out through a platform and resonate with your audience. Your goal as an entrepreneur should not just be focused on make a single sale per client, but to transform them into fans of your brand who will constantly hanker for more of what you have to offer. Let them know the story behind your brand, and how your products or services can benefit them when consistently churning out high-quality useful content like blogs, videocasts, or podcasts. Get started on building a brand promotional strategy and a public relations plan that converts your target audience into paying customers. Listen to the [...]

Product Production Planning: Critical Factors to Produce It

2021-02-22T18:51:08+00:00May 16th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Finally, you are done with the product development stages and are ready to produce your product for selling. As an entrepreneur, you know that it is absolutely critical to get your product right before launching it to avoid killing your brand with bad customer reviews and high returns. What are the things you need to consider for cost-effective and efficient materials sourcing, finding the right factory for manufacturing, and in making all other major decisions in the production process? If you are clueless as to how or where to start on product production planning, here is a general framework you can work with: building a relationship with your manufacturers, having strong documentation, and consistent follow-up. It can be a daunting process because there is no set flow chart for going about things since it is all really product-specific-- but with decades of combined multi-industry experience, Product Launch Hazzards will guide [...]

Invention Protection: Protect It with Patents and Trademarks

2021-02-22T18:51:01+00:00May 15th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Having intellectual property is good for valuation of your business. It is definitely an asset worth investing in especially if your goal is to become an acquirable brand. But first, you have to make sure that your trademarks, patents, and copyright are relevant to your long term business plan, or else they will be useless. We will talk about some examples of what we have done and how we operate as product inventors so you can have a sense of the value of protecting your intellectual property, and hopefully learn from our practical experience how you can save significant time and preserve capital in the process. If you feel that you need to disclose information to a licensing partner, a manufacturer, or a distributor, we have useful resources, as well as intellectual property attorneys we have recommended to our own clients whom you can get in touch with for invention [...]

Product Prototypes: When is the Right Time to Prototype It

2021-02-22T18:52:05+00:00May 14th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Prototyping involves design, engineering, early quoting, sampling, iterations, and a host of other factors that need to get done with the right team for optimal results. You need to make a product prototype or do product sampling after proving, planning, and pricing your model so you can have something tangible to show your investors, to make sure it has the right functions, look or feel, and that you can really sell it in mass market retail. As seasoned product designers, we know that there are a lot of unknowns and alternative ways to make an original product that are not included in the traditional manufacturing process. This is why you have to get the right manufacturers whom you trust, at the right rate and the right time. If you are not hitting your target market, have no core capabilities required in your product category, or doing the product design and [...]

The Key to Product Launch Success is to Plan It

2021-02-22T18:52:28+00:00May 11th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Tom and I say this a lot: "Hope is not a plan." There are a lot of concerns to address and factors to consider before selling your product. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that money and time spent from product research, market study, product development, licensing, prototyping, manufacturing and marketing is worth every penny. In the long run, all mistakes committed in the process of launching and marketing your product will add up and can greatly impact your success, that is why developing a solid game plan is of utmost importance for all stages of your product launch journey. We can help you there through our resident experts, who have a wealth of product development, manufacturing, intellectual property, marketing and advertising knowledge to share with you. Listen to the podcast here: --- We’ve got another great Office Hours for you. This one [...]

Get Your Product Pricing Right for Maximum Profit

2021-02-22T18:53:56+00:00May 10th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

How should you decide what to price your product in the market? After creating, developing and marketing over 250 successful products in the last two decades, we have discovered that product pricing relies on completing a correct order of steps for optimal results, something that you can not afford to mess up if you are a serious business owner. There are so many hard facts to account for when preparing an effective cost and profitability analysis that goes well beyond the assigned cost of goods quoted by a manufacturer-- details like taxes & duties, logistics, packaging, carrying costs, and many more must be considered and factored in to make sure that you increase and preserve as much profit margin as you can once you launch your product. We will help you figure out the best way to go about pricing your product for maximum profit. Listen to the podcast here: [...]

Market Proof: Prove Your Product to Market Fit

2021-02-22T18:54:53+00:00May 9th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

How could you be sure that your product or idea will sell? You cannot always rely on friends and family to tell you the truth, because they might not be realistic with their assessments: either be too encouraging without considering the follies in your idea, or too scared for you to fail and lose money and resources that they could discourage you. There are many obstacles in the way to making it happen, including the facts to consider before diving all in and manufacturing your product. From our collective study of research done by Harvard Business Review, Inc., Forbes, and Entrepreneur, over 68% of product launch failures are caused by having the wrong product for the wrong market-- your product might be good, but it is not matched to your market. If you are an inventor, product designer, or small business owner considering to sell a product or service, it [...]

Figure Out Your Product Brand First

2021-02-22T18:55:51+00:00May 8th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

What is product branding, and why does it need to be the first thing you figure out before launching your business? Branding is not necessarily about who you are, it is about how people perceive you. As much as you would like to be in full control of your brand identity, it will all really depend on how your audience sees your brand. That is why it is vital to consistently check market perception, so you can constantly align your brand messaging and reach your targets. Big brands like Procter and Gamble, Coca Cola, and others recognize the importance of knowing their core brand identity, so that they can adjust their marketing plans accordingly and be most efficient when acting on them. Do not fully equate branding with logos, colors, and design-- they are just visual expressions of your brand. Taking the time to truly have a deeper understanding of [...]

The 7-P Process to Launching Your Product

2021-02-22T18:57:24+00:00May 7th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Product developers, inventors, marketers, entrepreneurs, and curious listeners, lend us your ears: the success of your product does not rest on how passionate you are or how great you think your product is. There is a fundamental process that you must follow, which involves having the right things, in the right order, and the right resources before going deeper into the rabbit hole. Here at Product Launch Hazzards we give you the right resources through our membership Expert Office Hours podcast, where our seasoned industry experts answer your questions by sharing their insider know-how-- and on this episode we will put these resources into context by tackling the fundamental 7-P process of product launching. We have done this over 250 times throughout our careers as product innovators and entrepreneurs, and we will impart the lessons we have learned from studying and researching other people's as well as other companies' product [...]

Asset Building Product Design – Tracy Hazzard Live at The Prosper Show

2021-02-23T13:40:51+00:00May 4th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Office Hours, On The Shelf, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

In the consumer retail market where 7 out of 10 consumer product launches fail and less than 2% of inventors ever make any money, the odds are stacked against you. But with some Product Launch Hazzard protection tips and Success By Design tactics, you can reduce risk and defy the odds as you go from Product Idea to Big Brand to Sold. Tracy Hazzard, Product Launch Expert in the Product Launch Hazzards membership community, dives deep into a proven formula that helps optimize processes and maximize your resources so you can out-source, out-design, and out-profit your competitors. It has been applied to virtually all types of consumer product categories, and mastering its fundamentals is the first step to retail sales success. These solutions were firmed up from years of practical experience in working with big and small brands. Watch the Episode Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNpr2ILKOy0&feature=youtu.be Listen to the podcast here: --- We're going to [...]

Should You Do It: Prototyping, Selling, and Everything in Between

2021-02-23T13:42:03+00:00May 3rd, 2018|Brand It, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

We have seen a lot of startups fail and close shop after only a few years because of one fatal mistake: not having enough information before taking a deeper dive into launching their product or business. Falling in love with your idea or product can run you out of business early in the game. There is nothing bad about being passionate about what you do, but it must always be coupled with the proper mindset to avoid losing precious time and money. When entrepreneurs make an emotional decision, they sometimes choose not to see the pitfalls of their plan, glossing over any kind of objective criteria to properly evaluate the feasibility of their business venture. Guest Experts on the Product Launch Hazzards membership Expert Office Hours podcast guides business owners like you so you will know how to sift through all necessary information for review before proceeding to the next [...]

Want Product Launch Success? Meet Your Product Launch Protection Experts Tom Hazzard & Tracy Hazzard

2021-02-23T14:12:02+00:00May 1st, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

7 out of 10 consumer product launches fail and only 2% of all inventions make any money. Launching products is full of pitfalls and failure points. The odds of product launch success are not in your favor. Insiders and big brands not only know but can outspend and survive when they make mistakes. Find out how product launch experts like Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard with 26 years as consumer product designers for big and small brands – on-line and in-store, flip the odds, build in protective measures and resources, and guide you on what you ‘don’t know that you don’t know’ so you can avoid rookie errors, save valuable market time, spend less money, and successfully launch into a big acquirable brand. Watch the Episode Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYPqCE9Qado Listen to the podcast here: --- This has been a couple of years in the making. We've done these [...]

Stressed About Turning Your Idea Into a Product? Read This

2018-02-09T11:32:19+00:00February 9th, 2018|Brand It, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Meet entrepreneur Jason Simmons of DeadSoxy, as we talk startup sense, cold calls, product-centricity, oh, and the ups and downs of building a sock brand. The toughest part of being an inventor or an entrepreneur is all of the unknowns. There are no guarantees and there is a lot of room for failure. One of my goals, in writing this column, is to talk about the nitty-gritty details, to help entrepreneurs avoid some of the pitfalls, and to be honest about what it takes. This year, I am launching Q&A sessions with start-up entrepreneurs and growth brands, so you can hear, right from the source, what they did right and what they did wrong, and how it all contributed to where they are in their entrepreneurship journey. First in the Q&A hotseat is Jason Simmons, founder and CEO of DeadSoxy, a sock brand that came out of personal frustration that the more bold flashy socks didn't [...]

Meet the Group That Might Be Able to Help the NFL Reinvent Itself

2018-01-19T10:03:15+00:00January 19th, 2018|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Licensing, Promote It, Prototype It|

 Why this diverse group of entrepreneurs and philanthropists are best suited to match the NFL pivot from scandal recovery to rebuilding fan trust and value. With compounding scandals plaguing the NFL and controversy over the handling (or mishandling) coming from fans, players, politicians, and even between the 32 teams and their franchise owners, the league is in desperate need of a rebrand. And the decision over who will be the next owner or owners of the Carolina Panthers could be pivotal in how the NFL repositions itself. The original owner of the Carolina Panthers, Jerry Richardson is selling his rights to the team after it became public that the Panthers organization made multiple confidential settlements for incidents of sexual misconduct and a racial slur by Richardson. It's not just Richardson though. The last five years have been the perfect storm of scandals contributing to indicators of slowing growth in the NFL brand. The newly [...]

What Disruption Actually Looks Like in a Mature Market

2018-01-05T01:10:19+00:00January 5th, 2018|Brand It, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

How one inventor is innovating faucet design to disrupt complacent markets, and what you can learn from him for ultimate success. We've all had to scoop water from our faucets, into our mouths (and all over the counter) to rinse our mouths after brushing. Or laid our heads sideways on the counter to attempt to get a quick sip of water before bed. Which begs the question, why hasn't someone designed something better? Complacent markets are complacent for a reason, and that is because change costs money. Especially when we are talking about mature product markets, because once the requirements change, patents are necessary, and ultimately, the "old school" barrier to entry in business returns. Unless you get resourceful, find some kickass support, and aren't afraid to get your hands dirty, something new isn't likely to happen from within. Going Broke Isn't An Option for Every Entrepreneur Endless funding, access to patent attorneys, and nonstop [...]

How to License Products and Serve Our Veterans, Too

2018-01-03T00:43:36+00:00January 3rd, 2018|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It|

 Meet two veterans working to bring solutions to market for active duty military, while creating a platform for veteran innovation. Last year I spent some time interviewing veteran and bestselling author, Nick Ripplinger. His book, Front Line Leadership, laid out the importance for entrepreneurs to focus on strategy, structure, systems, quick deployment, inventiveness with meager resources, and a team that has your back, advice I wholeheartedly second. During that interview, I learned that Nick had received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (the third highest peace-time award) during active duty service in the US Army, but because he was medically discharged without a college degree, he could only find work supporting his family by stacking boxes in a warehouse. This time, when I circled back to see how Nick's journey into entrepreneurship was treating him, I was thrilled to learn about his progress. A Thriving Partnership Leaning into his own advice, Nick found himself a partner with [...]

Use This Formula If You Want Your Brand To Be An Asset Not A Liability

2017-11-17T01:31:49+00:00November 17th, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Logistics, Packaging, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Building an unshakeable brand foundation requires these measurement tools, for continued success, growth, and innovation. We discussed Taylor Swift's potentially big branding mistake, the importance of establishing a strong foundation, and in a companion article, the seven essential questions that show you how to build a strong brand foundation. Now, we're back, with even more tangible and nitty-gritty details so you can put measurement tools in place to maintain this foundation. We Want to Help You Avoid Brandslaughter In his book Preventing Brandslaughter, author David Corbin talks in-depth about how businesses fall short when they fail to preserve, support, and grow their brand asset value. Remember, your brand is an asset that is either appreciating or depreciating. "The brand, as a tangible expression of a top performing culture, comes to life when its elements - including the mission - are taken off the wall and put into daily action at all levels and through all individuals in the organization." ABI: The [...]

Use These 4 Rules To Position Innovative Products

2017-10-23T01:06:21+00:00October 23rd, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It|

Lessons learned selling crickets on how to educate a market & position your product for mass consumption. We've talked, in the past, about the difficulty in educating a new market. This process can will be time and cost expensive.,, and when you're selling something like crickets, things are bound to get even more tricky. However, no matter what you're bringing to market, or how innovative you are, or how much educating needs to be done, there are rules you can follow that will help you survive. Selling Crickets Isn't Easy, How to Position Your Product Vincent Vitale, Digital Specialist in the areas of SEO and Content Creation, is leading the charge by getting people interested in Aketta, which is a complete and sustainable source of cricket protein and nutrition. Vincent knew, from the very beginning that he had his work cut out, because 1) people don't know the benefits of eating crickets, and 2) they probably [...]

How to Battle From Idea to Launch and Survive

2017-10-19T01:00:21+00:00October 19th, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Protect It, Prototype It|

Who would have thought that inventing is the easy part when you are taking a product to market? The most difficult thing about inventing a product is not inventing the product... it's everything that happens next, if anything happens at all. Sure, you need to have a top-notch, functional, problem-solving, flawless product to make it in our competitive marketplace. But, that is one tiny piece of the massive product puzzle. I could tell you the in's and out's of this in my sleep, because 1) I do product design, and 2) I do a lot of product launches, but I thought it might be more fun to share the insights and important lessons, you need to know, by sharing a real-life example with you. It All Began In A Helicopter Meet David Burnett, inventor of Tac-Clamp, he provided me both a cool story of designing with a need in mind, and also highlighted [...]

Funding A Nonprofit With Branded Products That Sell You

2017-10-17T09:00:44+00:00October 17th, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Promote It, Prototype It|

How one woman is changing the lives of children worldwide and funding her nonprofit with a water bottle. Sometimes I get to interview people who are making amazing advances for business and design around the world... and sometimes I get to interview someone who has found their purpose in changing the world. "When we lose a child, it's important to understand that this is not just that parent's child, this is a global child. A potential Einstein, or Oprah, whose purpose has been lost over something as trivial as a lack of clean water." That's the profoundly impactful philosophy that drives Heshie Segal, founder of Kids Better World, a nonprofit organization working to get clean water to every child in need, globally. Heshie has built this nonprofit around her heart and soul, truly, and this approach of being absolutely invested has inspired her to find nontraditional solutions. What Is A Nontraditional Solution? In this case, [...]

Need Launch Money? Here’s How to Seed Your Disruptive Idea

2017-07-05T19:19:35+00:00July 5th, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Private Label, Promote It, Prototype It, Retail & Big Box|

Everything you need to know about getting seed money and what qualifies your startup. Money might not actually make the world go 'round, but it certainly does help startups looking to break into their market with support from investors. Last year we didn't even talk much about seed money, but this type of funding is making a serious comeback, and I love that. I talked to funding expert and Investment Director at JEL Capital, Noah Stone, about why they are seeding again and what it takes to qualify. Why Is Seed Money Making A Comeback? Noah pointed out that, at JEL Capital, they are seeding companies again because this type of investment offers higher returns, with a lower cash outlay. JEL Capital, a private equity company based out of DC, considers themselves the go-to company for seed funding, which is not a title they take lightly. So I wanted to find out, from [...]

Advice for Nonprofits Seeking Seed Funding

2017-06-22T19:06:03+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Private Label, Promote It, Prototype It, Retail & Big Box|

How to get your nonprofit off the ground and funded, and the most common pitfalls to avoid. After receiving my exclusive invitation for the kickoff party and beneficiary announcements for the 2018 City Gala, I realized that I wrote about Red Carpet celebrity tips from John Travolta and lessons from the Women's Empowerment panel, but I hadn't yet written about the most important thing. The amazing amount of effort and creativity the City Gala team uses to help seed deserving non-profits. When best-selling author and City Summit moderator Greg Reid presented spot-on questions to people who have found ultimate success in so many ways, the result is opportunity after opportunity for learning from the best. Opportunities for non-profits, social good and for-profits as well. His goal was to highlight proof that "bringing together the highest level of entertainment and business leaders in the common agenda of social consciousness, achievement, and a dedication to giving forward to [...]

Follow These Tips If You Want Investors to Say Yes

2017-06-19T18:57:45+00:00June 19th, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Private Label, Promote It, Prototype It, Retail & Big Box|

Everything you need to know to get that yes from potential investors and get fully funded. I recently completed a 4-part series on the nitty-gritty details of actually (really) getting funded. You can check that out here, and the more I wrote, the more I realized the breadth and depth of this topic and how much wasn't being talked about. In Part Three I talked specifically about how to speak the language of investors, not inventors, and how important learning that investment language truly is to getting funded. But There's More To This Than Just The Language Throughout that series, I talked about getting your pitch right, and being coachable, but it's actually even more than that. Entrepreneurs have their work cut out for them if they wish to intrigue investors and get that 'yes' they are looking for, and I don't think a lot of entrepreneurs go into potential funding situations aware of this. So [...]

Why Licensing of Products and Patents Is So Hard

2017-02-24T01:26:39+00:00February 24th, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Private Label, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

An honest look at what inventors can really expect when attempting to licensing a product idea. I cannot tell you how many designers and inventors I have talked to over the years have an unrealistic view of the potential licensing process. They think, "I have a great idea. Why wouldn't X Company want to buy my idea, make it and pay me royalty?" But, over the past decade, our marketplace has changed and the licensing process and market cycles have changed with it. For example, prior to the recession, the life cycle of a product was generally 3-5 years. After the recession companies began to feel pressure to switch products every 6-12 months. Now, with the growth of the internet and other tools, the development cycle is also shorter and drastically different. These things matter when it comes to the level of difficulty attached to obtaining a licensing agreement and [...]

Why Perseverance Isn’t Enough to Bring Your Invention to Market

2016-08-29T17:17:51+00:00August 29th, 2016|Brand It, Capital Funding, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Retail & Big Box|

Three ways to shift your thinking and take the actions needed to profit from your ideas. Pushing past naysayers and those who don't see your vision absolutely requires a thick skin and perseverance for any inventor. However, giving up too soon is not likely to be the biggest problem blocking your success getting your innovation to market. You are. Here are three mindsets that might make you a successful inventor but be blocking you from seeing the actions or resources needed to take you to success: Perfectionism Of the hundreds of products and inventions I have reviewed or been asked to advise on over the last few years, an overwhelming percentage of them had patents that had already issued. The majority had been worked on for at least a year or more. Maybe to you that might be unsurprising, but less than 10% had ever tried to sell a [...]

Secrets to Pitch Your Idea from Bootstrapped to Funded

2016-04-08T03:03:59+00:00April 8th, 2016|Brand It, Capital Funding, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Licensing, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It|

Crafting a successful investor pitch requires cracking the funding code with angels not sharks. The most critical secret to getting your pitch funded is one of the top reasons for start-up investment pitch failure - only 3% of start-up funding comes from venture capital. So you are probably in the wrong room - you want to pitch angels, not sharks. However, perfecting your pitch for the right investor with what business model will have traction and what needs to be in your pitch deck requires an inside track on how to crack a secret funding code. Most entrepreneurs, especially creative ones think that they can just wing it and figure it out on their own, but after listening to The Successful Pitch podcast hosted by Funding Strategist, John Livesay, it is clear that struggling to figure out this enigma alone is a big failure point. As John Livesay explains, you need [...]

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