Amazon Brand Registry And Trademark Protection with Jason Webb

Jason Webb2021-02-22T16:29:33+00:00September 5th, 2018|Office Hours, Podcasts, Protect It|

One of the big issues facing people who are doing commerce online is that Amazon has become a huge dominating force in the market. A lot of sellers don't like Amazon. It is difficult to work with but buyers love Amazon, and that's one of the reasons why sellers aggregate towards Amazon. It's often one of the first places to look if they want to go buy something. If you want to be part of that market, you need to be part of what Amazon is doing. Amazon has been aggressive and successful at doing the things that buyers want, and that often makes things difficult for sellers. One of the things is it's made it difficult for sellers to stop infringement when it's happening. This also happens with Alibaba and eBay or any online aggregate of retailers. The Amazon Brand Registry program is a way to automate that and make [...]

Provisional Patent Application Guidelines with Jason Webb

Jason Webb2021-02-22T17:03:30+00:00August 2nd, 2018|Office Hours, Podcasts, Protect It|

Provisional patent applications are a relatively new type of application that has only been around for twenty years or so. It wasn't always possible to do a provisional patent application. What it was called back then was utility patent where it took months to get these filings in because there are so many formality requirements and so many things that you can't change once it's filed. However, we need them filed quickly because priority date is important, so what did they do? What they decided to do was to allow a temporary application with fewer requirements, fewer standards, and it’s a lot less formal. They decided to call it a provisional patent application since it wouldn't be examined and all the examination requirements that you should have don't have to be there. Patent and trademark expert Jason Webb deep dives into provisional patent, its application guidelines, and what differentiates it [...]

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

Brenda Crimi2021-02-22T17:18:36+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 [...]

Research & Design Budget Guidelines

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T17:25:38+00:00July 15th, 2018|Office Hours, Podcasts, Protect It|

It takes a lot of time to get from planning, to sampling, to launching, to marketing. There are so many aspects to take care of in the product launch process, and it takes doing it in the right order to ensure success. Our goal here at Product Launch Hazzards is to make sure that everything you spend money and effort on as you make and market your product ends up as an asset, an not a liability. We will give you pointers on how you can make a feasible and sustainable research and design budget plan including how to incorporate intellectual property costs into it, especially when you are a startup developing a new product. Watch the Episode Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPa4Qr1izOo Listen to the podcast here: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/07/2018/fc101c88c0903e096801828898902ce8.mp3" title="Research & Design Budget Guidelines" image="https://productlaunchhazzards.com/wp-content/uploads/product-design-hazzards.png" ] --- I'm excited to talk to you about something that you should really plan for [...]

Is Product Patent Protection Worth It?

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T17:40:32+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 [...]

When Should You Patent?

Rich Goldstein2021-02-22T17:57:40+00:00July 11th, 2018|Office Hours, Podcasts, Protect It, Prototype It|

Maybe you have a fresh idea or product concept that is underway, and you are thinking whether filing for patent will help you and your business. Attorney Rich Goldstein, founder of Goldstein Patent Law has over 25 years of experience as a patent attorney, has advised over 10,000 inventors and entrepreneurs from different industries on patenting, and has an impressive record of having over 2,000 patents approved under his belt. Over the course of his career, he has learned that the costliest part about patents for inventors, product designers, or business owners is their misinformation about the patent process. Rich discusses the patent process, utility patents, design patents, as well as other useful tips and information to help you determine whether your idea or product is worth patenting so you can avoid wasting precious time, money and effort. Watch the Episode Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvSa3wHvo9M Listen to the podcast here: [smart_track_player [...]

Amazon First Steps

Jenna Lieber and Jeff Lieber2021-02-22T18:01:45+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: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/06/2018/a4d574efbb34cc88ac1fbd8368ac460b.mp3" title="Amazon First Steps" image="https://productlaunchhazzards.com/wp-content/uploads/Banner-for-Speaking-Empire-Webinar.png" ] --- I’m Jenna Lieber from TurnKey. I'm Jeff Lieber from TurnKey Product Management. [...]

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

Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:04:23+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

Rick Cesari2021-02-22T18:05:38+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?

Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:10:33+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

Dennis Shaver2021-02-22T18:10:29+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

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:12:30+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

Laura Hazzard2021-02-22T18:12:28+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: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/09/2018/ef8e3a2460d11204015308bab2ed881b.mp3" title="Avoid These Top 7 Market Research Mistakes" image="https://productlaunchhazzards.com/wp-content/uploads/Banner-for-Speaking-Empire-Webinar.png" ] --- [...]

Know the Difference Between Styling, Branding, and Design

Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard2021-02-22T18:13:38+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

Joseph Tarnowski2021-02-22T18:14:51+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: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/09/2018/56efce90ff5f90d865b324c419ca5529.mp3" title="Meet Joseph Tarnowski, Expert in Connecting Brands [...]

Secrets To Working With Your Spouse

Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:18:31+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

Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:26:29+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

Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard2021-02-22T18:30:31+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

Rich Goldstein2021-02-22T18:30:33+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?

Tom Hazzard2021-02-22T18:31:37+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

Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard2021-02-22T18:35:47+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: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/09/2018/02fead4cbc84abf451a381553639cb95.mp3" title="Figure Out Your Product Brand First" image="https://productlaunchhazzards.com/wp-content/uploads/Banner-for-Speaking-Empire-Webinar.png" ] --- You're going to see on our Membership [...]

What To Do When Mass Retailers Like Amazon Become Your Competitors

Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:40:14+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

Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:42:45+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: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/09/2018/b6c1426b6fcd1d1358276b62f820fd0a.mp3" title="How to Invent Must-Have Products" image="https://productlaunchhazzards.com/wp-content/uploads/Banner-for-Speaking-Empire-Webinar.png" [...]

Meet Patent & Trademark Expert Jason Webb

Jason Webb2021-02-22T18:44:24+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: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/09/2018/7c0e61fe0c511add713ea0a1c9e4d9cc.mp3" title="Meet Patent & [...]

How to Design What Women (and Men) Want

Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:46:37+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: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/09/2018/046ec60da9a6e4cde02503ee600f73e0.mp3" title="How to Design What Women (and Men) Want" image="https://productlaunchhazzards.com/wp-content/uploads/Banner-for-Speaking-Empire-Webinar.png" ] [...]

Product Promotion: Reserving Capital to Promote It

Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:49:27+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

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:51:08+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

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:51:01+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

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:52:05+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

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:52:28+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: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/09/2018/16fdb147999d5432d561c75316f8ceba.mp3" title="The Key to Product Launch Success is to Plan It" image="https://productlaunchhazzards.com/wp-content/uploads/Banner-for-Speaking-Empire-Webinar.png" [...]

Get Your Product Pricing Right for Maximum Profit

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:53:56+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

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:54:53+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

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:55:51+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

Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:57:24+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

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-23T13:40:51+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: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/09/2018/d1a30b56083cdb4fa1513ff7769cbbba.mp3" title="Asset Building Product Design" [...]

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

Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard2021-02-23T13:42:03+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

Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard2021-02-23T14:12:02+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: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/09/2018/65485d657be68683d04e063b01261589.mp3" title="Want Product Launch Success? Meet Your Product Launch Protection Experts Tom Hazzard & Tracy [...]

Why Metal 3D Printing is Breakthrough Tech for 2018

Tracy Hazzard2018-03-23T10:37:29+00:00March 23rd, 2018|Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Sourcing|

Metal 3D printing is cheaper, safer and faster so let's see if it's finally ready to be the disruptive technology we need. The perception of 3D printing in the trough of disillusionment has slowed down it's progress. That was very apparent when I spoke at SXSW last week. Right now, our experiences, on a whole level, with 3D printing have more than likely been one of four things: 1.     A cheap, junky, cheesy, rose that Walmart sold to see if there's market traction on cheap, junky, cheesy 3D printed products. 2.     An online video of a fidget spinner being printed, followed by 25 comments about how so-and-so stole this design. 3.     A school or job fair with a desktop 3D printer gaining all of of the oohs and aahs in the room, and printing an elephant. 4.     A Kickstarter prototype, one off process, either for an acquaintance or yourself as you prepare to [...]

Stressed About Turning Your Idea Into a Product? Read This

Tracy Hazzard2018-02-09T11:32:19+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 [...]

What Disruption Actually Looks Like in a Mature Market

Tracy Hazzard2018-01-05T01:10:19+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

Tracy Hazzard2018-01-03T00:43:36+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

Tracy Hazzard2017-11-17T01:31:49+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

Tracy Hazzard2017-10-23T01:06:21+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

Tracy Hazzard2017-10-19T01:00:21+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 [...]

How to Make Millions Selling One Simple Thing

Tracy Hazzard2017-04-15T18:35:45+00:00April 15th, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It|

Coffee is not all beans and brew. The secret to sales success came right from demand for a single cup. Entrepreneurs are a special breed. The risk is tremendous, but the reward is whatever you can imagine... that is, if you can make it. A lot of businesses don't, and I think one of those reasons is that there is a lot of gray area. That's why I love this column. It's a way for me to share actual business lessons that I've lived through, to connect with entrepreneurs who are in it to win it. There are so many things you just don't know, until you know it because you've learned the hard way. But we don't all have to learn the hard way, and that's why sharing is where it's at. Sticking with our recent articles on Amazon private label selling and market traction, I thought I would talk with an [...]

Power Tool Secrets of Million-Dollar Amazon Sellers

Tracy Hazzard2017-04-15T18:32:04+00:00April 15th, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It|

The cognitive systems brand-building private-label sellers use to accelerate growth and save time. In the world of online sales, the seller has their work cut-out for them. If you can get it right, the sky truly is the limit. But that begs the question; how exactly do you get it right? Especially when there are so many ways for sellers to get it wrong. You know I went where the answers are, just in time for the premier private-label seller conference and trade show, the Prosper Show, and on this particular topic, the answers sit with two very advanced companies providing seller tools for the modern, somewhat complicated, multi-channel market. Both Skubana and Channel Ape can do more with the data, the listings, the channels already there, and putting them to work for you through platforms designed to integrate and optimize everything, because anyone who sells anything through more than one channel understands the exponential struggle. Let's Talk [...]

Listen Up, Ladies: Here’s How You Can Get Funded Too

Tracy Hazzard2017-04-09T18:29:37+00:00April 9th, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It|

The last in a 4-part series on the nitty-gritty details of actually getting funded. We've covered so much ground in this series, on everything from equity crowdfunding to raising capital, to speaking the language of investors, and now I want to talk very specifically about how women can get funded. While it would be nice to assume it is the same across the board, you don't have to look very far to realize... it isn't. Women founders and CEO's face hurdles that men, in their same positions, simply don't face. If that's difficult to read, let me serve it up in numbers instead. According to PitchBook, in 2016 companies with only female founders accounted for only 3% of funds raised. Seems a bit (a lot) low to me. For that reason, I went to women who are either in the process right now, women who gave up the process and are just bootstrapping their way [...]

How to Speak Investor Not Inventor and Get Funded

Tracy Hazzard2017-04-06T18:26:50+00:00April 6th, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It|

Part three of a 4-part series on the nitty-gritty details of actually (really) getting crowdfunded. Whew! We made it through part one, the serious details of getting funded; part two the options for capital raising you should consider, and what each one could mean for your business. But you aren't quite done yet, as if the work of an entrepreneur is ever done anyway. Now we can move on to the topic of learning the language. While this may not be as detail intensive, it is every bit as important as the first half of this series. Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk Financial and business literacy is incredibly important... more important than how well you can show off the features of your invention. Yes, really. I know your invention, your baby, is the center of everything you are doing and it is the sole purpose for this path. But this path goes nowhere if [...]

Your Options for Raising Capital & Knowing Which to Choose

Tracy Hazzard2017-04-03T18:24:31+00:00April 3rd, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It|

Part two of a 4-part series on the nitty-gritty details of actually (really) getting crowdfunded. In part one of this series, we talked about a fairly new type of up-and-coming crowdfunding where a business owner offers an investor equity in exchange for funding - Equity Crowdfunding. The most popular type of crowdfunding we usually hear about is very different than equity crowdfunding. So let's dig right in and break those down first: Rewards-based Crowdfunding: Individuals donate/invest money in exchange for perks, products, tickets, or other gifts (not money). Examples: Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Equity-based Crowdfunding: Investors receive equity ownership in the company they invest in. Examples: Dreamfunded or Sprowtt. While crowdfunding, both types, can be great potential options for a business seeking capital, these aren't the only options available. In 2012, the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act was signed into law, in simple terms, to help more companies attract more investors than ever before. Written into this JOBS Act are a few [...]

What Is Equity Crowdfunding & Is It Right For You?

Tracy Hazzard2017-04-01T18:22:29+00:00April 1st, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It|

Part one of a 4-part series on the nitty-gritty details of actually (really) getting crowdfunded. It's no secret that getting funded can be a long and difficult process. Access to capital relies on so many specific details, and at the end of the day, the more you know, the easier it is to find money. Join me as I take you through a four week 4-part series on 1) actually (really) getting funded, 2) the different types of capital available, how to know which option is the best one for you, 3) the language you need to have to speak investor, not inventor, and 4) how to overcome the particular challenges women and minorities face. Let's Kick-Off Part One With Equity Crowdfunding In May of last year, the SEC Equity Crowdfunding rules went into effect with 8 platforms initially filing for registration to become Equity Crowdfunding portals. Dreamfunded is one of those firms and I tapped into [...]

Why Licensing of Products and Patents Is So Hard

Tracy Hazzard2017-02-24T01:26:39+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 Herman Miller Redesigned Its Bestselling Aeron Chair

Tracy Hazzard2016-12-10T17:35:22+00:00December 10th, 2016|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It|

Should you redesign a bestselling classic? Herman Miller's iconic Aeron chair offers a helpful case study. We've all heard that old saying 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it.' But that's not what the maker of the bestselling office chair of all time said. Let's go back to 1994, the year a global design manufacturer by the name of Herman Miller presented the first generation Aeron Chair. The chairs designers Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf created an instant icon for office workers around the world. Yes, really, around the world. The first-gen chair saw over 7-million sold in 134 countries. And with such great success, you might be wondering what in the world would be cause for a redesign on such an iconic classic. Because I worked on the original version, I was very curious to know also, so I sat down with Tom Niergarth, VP of Platform Design at Herman Miller, to find out. [...]

This Software Is Going to Change the Way You See Photographs

Tracy Hazzard2016-10-14T18:37:13+00:00October 14th, 2016|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Meet Plotagraph: The animated photography tool that will turn your Instagram marketing upside down. Getting your photo noticed in a sea of social media photos, is much like finding the needle in the haystack. There's only so much you can do with the photo itself, to grab a viewers' attention, and most of it may have already been done. We live in a media driven world. There is never a shortage of videos, photographs, and looping clips to keep us entertained and occupied. The average consumer sees thousands of images a day, which makes for some pretty stiff competition, if you're sharing photos as a way to drive business. Then, there's always the option of video, and the perks of offering clips instead, except 80 percent of social media users are watching without audio, as they scroll right through and miss the message you worked so hard to [...]

10 Best Podcasts for Designers and Innovators

Tracy Hazzard2016-09-29T06:35:48+00:00September 29th, 2016|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It|

When great minds in design & innovation are willing to share their wisdom and knowledge, listen up! Podcasts are a great option for staying on top of what's trending (or not so much!), new design perspectives, and to get inside the crazy-interesting minds of admired innovators and designers. Podcasts allow you to make the most of idle time by listening while commuting, traveling, carpooling, or even cooking dinner. There are a lot of podcasts out there, and choosing the best one to commit your time to can be a daunting task. So, I put together a list of my top 10 can't-miss podcasts on innovation and design, plus one that is not specifically innovation-related but gets your mind turning. You can thank me later. New and notable innovation podcast picks: 1. Passive Income for Designers - Dustin Lee This is a powerful idea that designers need multiple income streams, especially one that does [...]

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

Tracy Hazzard2016-08-29T17:17:51+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 [...]

Why Designers are Bullish on 3D Printing

Tracy Hazzard2016-04-30T16:18:04+00:00April 30th, 2016|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Is the demise of Pinshape an indication that the 3D Printing bubble has burst or a reason to invest more? Just announced today, Pinshape, one of the most designer-friendly 3D Print communities, is closing their site with 75,000+ users on March 31, 2016. With a series of down-sizing and product line discontinuations throughout the 3D Printing industry, investors have cooled off considerably on the consumer sector of 3D Printing. Makerbot's 2015 revenues were down by 55% causing layoffs and the parent company, Stratasys took a large goodwill impairment charge for the acquisition. 3D Systems discontinued their consumer sub-$1000 printer, the Cube and closed their design community to focus on their core industrial business departing completely from the consumer marketplace. 3D Printing industry analysts are calling it a sign of a 3D Printing bubble burst, but as a 3D Print designer and co-host of the WTFFF?! 3D Printing podcast, I am hearing the exact opposite from the education, consumer [...]

Secrets to Pitch Your Idea from Bootstrapped to Funded

Tracy Hazzard2016-04-08T03:03:59+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 [...]

Kickstarter Needs a Few Good Women

Tracy Hazzard2013-06-05T17:28:47+00:00June 5th, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Gender balance is a serious concern if you want to run a Kickstarter campaign for a future retail product aimed at women and families. With women dominating retail purchases, figuring out what women want is the holy grail for retail buyers and manufacturers. So is crowd-funding a guarantee of retail success? With 28% less women than the internet average and 48% less than social media site averages, the Kickstarter community is funding products that may not actually appeal to women once they get to the retail shelf. In Designing Your Product for Men or How to Kill Your Company published in the Huffington Post citing the She-Economy, they state that women account for 85% of all consumer purchases. Retailers beware – a Kickstarter-backed product is not guaranteed to be a retail success with women. Quirky on the other hand has better female representation with 61% share of their community. Quirky is geared toward getting input from [...]

Mind the Patent Gender Gap

Tracy Hazzard2013-05-12T15:03:36+00:00May 12th, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Sifting through some archived Podcasts, I ran across one from Stephen J. Dubner - Freakonomics Radio - The Patent Gap. According to estimates by the National Bureau of Economic Statistics, women represented only 7.5% of filed patents and 5.5% of commercialized granted patents. I have done my share (filing 10 in 2 years) to help make up the patent gap, but ladies…step it up! Why do so few women file patents? Is it that there are fewer in STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and medicine? The National Bureau of Economic Statistics says that the STEM gap in education only accounts for 7% of the gender difference in patenting. The under-representation of women in these jobs is more to blame. But, what about Industrial/Furniture Design? The NBER found that there is a 40% contribution from gender gap in design and development jobs. The Industrial Design Society of America and other design organizations [...]

Lean In by Leaning Out

Tracy Hazzard2013-05-09T05:35:10+00:00May 9th, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Sometimes in order to “lean in” and make a difference for other women, you have to lean out first – quit the corporate world, start your own business and advocate for women’s needs from the outside. Okay, I admit it – the kind of change that I am making is not socially groundbreaking. I am not making childcare or birth control affordable and accessible to all women. I am not helping to get more women into senior ranks or on boards of directors. But I am at the table. I am leaning in. I am telling conference rooms of men in the U.S. and Asia that if they can’t talk about what women want to buy and why they buy as they develop products, then those men will not be able to compete. With women influencing more than 80% of all consumer goods and furniture purchases, no one [...]

Market Research – Beyond Demographics

Tracy Hazzard2013-03-20T15:00:22+00:00March 20th, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Many product and furniture importers subscribe to large amounts of market research data to bolster their credibility and validate to retailers that their products fit the U.S. market. As both industrial designers and product researchers, we have found that finding demographics data set justification for your features or product is easy, but is no guarantee that it will sell. A better gauge for sales success is competitive context and year-over-year trends of what is available in the market. The largest supplier in any product category is at an advantage because they have significant historical sales data on what sells and doesn't sell. That is one significant reason that it is so difficult to unseat them. At Hazz Design, we have developed an edge for the little guy - the new market entrant or the factory that wants to sell U.S. retail direct - monitoring in-store U.S. retail product [...]

Patent Your Way to Market Success

Tracy Hazzard2013-02-07T16:00:58+00:00February 7th, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

In the U.S., importers and trading companies are employing Intentional Invention patent strategies to hold their market position against direct source alternatives and combat parity issues at retail. By patenting designs and functions, they are free to source the product from any manufacturer they choose. They can also protect their position with retailers so that an item cannot be second sourced or bid out. As a manufacturer, clear business goals that include a patent strategy can be a competitive advantage for selling to the U.S. market. The more complex issue is deciding what to patent, how to develop the patent, and in which country or countries to apply for that patent to maximize those business benefits. Patent Due Diligence When designing and manufacturing products for the U.S. market, patent due diligence is a critical requirement.  Even if you are not interested in using patents as a competitive business [...]

Tips for an Ergonomically Safe CAD Environment – Job Design

Tracy Hazzard2013-02-05T16:00:34+00:00February 5th, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

In previous posts, we discussed how workers and employers can help alleviate some of the office environment risks of developing cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) or repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) through work style and habits, and, the proper selection of furniture and equipment. With industries specializing and narrowing job descriptions for maximum productivity, there is little flexibility and break-up in the routine of a job for most workers. Minimizing some of the repetition by designing the job around the worker, or allowing or forcing periodic breaks can keep your most productive workers from becoming part of the statistical loss of 31+ work days due to RSIs for U.S. businesses each year. Designing jobs with tasks that offer a variety of physical activity: standing, sitting and walking, not only help break up the routine physically, but allow much-needed mental relief as well. Allowing tasks to be performed intermittently rather than [...]

Tips for an Ergonomically Safe CAD Environment – Selecting Furniture

Tracy Hazzard2013-01-29T16:00:00+00:00January 29th, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Second in a three part series of articles on providing an ergonomically safe computer work environment that minimizes risks for cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) or repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). We discussed last post on how workers can help alleviate some of the risks of developing RSIs through their work style by changing posture, habits and recognizing their own health risk factors. However, the burden of safety lies not with the worker, but mainly on the employer to provide a safe and healthy work environment. With the high costs of RSIs costing U.S. employers $80 billion in medical expenses and worker's compensation claims along with 31+ days of lost work time each year, employers cannot afford to ignore the environmental and equipment needs of computer users. For a little more research work, money and willingness to look outside the typical retail office supply source, employers can minimize the risk [...]

Tips for an Ergonomically Safe CAD Environment – Work Style

Tracy Hazzard2013-01-22T16:00:40+00:00January 22nd, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Originally written and published in 1997, this article and the tips about creating a safe computer-aided-design (CAD) environment are even more applicable today when almost every office worker is just as heavy a computer user as CAD users in the 90's. All updates to to article are in blue, but otherwise the original 3-part article is reprinted in its entirety. Rising cases of cumulative trauma disorders (CTD) or repetitive stress injuries (RSI), in office environments have the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) concerned, along with many employers. According to OSHA, CTDs account for two-thirds of all workplace injuries and illnesses reported, with 31+ days of work loss time. CAD-based offices are three times the national average for repetitive motion injuries. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics and NCCI Research, repetitive stress injuries are costing $20 billion per year in worker's compensation claims and overall costs employers [...]

Hazz Design 2012 Year in Review

Tracy Hazzard2013-01-19T03:52:31+00:00January 19th, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

    HAZZ DESIGN IN THE NEWS Orange County Register - December 21, 2012 Expert Couple on How to Shop, What to Buy RISDxyz - Fall/Winter 2012  24/7 Partnership Furniture World - Sept. 2012 - Dec. 2012 Furniture Materials Crash Courses: Part 1-5 Furniture Today | Home World Business | HFN - June 2012 - Aug. 2012 Articles on Genderblend™ Design Process Home World Business - March 19, 2012 Hazz Design Sees Growth in Women's Office Furniture Segment Reprinted/republished with permission of HomeWorld Business and ICD Publications  Home World Business - February 20, 2012 Las Vegas Market's RTA Vendors Report 'Quality Buyer' Attendance           TRACY & TOM'S    TOP MOMENTS OF 2012         COLLABORATING with the Martha Stewart Home Office™ team on the Chase Task Chair. CONSULTING during 10 productive trips to China - (read about our travel secrets). TEACHING at Las Vegas Furniture Market - [...]

Research Analysis – Quantity is not Quality

Tracy Hazzard2013-01-15T08:00:59+00:00January 15th, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

We are drowning in data, research analysis, focus groups, solicitations to participate in surveys, and companies popping up all over that conduct consumer research. Is it really helping or hurting our design process? Trina Turk, fashion designer, says in the December 2012 issue of Inc. Magazine that she used Google data to determine where to open her next store - North Carolina. She said, "Instead of saying, 'Hey, let's open a store.' we follow a formula." But what if her formula is flawed? Maybe designers at the high number of fashion, textile and home furnishings companies in North Carolina frequently Google Trina Turk to do trend research of their own. Paying qualified left-brained experts to conduct this market research doesn't let us designers off the hook for analyzing, reviewing and just plain applying common sense to the results before we use it to design products or plan stores. [...]

Secrets to China Success – Pack Right

Tracy Hazzard2012-12-10T12:14:53+00:00December 10th, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Produce It, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

We are embarking on another trip to China this week, making it a total of ten trips between the two of us for 2012, so we thought we would share some tips on why Hazz Design does more than survive a trip to Asia. Business and pleasure travel are full of pitfalls nowadays, both domestic and international, but after so many Asia trips, being prepared and being flexible do not have to be contradictory or cause for panic attacks. Here are some of our tips on packing just the right items to prepare for the unknown. Packing Right Because we travel so much, we have duplicate sets of all of all our toiletries so we can pack quickly and be sure not to forget anything. There is nothing worse than getting over to China and realizing you forgot contact solution or toothpaste. The entire toilet kit goes into [...]

Blame the Sofa, Not the Smoke Detector

Tracy Hazzard2012-10-04T05:12:25+00:00October 4th, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

42537488 - retro pillows on the cozy grey sofa in the living room 36 minutes of smoke filling a room after a sofa was ignited with a hot iron was the length of time it took for the typical smoke detector to sound and the sofa to finally burst into flames. NBC News, in Rossen Reports: Popular smoke alarms may go off too late, experts warn, reported that most home smoke detectors use a technology called ionization, which in today’s home fail sound the alarm until it can be too late to save lives. And while alerting the public to this very real problem is commendable, however, it is only part of the story. As furniture designers, the long delay before a flame is no surprise to us. It is a key requirement of the California Flammability Standard (CAL 117). CPSC Study - "Testing shows treated foam [...]

Design, like Business is Full of Thieves and Liars

Tracy Hazzard2012-09-20T23:58:45+00:00September 20th, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

If you doubled your business, like Shepard Fairey, what would your panicked reaction to a lawsuit threatening that growth have been? Business history tells us you would probably lie as well...and I am sure you consider yourself a good guy. How a Poster Got a Legal Shredding: Shepard Fairey challenged copyright law but ended up convicted for criminal contempt, is an article posted September 16th in the Wall Street Journal that has numerous public comments quick to point to Shepard Fairey as a thief and a liar. Pointing fingers at one who got caught, just to mix in political opinion about Obama and the Hope Poster completely clouds a long-overdue intellectual property fight defining the fair use doctrine in copyright law to recalibrate it for the digital age. Stanford's Fair Use Project has an uphill battle attempting to legally support the balance of the heavy economic incentives of [...]

Extreme Makeover: Genderblend™ Edition – Part 3 of 4

Tracy Hazzard2012-09-14T15:00:40+00:00September 14th, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

The Boy’s Club – Bose® Noise-Canceling Headsets The third in our series of blogs on Genderblend™ design focuses on a product that we feel needs aesthetic and ergonomic makeovers to grow market share and appeal to female consumers but absolutely cannot afford to alienate its male-dominated consumer base. According to the sales people we have queried, 80% are purchased for or by men. Bose Noise-Cancelling Headphones For frequent flyers, Bose® headphones are a staple, especially on international flights. Considering the not-inexpensive price of $300 a pair, the number of businessmen with their own headsets is astounding. American Airlines offers Business/First Class travelers free loaner sets, rather than the pre-packed disposable ear buds. I bought a Bose set for Tom’s birthday after he came home from a trip raving about the incredible sound and the noise-canceling features. His first reaction was that he can always use the [...]

Extreme Makeover: Genderblend™ Edition – Part 2 of 4

Tracy Hazzard2012-09-12T15:00:34+00:00September 12th, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

More Power – the Inspiration for Dyson® Vacuums The third in our series on Genderblend™ design focuses on how the Dyson vacuum, and a whole product category that was traditionally female, was re-invented to appeal to men. James Dyson met with company after company, and all rejected his concept, even though his technology worked better. They were too afraid to risk losing any share of the $500 million replacement bag market, rationalizing that their strong female consumer base would not like emptying a dirty, messy vacuum canister. Eventually James Dyson persevered, launching his own company in 1993. Within 22 months of its introduction in the United Kingdom, the Dyson became the best-selling vacuum to both men and women. Dyson Vaccuum - Male Power Tool More Power - Dyson focused on features and technology to create a better product. He solved a major problem women faced with [...]

Review of The Furniture Wars – How America Lost a Fifty Billion Dollar Industry

Tracy Hazzard2012-06-04T13:00:31+00:00June 4th, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Despite feeling like I was in a really boring lecture on US History of Furniture Manufacturing by a true "good 'ole boy", in The Furniture Wars, Michael K. Dugan does manage to chronicle years of brand devaluation of some of the industry's biggest names like Henredon, Drexel Heritage, Pennsylvania House and others.  Through the extensive history of buyouts and bad management trying to fix the antiquated practices in the furniture industry, he identifies what distracted the entire industry from noticing that an Asian invasion was taking place. Dotted with furniture industry name dropping and thorough research on the historical happenings in the industry, with some of it coming from Jerry Epperson, (whose astute market analysis we read quarterly) this tome both resonated and scared me at the same time. The key lessons and take-aways are as follows: 1)    When being recruited by the furniture industry, negotiate a hefty [...]

Digital Portfolio/Resume Landmines – Credit Where Credit is Due

Tom Hazzard2021-03-22T14:52:17+00:00March 11th, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Even though you have determined that you have complete rights or permission to display the design and image, our third blog in this series tackles titling with annotation or credit as the next tricky landmine. Logically, you should give proper name credit to the photographer, company manufacturing or selling, or even to other designers if the product was designed in a team. However, it has come to my attention recently that some companies do not want to be associated with designers that left or were forced to leave the company. I personally think this is very shortsighted because it sends the message to their clients that designs during your tenure are questionable. It is also can be even more dangerous for them to distance themselves from you like this – bordering on defamation and disparagement if they go so far to say that even though you were employed [...]

Digital Portfolio/Resume Landmines – Design Ownership

Tom Hazzard2021-03-22T14:54:08+00:00February 28th, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Today’s product designers face a field of legal landmines in regards to design and image use in design portfolios and digital resumes, especially over sites like linkedin, coroflot or on your own website. When a cease and desist letter lands in your inbox, the explosion can cause irreparable damage both financially and professionally. No prospective employer or client wants to hire you without seeing a portfolio of past work, yet that same employer/client does not want you to be able to ever show any designs you did for them in that same portfolio. So what is reasonable or fair use of design images, who owns the intellectual property, and how should you obtain those images, especially when your job or project is completed? Can your employer/client prevent you from using representations of your work to obtain new work? In this series of posts, we will get into more [...]

Innovation Can’t Come from a Focus Group

Tracy Hazzard2012-01-31T20:06:58+00:00January 31st, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Truly innovative product design does not come from focus groups, but it can be killed by one. I am sure there are dozens of focus groups going on right now as I write and the product designer or furniture designer is sitting back cringing at the comments (if they even allow him to watch). Typically focus groups results usually go like this... 1) Research shows that 92% will not pay more for any of the (competitively differentiating or beautifully designed) features. Do you really need a focus group to tell you that they want a product cheap? Participants in focus groups know they are influencing you, so they will always undervalue a product in hopes that it will help get it at least a little cheaper in the end. So, don't waste time and money focus-grouping, use the time to value-engineer the product and actually make it cost [...]

CES 2012 Key Misses

Tom Hazzard2021-03-22T14:56:32+00:00January 13th, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Part 3 of 3: Consumer electronics exhibitors at the 2012 CES Show had many misses by the mere fact that so many didn't stand out and leave an impression. Flat Screen TVs - getting thinner, larger and brighter. Products are more interactive and connected to the internet. With consumers wanting the flattest, largest TV they can afford, why are all these mid to low end TV manufacturers one-upping each other with minor technical differences the average consumer can't see but increases the retail price they pay. Where is the user-focused innovation? How about some guaranteed longevity? We are on our second repair to a TV less than 5 years old. That would be worth a second look. Tablets - everyone has one and everyone now seems to be making one. iPad was first so it stands out, but all the others are a blur of tiny differences. This [...]

CES 2012 Cool Gadgets

Tom Hazzard2021-03-22T14:56:56+00:00January 12th, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Part 2 of 3  - impressions of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. There are always some cool gadgets at CES and this year we are coveting some tech tools that might never see the cool white light of retail shelving. 32923868 - modern computer gadgets Victorinox has reinvented its classic quality pocket knife as a line of flash drives. These flash drives are very handy and beautiful objects, plus they are not going to get taken away by TSA. Parrot's display was a show stopper - at least for Tom and many, many others - two battery-operated remote control helicopters fairly large in size were "dancing" in a large cage to beat of blaring music. Can't remember what their products were, but the copters would make a fun gift. Along those same fun gift lines, Xybotyx debuted small affordable robots that can be controlled by [...]

CES 2012 Impressions

Tom Hazzard2021-03-22T14:58:41+00:00January 11th, 2012|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

As furniture and product designers, we attend the Consumer Electronics Show to keep on top of changes in technology that affect our future home office designs. Over the course of the next 3 blogs, we will give our general impressions of CES, cool gadgets and key misses. Here is part 1 of 3. CES Impressions: CEA says this was the most attended in recent years and there was no shortage of exhibitors and visitors and although it seemed like the economy is being strengthened, we did not get the impression that there was a lot new and worth spending more than a day visiting. Tons of small business were promoting "the gadget" everyone will want, but the most abundant were the Smart Phone case companies. It amazes us that they think of these products as unique - they are really fashion to us. For many this show will [...]

5 Tips to Get a Patent that has Market Value

Tom Hazzard2021-03-22T15:01:04+00:00December 28th, 2011|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

So you’ve developed the best new gadget the world has ever seen and now you’re wondering how to get a patent to protect your idea and corner of the market. Inexperience and blind faith can waste millions of dollars and years of time despite the best intentions. Choosing a patent attorney may be the most important decision you’ll make, but learning how to work with them effectively is just as critical.  Here are our top five tips on working with a patent attorney. Choose a patent attorney who understands your industry and has experience working with professionals like you. One of our clients hired an experienced attorney, spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and after several years still did not have an issued patent from the US Patent and Trade Mark Office (PTO), just rounds of claim rejections. After reviewing the situation and offering our [...]

Designing in a Vacuum

Tracy Hazzard2011-12-05T20:59:05+00:00December 5th, 2011|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Get out of the office! Even if you are designing a vacuum, you can't design in one. You have to see how your customer uses it, watch their mistakes or misuse, see the shelf it needs to go on or the things users will put with it. We see it too often in products and furniture and wonder whether the product designer or manufacturer even uses or tests their own product before it is too late to adjust the design. The answer is surprisingly, "No." Very few designers ever visit the factory that makes their products. The design goes from electronic drawings, to prototype (too fragile to actually use), to production - too fast for user testing. We need to learn from others mistakes or we will make our own. Example: At one point in the last 4 years, we were in the offices of a major office [...]

Favorite Apps

Tracy Hazzard2011-11-04T05:45:24+00:00November 4th, 2011|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

As product designers and working parents, we are always searching for ways to make our job and life more organized. Here are some of our favorite apps: Skype - Free! Great to have breakfast with the baby while getting ready for bed in China. JuneCloud Deliveries - Free! So easy to track on any device whether or not our samples arrive as planned. Sunyu Mobile Patent Search - Free! Leave it to the Chinese to search our own US Patent and Trademark Office Database better. This is more comprehensive and complete than using the PTO's own search engine and even includes the ability to search intellectual property worldwide. With patent strategy such a significant part of our design process, we use this all the time. No need to spend money on a patent attorney for initial research. Plex - Free! We no longer have any DVDs, everything is [...]

Thank You Notes

Tracy Hazzard2011-08-18T08:36:49+00:00August 18th, 2011|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

30891709 - handwritten thank you note written on a blue sticky note lying on a cork board with a fountain pen viewed low angle. I am a fan of tech-savvy late night host Jimmy Fallon, and especially appreciate his old-fashioned "Thank You Notes" segment poking fun at an outdated custom and just about everything else. In that spirit, I would like to "put fingers to keyboard" and send out the following open thank you note to some of Tom's former bosses, without them I would be a stay-at-home mom right now and there would be no Hazz Design.  

Dad’s Business Tips

Tracy Hazzard2011-07-03T08:01:23+00:00July 3rd, 2011|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Protect It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Over the years, both Tom and I have received wise business tips and advice from my Dad, Gene Davio. I thought I would convey some of them to you from time to time, but seeing that he is now retired, I am sure he will be calling to ask for royalties on this and all future posts, so these might be the only three tips... Davio's Business Tips: 1) Pack Light - If you can't carry it, don't pack it. Don't check a bag unless you absolutely have to because it limits your flexibility when travel issues arise. I am never that woman with a bag bigger than she is, typically packing lighter than most men. 2) Take Hostages - Create a captive audience, eager to settle. Important negotiations should always take place on your home field, on a Friday, ideally before a holiday weekend. Serve plenty of [...]

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