Missteps In The Early Market Research Process with Laura Hazzard

Laura Hazzard2021-02-22T17:06:39+00:00July 30th, 2018|Office Hours, Podcasts, Prove It|

If you don't understand who's buying your product, how can you make a product for them? That's what research is in a nutshell, but secondary research is understanding what exists out there. Secondary research is just information in the marketplace that's already out there. Some of the biggest retailers and brands out there are spending millions of dollars a year on research and secondary research. Market research expert Laura Hazzard recommends doing secondary research at all phases of your product launching because research affects the features and the usability of your product, the colors, the styles, the packaging, and also the marketing. But how you talk and what you say in your advertisements, you can learn in secondary research. Laura talks about some of the huge missteps that she’s seeing a lot of retailers do. 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/07/2018/268482796a0148a069f6d382cb731a6f.mp3" title="Missteps In The Early [...]

Get Your Brand Covered with Joe Tarnowski

Joseph Tarnowski2021-02-22T17:09:09+00:00July 28th, 2018|Office Hours, Podcasts, Prove It|

There are a couple of things that are common with any editor in the industry. They're very overworked and have a ton of work that they do across a lot of different things. They manage the overall editorial direction, they plan out all of the stories, they usually have multiple news stories that they have to post online every day, they're all involved in social media, plus they travel a lot. They visit retailers, they visit trade shows, and they do a lot of speaking engagements and webcasts. At the same time, they are also getting bombarded with press releases, calls, and pitches by suppliers and, in some cases, retailers. The supplier is always pitching to them to try and get into the magazines. How does an editor-in-chief or an editor in general decide what is going to go into the magazine or on the website and what's not going [...]

Shipping Incoterms And Transit Times with Abby Duffield

Abby Duffield2021-02-22T17:16:36+00:00July 25th, 2018|Office Hours, Podcasts, Prove It|

The biggest thing to know about transit time is the different pieces in the entire timeline chain that we’re looking at. Abby Duffield of Shapiro, a customs brokers and freight forwarder company, says sometimes when you're looking at a quote, more often than not, when it hits the transit time, it’s talking about the port to port transit time. If you're looking at a transit time for the sea and air shipment, that transit time is going to be from one port to the other. It might say two to three days. That doesn't mean that your entire shipment is going to take two to three days, it's going to take longer than that. You want to make sure that you're planning out fully what the entire scope of this time is going to bring. Learn more about Incoterms and transit times as Abby breaks it down a little bit [...]

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 [...]

The Product Pricing Guide for First-Time Product Launchers

Tracy Hazzard2018-07-13T05:44:02+00:00July 13th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

How to price your products like a forecasting expert and sell even more, in 5 easy steps. Welcome to the obscure, murky, and sometimes scary world of product pricing. If you are reading this, it's probably because I finally got a title catchy enough to draw you in... or like plenty of other entrepreneurs, you are unsure of how to price your product (most likely). Elementary, My Dear Watson. As in elementary math and science, which is what most of you probably assume product pricing consists of. But this is not entirely true, and gray areas in business create the obscurity mentioned above. Identifying the perfect product price ultimately rides on how much you understand your target market's behavior. Pricing isn't just about how much the market will bear. Sometimes it's based on emotion and perception, like paying more for an iPhone because of the time and energy that's put into it. Step One: You Need A Clear Revenue Goal [...]

Top 7 Consumer Market Research Mistakes to Avoid

Tracy Hazzard2018-07-13T05:20:05+00:00July 13th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Skip these rookie mistakes, ask the right questions with the right consumers and market research like the pros. I was hanging out after a conference not too long ago, chatting up new brand builders when something crazy happened. Three of the four entrepreneurs I was talking to hadn't conducted any market research, and the fourth was proud to announce their hours spent Google searching potential competitors. The need for knowledge, like this, shows up in the most unlikely places sometimes, one of those is my sister-in-law, Laura Hazzard, a market research pro who works with very big brands like Target and Starbucks, and advises smaller ones for me as well. She and I have talked extensively about the biggest mistakes we've seen in research, especially with people just like yourself who are ready to launch their product(s). Whether it's your first product, or tenth, we want to make sure you are avoiding rookie mistakes this late in your process. Without [...]

Product Pricing Strategies to Sell and Sell and Sell

Tracy Hazzard2018-07-12T05:20:31+00:00July 12th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

How to price your products like a forecasting expert and sell even more, in 5 easy steps. Welcome to the obscure, murky, and sometimes scary world of product pricing. If you are reading this, it's probably because I finally got a title catchy enough to draw you in... or like plenty of other entrepreneurs, you are unsure of how to price your product (most likely). Elementary, My Dear Watson. As in elementary math and science, which is what most of you probably assume product pricing consists of. But this is not entirely true, and gray areas in business create the obscurity mentioned above. Identifying the perfect product price ultimately rides on how much you understand your target market's behavior. Pricing isn't just about how much the market will bear. Sometimes it's based on emotion and perception, like paying more for an iPhone because of the time and energy that's put into it. Step One: You Need A Clear Revenue Goal [...]

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 [...]

Failure to Launch: Why the Right Order Matters Most

Tracy Hazzard2018-07-11T05:07:58+00:00July 11th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

This expert process has successfully launched over 250 consumer products and shows how the right things, in the right order make for a successful product launch. The product launches that work are the ones that do the right things, in the right order, at the right time. Entrepreneurs with a process in place launch with a stronger foundation, which only lends to their chances of success. There is a right order to do things and if we're not doing them in the right order, it means that we don't have the right information, so we have a higher opportunity for failure. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with how passionate you are or how great your product is. More often failure happens simply because you don't have a critical piece of information that should have come first. Right Order: Seven Product Launch Steps to Success Prove It. This is critical because I'm sure [...]

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 Picture Worth a Thousand Likes

Tracy Hazzard2018-06-28T03:00:30+00:00June 28th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

For design visualization, Adobe has the next step you've been waiting for, to set your business, designs, and photos apart from the rest. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does that translate to in dollars? How much is a good, top quality, well-designed picture actually worth? In terms of product perception, branding, and design, a picture is worth whatever your business is worth. Because this is what's riding on each image you put out, or hire someone to put out, on your brand or product. It seems now, through social platforms, not only are businesses selling products, and influencers selling themselves... but everyone else is selling their life, not for money, for interest, for interaction, for attention, and for double taps. A friend put on an Instagram course for cohesive branding and design, and half the people who showed up just wanted to learn how to make their personal Instagram [...]

Here’s Why You Need Others to Grow an Innovative Big Business

Tracy Hazzard2018-06-27T03:00:05+00:00June 27th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Why getting out of your box and collaborating is the most sensical path to innovation and growth for becoming a much bigger business. The thing we are learning about business, as we continue accelerating forward is, we can try to do it alone, but we won't be as successful or innovative. We know collaboration brings us a competitive edge, the advantage of diverse perspectives, and the ability to exact change across a lot of mediums at one time. This is the future of big business, additive manufacturing, and everything in between. Inspiration, first Close to 30-years ago now, Chris Casteel, of Anew Life, was about to experience a life altering accident. His motorcycle was forced into a curb by distracted drivers, and luckily he survived. Unfortunately, Casteel had to give up his left leg as a result of the damage he suffered from the accident. But he didn't let that slow him down. He [...]

The Best Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Geek Dads

Tracy Hazzard2018-06-26T03:00:56+00:00June 26th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Go beyond the ordinary and give a little bit of tech love to your geek dad this Father's Day with these innovative twists on the typical gift. It sounds really conceited to say that I am known for being an original gift-giver and have Father's Day covered with cool and very personal gifts. But it's not because I am especially gifted at it. It's because I am skilled in eyeing original product ideas and continually researching. So I thought that in today's article, I would share with you the way I get gift and new product ideas and my list of techy twists on gift ideas for Dad. Here's my process guide for turning shopping into a science with valuable product market research that will make your new products more competitive and sell through faster: Gather all year round: We gather data and images year round in store and online so that we can track what's trending in the product [...]

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 [...]

10 Ways to Avoid an Epic Business Failure

Tracy Hazzard2018-06-14T03:00:16+00:00June 14th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Minimize risk to help your product launch go right, instead of right into failure. Throughout my product development career, I've designed, sourced and launched hundreds of consumer products generating more than $2 Billion at e-commerce and mass-market retailers. I've also realized that there are massive patterns and similarities in product launches that fail and product launches that succeed. Using these patterns, I've put together my top ten list of product launch hazards. These are the pitfalls and the errors that run brands into the ground, so work smarter, and avoid these traps at all costs. The Top Ten Hazards of Product Launching Too Many Niches. Plenty of entrepreneurs let their excitement get the best of them, and they want to be everywhere, selling to everyone, all the time. Brand confusion is something new brands, especially small businesses, cannot afford. If you end up with too many different customer focuses, too many target markets, spread too thin- it will [...]

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 [...]

Full Disclosure: You Probably Don’t Need a NDA

Tracy Hazzard2018-06-07T03:00:07+00:00June 7th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

What's necessary to keeping up the flow of business, while protecting what's yours, your ideas, and ultimately, your success with or without a non-disclosure agreement. Non-Disclosure Agreements seem like a mandate in the world of start-up entrepreneurs and inventors. Everyone is working so hard to be legitimate and protective of their business babies. I'm sure plenty of people have advised you also, "If you've got something new and you're going to talk to anybody, have them sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), so they can't disclose it to others." For me, I really try to keep legal out of any kind of negotiations or reviews when we're in early stage talks with a company, whether they're going to be a client or a licensing partner, or whether we want to sell them our designs. So, let's talk about why, or why not, NDA's are necessary. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I just have a lot of business experience in [...]

This 80/20 Color Rule Helps You Design for Success

Tracy Hazzard2018-06-06T03:00:52+00:00June 6th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Why color matters, and how you can use it leverage your way to marketplace success. I love color. In design, this is one of my favorite areas and things to focus on, because it's fun, and it's creative, and color really allows you to separate yourself or your product from everyone else. However, just like any other business differentiator, if not done with strategy, color quickly becomes your downfall. As one of the foremost experts on picking colors that actually sell in mass market retail, I am going to share with you the important lessons I've learned over the past 26-years. Let's Start With A Story About Color At 24-years old, one of my first groundbreaking projects was to create a product line of colors, materials, and finishes for Herman Miller, for the redesign of the entire textile line.  This was a five hundred plus color line, in the footsteps of a fabulous and iconic designer who [...]

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 [...]

Building the Right Prototype to Sell Your Idea

Tracy Hazzard2018-06-05T03:00:48+00:00June 5th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

When it comes to product launches, the land of prototypes and models is daunting, unless you read this first. In the land of product launches, there is a young entrepreneur named Tom. Tom wants to create a working model of his product (aka functional prototype) but he doesn't know where to begin. As much as Google offers us by way of vast knowledge, albeit at times useless, this is different. There are articles about how much you need a prototype, and there are articles about how much you don't need a prototype. And Tom is willing and wants to do whatever it takes to have a successful product launch. This combination of potentially bankrupting advice and the eagerness to succeed is what drops many entrepreneurs out of the game before the first whistle blows. So I put together, from my 25-years of experience, everything you need to know about prototyping and modeling. Understanding Prototype Options [...]

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 [...]

Can We 3-D Print the Future Without Females?

Tracy Hazzard2018-05-29T03:00:03+00:00May 29th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Why additive manufacturing needs the female touch more than ever. There is so much buzz around what manufacturing will grow into over the next decade, and I am enthralled by the conversations. It is so exciting to see applications come to fruition to save an industry ripe with pitfalls, and primed for rapid transition and growth. Manufacturing hasn't totally lost its luster, but for people like me, on the inside, I know what it can be. So I am attempting to move the needle forward, faster, now more than ever before. The Possibilities Are So Endless In the near future, we will not talk about 3d printing or additive manufacturing as a part of the process, because it will be a part of most processes. Just like injection molding, this will just be. Because of the endless potential, when it comes to application, we are beginning to see ownership from industry and makers, all the way down to [...]

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" [...]

The 80/20 Color Rule for Choosing the Right Colors for Your Products

Tracy Hazzard2021-02-22T18:44:19+00:00May 23rd, 2018|Brand It, e-Commerce, Office Hours, Packaging, Podcasts, Private Label, Produce It, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box, Sourcing|

Picking the right colors for specific consumer goods is exciting, and can also be a very agonizing process for some product inventors, innovators, designers, and marketers, especially to newbies. Even experienced branding professionals get challenged sometimes, and rightly so, for there is so much is riding on choosing the right color for your product. Many factors can affect our opinions on product color selection, most especially our personal preferences. If you happen to pick the wrong color for your product, it will not be marketable, and problems with inventory among other things will arise. Get the skinny color selection for product design and the ultimate 80/20 color rule from one of the leading experts in the product design industry who also specializes in picking colors that sell in mass market retail. Watch the Episode Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXq322gx_kU Listen to the podcast here: [smart_track_player url="https://www.podetize.com/statsapi/www.podetize.com/wp-content/uploads/fileuploads/11-5b145ef137b51b3d1af0633e9305c43d/09/2018/213920d5654e793e754ddd3d944efba6.mp3" title="The 80/20 Color Rule for Choosing [...]

Meet Market Research Expert Laura Hazzard

Laura Hazzard2021-02-22T18:46:40+00:00May 22nd, 2018|Brand It, e-Commerce, Inventors, Office Hours, Podcasts, Private Label, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

When you’re selling something, some questions that come up in your mind are, are people going to buy what you’re selling? Are they going to respond to it? What features do they value? A great way to answer that is market research. Market research expert, Laura Hazzard, has worked with big brands like Target, Starbucks, Disney, Fox, and Sony. She’s done everything from plus size women's apparel to cat food and everything in between. Laura shares that it’s so critically important to ask questions because then you have a better understanding of why people purchase the things they do. She says that big brands and small companies should both dive deep into market research. They should have a process that they run to see if people will buy their products so they can cut down on costs by avoiding mistakes and optimize their sales. Watch the Episode Here: https://youtu.be/3rOvPnJSedE [...]

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 [...]

This Insider Product Launch Strategy Builds Amazon Millionaires

Tracy Hazzard2018-05-08T03:00:41+00:00May 8th, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Insider information from the top Amazon Seller conference on how you can develop products that are brand assets instead of collecting failures in this fast-paced retail marketplace.   The former head of Amazon Services, the group that recruits almost all new sellers to Amazon Marketplace, James Thomson, co-founded The Prosper Show, a conference to unveil insider secrets and build shared success knowledge. We both share intellectual space when it comes to helping e-commerce sellers avoid the time-wasters and launch profitable products that thrive. The 1400+ attendees look for real honesty and nitty-gritty advice and are tired of failing, tired of bad business and product advice, or both. Seven out of ten consumer products fail. Fourteen out of fifteen home shopping products fail. Hayneedle is gone. Toys R' Us is going. Big brands fail too... but they have a much longer runway than you do, and can afford more failure than you. So to help level the playing field, I'm sharing the secret formula million dollar sellers use [...]

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 [...]

5 Skills AR Can Grow in Future Entrepreneurs

Tracy Hazzard2018-05-07T03:00:14+00:00May 7th, 2018|Brand It, Capital Funding, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Non-negotiable leadership skills and emerging technologies our future innovators need to change (or survive) the future. Last year, The World Economic Forum released their list of the ten skills you need to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution. The idea is to aim our focus forward, by way of skills, so we can be ready and capable to take on the future. Naturally, I wanted to look at technology and lay out how we can use the new technology coming our way, to advance these skills more efficiently. Adding AR to Our Curriculum The one thing schools should be equipping their students with, is advanced technology, and specifically AR. We all talk about this technology for adults, and how we can use it to make our lives better, but what about students? Didn't someone famous once say, "the children are our future?" Why reserve the good stuff for you and I, when we could [...]

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 [...]

5 Changes That Can Save Retail from Disruption

Tracy Hazzard2018-04-09T04:41:55+00:00April 9th, 2018|Brand It, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Insider View: Everything you want to know about when you'll see 3d printed products take over the shelves at your local Walmart, Target, or Costco. I recently did a presentation at a 3d print conference on disrupting mass market retail, what was going wrong, and why retail wasn't tipping as fast as everyone thought it would. This presentation was definitely more "insider information" but it continues the disruption conversation around 3d print and what it's really going to take to hit that tipping point. My experience with product design and launch allows me an inside plus outside perspective that is often overlooked when it comes to retail. When people ask me why we can't just go buy everything on-demand 3d printed today, I tell them one (or all) of these 5 things: Most products fail before automation like this is ever an option. Only two percent of inventions ever make money, fourteen out of fifteen shopping channel [...]

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 [...]

Modern-Day Slavery: How to Protect Your Brand and Fight for What’s Right

Tracy Hazzard2018-02-23T06:13:39+00:00February 23rd, 2018|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

With labor slavery on the rise, these are the essentials you need to know to protect your brand and do what's right. While researching Ashton Kutcher for his appearance at the City Summit, I became acutely aware of the exploitation of children, women and laborers. Then, Human Trafficking Awareness Month came and went without much talk on why the labor and supply chain aspect epidemic is affecting businesses at any stage of growth, size or location, and is often coupled with sex and child exploitation. If you are not taking steps to protect your business and your brand from getting caught unaware, you are playing a high-stakes game of risk. Before we get started, let's cover some basic facts: Human Trafficking, as defined by the United Nations, is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by force, abduction, fraud, or coercion for an improper purpose including forced labor or sexual exploitation. According to the International Labour Organization, Human [...]

7 Out Of 10 Products Fail: Here’s How to Flip the Odds

Tracy Hazzard2018-02-19T10:55:11+00:00February 19th, 2018|Brand It, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Breaking down the top reasons product inventors lose big. Plus how to overcome those obstacles, harness your innovative power and win market share despite the odds. From design to prototyping, patenting, manufacturing, packaging, fulfillment, and sales and marketing, there are so many tasks for inventors to tackle. On top of that, there are so many ways to fail. When you are coming into new territory, statistically, the chances of things going wrong are higher than the chances of things going right. Add to that the seemingly endless bad advice, poor processes, consultants ready and willing to take your money, sketchy manufacturers, sales programs promising six figures, and you may as well dedicate at least half of your time discerning. This discernment, between right and wrong, should and should not, is the part of the process nobody truthfully talks about, and it's also where product launchers lose big. Creators & Inventors Deserve the Truth After watching [...]

Identifying Product Gaps and Nixing Brand Launch Pain Points

Tracy Hazzard2018-02-13T11:56:40+00:00February 13th, 2018|Brand It, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

 How focusing on serving women, creating cost effective, minimalist design, and cutting out the pink tax for good makes for an effective brand launch strategy. Filling those opportunity market gaps with well-thought out products is key to quick traction for any brand or business launch. Finding a gap that taps into a pain point like changing the shave game; think Dollar Shave Club for women, is strategic and fast growth too. Shaving is celebrated for men, and is framed as a chore for women. There are numerous companies that have been created to give men a better, more affordable shave experience, and women are an afterthought. Big mistake when women do well over eighty percent of all the buying in the personal care market. Why Don't We Mind The Market Gender Gap? Given market dynamics, it doesn't even make sense that the shave market doesn't cater to women as much as men. Emerging shave/body brand Billie recognized this [...]

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 [...]

Tools to Make You And 2018 Disruptive Enough To Thrive

Tracy Hazzard2018-01-09T08:56:49+00:00January 9th, 2018|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

With no shortage of resources, technology, or capital, disruption expert Jay Samit talks about self-limiting your ideas and why the most disruption will happen within rather than in specific markets. In 2017, 94% of the 5-trillion dollars China did in retail payments, was not handled by banks, or Visa, or Mastercard. We talk about retail as being "in the dark ages" in so many ways, but this disruption is one example of what's to come in the New Year. Jay Samit is a dynamic entrepreneur, widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts on disruption and innovation.  He launches billion dollar businesses, transforms entire industries, revamps government institutions, and for over three decades continues to be  at the forefront of global trends. I was thrilled to sit down with him and talk about market disruption in 2018, and it was not what I expected, but it's exactly what we all need to hear. [...]

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 VR Will Make 2018 the Year of Visionaries

Tracy Hazzard2018-01-04T00:53:10+00:00January 4th, 2018|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

 Where humans lack shared vision, VR has endless capabilities. This could be the key to bringing more ideas to life in 2018 if you have the vision to capitalize on the growth. Stepping through the front door of your dream home, you can feel the excitement all the way to your fingertips. To the left, the library you always wanted, with shelf-lined walls, and oversized leather chairs. As you turn your head to the right, your focus is drawn up and around, as you admire the winding cherry staircase. Straight ahead sits the kitchen you helped design; double ovens, a beautiful granite island, and a wall of windows bringing the outside in. This house is stunning. It takes your breath away. It also isn't real. Welcome to Old Industries Becoming New Again Real estate is a fun example of how companies like Outer Realm VR are making old markets seem very new with technology [...]

The Difference Between Focus Groups and Customer Advisory Boards

Tracy Hazzard2017-12-01T04:07:57+00:00December 1st, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

An advisory council expert talks why feedback matters and getting the feedback that is most effective to accelerate your business growth. If you've spent any time here in my column, you know about my hate/hate relationship with focus groups. The timing is always wrong, the focus is always wrong, the demographic is always too close to the market in question, the results are always skewed, and the time is most always wasted. We are drowning in data, research analysis, and focus groups. Modern businesses need to shift from the old-school focus group, to the more effective customer advisory board. Knowing this, I went straight to the expert on customer advisory boards, Betsy Westhafer, who spends her time helping B2B organizations grow in alignment with their customers needs. The Brand Vacuum + Focus Groups: The Deadly Combination A lot of companies experience an self-affirming brand vacuum that prevents them from understanding which step is the right next [...]

The 7 Essential Questions To Build Your Business On

Tracy Hazzard2017-11-17T01:36:10+00:00November 17th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

 Expert lessons on a 'New" Taylor Swift misstep & avoiding Brandslaughter by building an unshakeable foundation. "Look what you made me do... look what you made me do..." The song oozes victimhood and a lack of accountability. Unless you watch the video, and then you immediately understand the level of sarcasm is off the charts and the hidden messages constant. But what if you never watched the video? Your opinion of a woman who built her empire on the message of being strong in who you are and your feminine power suddenly seems a little lost. This premise posed by marketing and communications leader, Brandy Hughes at the recent SuperNova South event really got me thinking about brand missteps that over time might lead to brand erosion. Avoiding Brandslaughter This is the power of branding. And this is one of the ways companies and public figures commit brandslaughter. Inconsistencies across mediums or in messaging only [...]

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 [...]

Creatively Rewire Your Brain To Sell Faster

Tracy Hazzard2017-09-29T06:56:25+00:00September 29th, 2017|Brand It, Capital Funding, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

The fastest way to erase the biggest barrier to your business bottom line growth and switch your brain to sell. There is no doubt that being able to sell is essential to every startup. Whether you are a creative entrepreneur or not, you have to be able to make the sale. The issue with this is... well there are several. So we are going to discuss those issues, and the solution you need, with an internationally known expert and bestselling author. Dr. Jerry V.Teplitz, expert and author on brain performance, understands the importance of the bottom line, and also how we tend to affect that bottom line in ways we don't always realize. His offerings connect the brain processes with the most common setbacks to help you: Rewire your brain Increase your bottom line Setting A Baseline For What Success Means The goal with rewiring your brain is that you become an effective and successful start-up [...]

Designers Building Businesses Learn Digital Skills From These Resources

Tracy Hazzard2017-08-03T04:24:23+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

From the 2017 Design In Tech Report, everything you need to know about where designers learn to go digital. Design celebrity, John Maeda; former RISD President, Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion at Automattic, has just released the 2017 Design In Tech report and I've already shared with you a bold outline of the clear role design plays in business, along with the relationship between design and money. Now, I want to talk about where designers are learning their digital business skills these days because: There might be options available out there you might not be aware of that could benefit you, and; I want you to succeed and I know your chances are higher by taking advantage of the resources available to you. I wasn't exaggerating when I told you this year's Design In Tech Report was packed full of great information. Some of the most interesting stats I read were the [...]

Good News for Designers: Companies Like Facebook and Google Are Hiring, But the Skill Set Required Is Changing

Tracy Hazzard2017-08-02T04:06:56+00:00August 2nd, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Designers remain in high demand as we look at job trends and how they will affect the startup landscape. Design celebrity, John Maeda; former RISD President, Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion at Automattic, has just released the 2017 Design In Tech report and I've already shared with you a bold outline of the clear role design plays in business. Beyond design, there must be someone initiating design; enter designers, and now that we see the importance of design in business, designers are in high demand. Does this mean more "real" job opportunities for designers? "According to LinkedIn, the highest echelon of the technology industry is vying for more design talent - Facebook, Google, and Amazon have collectively grown art and design headcount by 65% in the past year - with much headroom to hire more." - 2017 Design In Tech Report. 65% year over year growth is huge. Especially when you [...]

Why Design Is the Best Bottom-Line Strategy

Tracy Hazzard2017-08-01T07:12:59+00:00August 1st, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

2017 Design In Tech's report shows us markets are relying on design for a higher ROI; all of the details are here. Design celebrity, John Maeda; former RISD President, Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion at Automattic, recently released the 2017 Design In Tech report and here are some of the juiciest design details with you. As a student of design myself, I know in my bones that design isn't just one aspect of an app or a product. Design is an integral part of the product or the app. Design is every aspect of creative touch from the moment of conception to final completion, that is, if it's done right. What Is Design In Today's Market? What we are learning now, supporting numbers show, is that design is an all-encompassing process of offering something to the market that is complete in every way, and also inclusive. And this completion of an end product that [...]

Learning to Deal With Stress Just Got Easier

Tracy Hazzard2017-07-20T19:41:31+00:00July 20th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Stress is a fact of life, but how you deal with it is up to you, so I called in an expert to show you the way. I just wrapped up an amazing call with Dr. Laurel Geise, Founder and CEO of The Geise Group, on a mission to help companies implement Mindfulness at Work Programs. She and I really got down to the nitty gritty details about why mindfulness is making a comeback in a huge way and why this is the solution to dealing with stress. Stress Is A Big Problem Stress can form in layers, whether it's entrepreneurial or business related, personal, situational, or just transferred from others you spend time around, and it seems that we are dealing with more and more. It's important that you understand what your stress looks/sounds/feels like, and even more important that you know how to deal with it. Why? Because stress [...]

Why Being Selfish Helps A Partnership Thrive

Tracy Hazzard2017-07-19T04:52:38+00:00July 19th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Two minds are more powerful than one, if you can get down to the business of co-creation. No one knows better than I do that the only thing more difficult that launching a business is launching a business with a partner, especially a partner you love. After 25 years with my husband and at least half of them as business partners, I have learned that co-creating a business is very personal. So I decided to talk with Alain Torres, international bestselling author and relationship/partnership guru, helps high-performing entrepreneurs turn everything they touch into gold. From saving a client from losing 12 million dollars, to saving another's long-term relationship, to guiding another jet setter to discover true inner fulfillment, Alain has a process with a playful style so you can keep a clear mind as you put your best self forward in your relationships and in your businesses to help a partnership thrive by [...]

How To Win Influencers & Boost Your Launch

Tracy Hazzard2017-07-11T03:43:22+00:00July 11th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Expert endorsements can make your launch a stratospheric success, so here's how to get your product reviewed. I recently had a fun and interesting call with The Gear Guru, Patrick Netter. His book High Tech Fitness in 1984 really highlighted the little known tech revolution happening in health, fitness and wellness and his ability to be on the cutting edge of the next big thing has never left him. Patrick's expertise is so spot on, this was a perfect opportunity for me to share Q&A style, how to get the attention of an expert reviewer and how this process has changed over the years. When I asked Patrick about the first product he reviewed, that went to market ahead of it's time, he turned the tables and asked me the same question about products. Our answers were telling, and even at the risk of aging both of us, I'm sharing anyway: Tracy: Stylus pens for handheld [...]

Your Message Comes First, Everything Else Follows

Tracy Hazzard2017-06-23T19:12:47+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Expert advice on message-first branding to rise above the noise of a billion websites. Want to become the "go to" creative brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights? Then you need to go way beyond logos, graphics and sites like Marisa Murgatroyd, founder of Live Your Message. She helps entrepreneurs create a business brand that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their "inner superhero", so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives. But First, You Need A Tribe The problem most entrepreneurs run into, when trying to locate said tribe has everything to do with inaccurate, inconsistent, or inauthentic messaging. Your tribe is emotional. They want to be spoken to in a way that resonates deep, to wonder how you knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling. They want to trust [...]

How Great Design Can Keep People Honest

Tracy Hazzard2017-06-19T19:03:19+00:00June 19th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

How a dating app focused on STD transparency plans to gain trust and early adopters. If I were to ask you, right in this moment, to imagine a time you were lied to or deceived, I would be willing to bet money that you have just easily recalled several occasions vividly. The feeling of being deceived cuts deep and oftentimes, we hold onto these emotions, we remember this pain, out of fear and avoidance, so in the future we don't ever have to feel this way again. Of course that isn't how it works, but collectively, most of us do this anyway as a means of protection. We can't let those feelings go out of fear that if we forget them, they may catch us off guard again. Why Are We Talking About Deception? We are talking about deception because we live in a society where lying is commonplace and we don't [...]

Comic Books Have Never Been This Cool Before

Tracy Hazzard2017-06-16T18:53:51+00:00June 16th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

A new business model that's killer plus virtual reality will, undoubtedly, spell success. Remember when you were a child, flipping through comic book pages, imagining the characters coming to life, bringing you along as you helped them defeat the ever-immoral antagonist? This childhood dream is now becoming reality, virtual reality. You CAN bring the story to life, build into the world, and even exist within it. Welcome To VR Comics, Whole New Worlds At Your Fingertips This amazing VR technology is opening up new worlds that are being fully explored and expanded on all sides by companies like The Spiraloid Workshop Company. They are creating cross-media universes that start as VR Comics with real-time production tools, that are being built as a virtual studio backlot. They then share all of that with content partners and their community of fans and creators with the goal of creative genius lending to expansion. The company's founders [...]

R&B To ROI: Meet The Man Helping Celebrities Go Viral

Tracy Hazzard2017-05-27T18:51:12+00:00May 27th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

How this hip-hop star is turning followers into funds for famous clients. The internet, ahh, the internet. An exceptional platform offering opportunities for connecting with and reaching millions of people the moment you tap that 'Enter' key. 20-years ago, this would have seem more far fetched than a flying car... or at the risk of dating myself, a digital dancing baby. Today, this is our reality and the phrase 'going viral' can mainly be attributed to the things that take over the internet with the veracity of a wildfire on a dry, windy day. You'll know you've made it when you've finally gone viral. Right? Is Going Viral 'IT' And Is There A Secret Recipe? That's what I set out to ask Spectacular Blue Smith - CEO/Founder of Adwizar. His social media management company goes beyond "ghost-posting" to turn a social following into a "productive mass following" - one that generates income. [...]

Building Fans By Connecting Brands to Brains

Tracy Hazzard2017-05-21T18:48:53+00:00May 21st, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Neuro-Branding: influence perception to attract the tribe you want. The human brain is a fascinating and full subject matter. The reason we love to learn about the brain is because we all desire to know more about who we are and why we do the things we do. By dissecting others, we are in turn dissecting ourselves, learning what makes the clock tick and our world spin. It's All In Your Head Do you control perception? That is the question Erin Saxton and Chad LeFevre of NeuroBeare answering with the end goal of connecting brains to brands in the most meaningful way possible. According to Erin and Chad, the average person is exposed to 4,000+ brand messages each day. All of that noise makes it incredibly difficult for companies to be heard. That is especially true when companies choose to emulate their competition rather than do their due diligence and get their [...]

Get A COO or CMO If You Want To Launch Big

Tracy Hazzard2017-05-20T18:45:37+00:00May 20th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

If you want to get your product to market, get a COO or CMO as soon as possible. I talk quite a bit about how the business world is constantly shifting, so before we dive into why you need a COO or a CMO, let's loosely define what each title means. COO: oversees an organization's ongoing operations and procedures. CMO: oversees an organization's marketing and advertising initiatives. While they are not totally interchangeable, one way we could sum up both job descriptions is by saying: Both the CMO and COO oversee the details and make sure things get done right. When it comes to launching a new product and trying to get it to market, there are a lot of details, and it's easy for those details to fall through the cracks. Which is why you need backup with serious skills. Automation Is On The Rise, Along With Entrepreneurs & Inventors Charlene Consolacion, co-founder [...]

Avoid Start-Up Flops By Beta-Testing The Right Way

Tracy Hazzard2017-05-06T18:43:12+00:00May 6th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

How to beta test with the right user and why you can't afford to do it wrong or only internally. Welcome to beta testing, the moment you get to (finally) find out if your potential user is going to fall in love with your creation. While it sounds so old school, the right type of beta testing can be an invaluable tool for so many reasons. At the end of the day you've got to have a positive user experience (with the right users) because the expectations are high and the competition is stiff. Where Should You Start? In order for you to run proper rounds of beta testing, you have to have one very important thing: an ultimate consumer profile based on accurate market research. Who is is your buyer? What do they want from you? How old are they? How much money do they make? Where do they vacation? [...]

5 Steps to Keeping Your Product a Bestseller

Tracy Hazzard2017-05-04T18:40:11+00:00May 4th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Why bestsellers come from a willingness to redesign again & again and stay innovative. There are 27-million entrepreneurs starting or running a new business in the United States, according to a recent study by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. From those 27-million trailblazers, GEM also projects that there are 39% with an innovation intensity. In other words, 39% of the products coming to market, are considered new and innovative. There Has To Be A Process With all of this creation and innovation, we really need to understand how companies can create products that are innovative yet accepted in a crowded, established market... or how the process of continually redesigning to maintain a bestseller actually works. It might not be rocket science, but it's pretty close. There are a lot of details to consider, and they matter. For that reason, I've broken down the necessary steps of the process for designing or redesigning a product to stay a [...]

Every Company Needs a Kid on Board

Tracy Hazzard2017-04-23T18:38:19+00:00April 23rd, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Your next advisor should be 4 feet tall and full of imagination. Meeting Makenna Riley on the red carpet at the City Gala event blew me away. I knew I had to share her perspective with you on why you need a kid advisor to propel you and your business into new and creative growth. Makenna is the daughter of inventor and award-winning TV host, Forbes Riley, so it's no surprise that she is blazing trails fast and early. Being a kid allows Makenna a fresh perspective and makes her privy to kid information you and I just don't have. Of course we gain as we grow into adulthood, but there are things we give up as well. So I want to talk about that first. Logic Faces Off With Imagination Adulthood brings us into a world of freedom. To gain that freedom, we accept tremendous responsibility; to our work, to our families, to our communities, and the world around us. When [...]

Celebrity Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs

Tracy Hazzard2017-03-23T18:20:21+00:00March 23rd, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

From the post-Grammy red carpet, how to make it big by following John Travolta's footsteps. At the City Gala this year, not only did I have the amazing opportunity of speaking about empowerment as part of an entrepreneurs panel, I also hit the red carpet to interview the celebrity crowd. Along with Alan Taylor of Inc Radio (Alan spoke on Leadership!) we interviewed the A-listers on the red carpet to find out what tips they had for you, the creative entrepreneur. For those of you not yet in the know, City Gala and City Summit are a part of Producer, Ryan Long's mission to "advance community through humanitarian events." The City Gala event educates entrepreneurs and simultaneously seeds start-up non-profits like the International Arts & Philanthropy, Breed Life and Passion 4 Kids. Pretty amazing, right? From Summer Nights to Taking Flight As a pilot, John Travolta knows a thing or two about checking lists to stay alive. Maybe in your everyday life it [...]

The Real Secret to Constant Innovation Momentum for Your Business

Tracy Hazzard2017-03-22T18:18:17+00:00March 22nd, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Building an innovation team can save your business, but only if you invest out and in-house as well. There is no putting your head down while swimming in the constant changing tides of business innovation. That moment you put your head down to zero in on growing what you've already built, is the moment you get left behind. As you tread water and look around, you'll realize everything has changed... without you, and you are sitting in a position of either being or drowning and becoming obsolete. To avoid being left behind by innovation, you have two options. The first option is to build an in-house innovation team and the second option is to bring in outside help when you are in need of direction. I am going to break down the options and explain why you actually need both. First, Let's Talk About Internal Innovation Teams It's not a new [...]

If Your Brand Isn’t Changing, You’re Doing It Wrong

Tracy Hazzard2017-03-15T18:15:47+00:00March 15th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

How your small business can/should disrupt, innovate, and succeed through constant transformation. Business definition of transformation in an organizational context as "a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness." In this uber-competitive and fast paced business world we have created, the expectations are higher than ever for innovative companies that move with the needs of the consumer. Your business is no different, and must stay with the trend of transformation... or die. To prove this point, and a few others, I talked with Richard Hartell, Global President of Publicis Media Business Transformation, a practice responsible for research you need to know about. Why Constant Brand Transformation Is the New Normal Based on the definition of transformation I shared above, it only makes sense that you would want your business constantly shifting towards higher levels of effectiveness. But it [...]

How to Tell If a Business Idea Is Truly Different From the Rest

Tracy Hazzard2017-03-13T01:27:19+00:00March 13th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

If you really want to know, you need market proof. Here's how to get it without investing a small fortune. When you commit your career to a field for as long as I have, you learn a few nitty-gritty tricks when it comes to getting off the ground without a money tree. I've been working for 25-years in product design and development and one very valuable tidbit I've learned is this: there are a lot of ways to get market proof and if you want to get serious, you have to have it. First, Let's Talk About Amazon The most significant route that we use with our clients is Amazon. There's nothing better than a quick hit on Amazon to know whether or not somebody wants to buy what you are selling. We do this in a really unusual way that I think a lot of people underestimate. Sometimes, you have something [...]

LA Innovation: Bigger, Better, & Cleaner Than Ever

Tracy Hazzard2017-03-11T01:27:47+00:00March 11th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

How one incubator is securing the future for California's clean ideals and disruptive technology too. When I say California and clean tech, you probably say Silicon Valley. Most others would probably say the same because, historically, LA has lagged behind the valley and others in becoming an Industry of Innovation. That is, until now. The LA CleanTech Incubator(LACI), is a cooperation between industry and city to get rid of the lag and catapult Los Angeles to the forefront of clean and disruptive tech. Why Does LA Matter? With California as the 6th largest economy in the world and LA as the 2nd largest city in California, these kinds of long term local investment ventures mean that no matter what direction a new national agenda goes, LA has set roots in Green Energy jobs, investments, and growth. It's a life insurance policy for the future industries of these massive economies, and much needed [...]

Trading the Cold Call for the Power Call

Tracy Hazzard2017-03-10T01:28:05+00:00March 10th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

How making two power calls a day can grow your firm just like this leading app developer did. The lines of communication have never been more open. There are more ways, than ever before, for us to talk to one another. We know this to be true, so why, in business, does it seem harder than ever to get through to people? It could be that, perhaps, we are doing it wrong. It used to be that cold calling was the way into people's homes, offices, and eventual hearts checkbooks. What I am learning in my own business, and have confirmed with Rahul Varshneya, owner of Arkenea, the leading App Product Development firm helping non-tech founders build better apps, mobile, and e-commerce websites, is that the process for communicating may have changed, but the power of an actual free phone call is worth the time. You Have to Engage Your Potential [...]

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 [...]

5 Ways to Command Attention for Your App

Tracy Hazzard2017-02-20T01:27:31+00:00February 20th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

In this age of app overload, you need advice from experts on what you can do to get noticed. According to Statista, as of January 2017, 2.2 million mobile apps were available to download for various iOS devices. Smartphones opened a new world for apps with the average smartphone user getting lost in their favorite apps for around 40-hours per month. That's not even the most surprising part. Even more than the amount of apps available is who owns those apps that gain the most notoriety. If you're developing an app, keep in mind that you will be competing with tech and social giants currently dominating the space like Facebook or Google. And here's another interesting tidbit for you: while the amount of time users spend with their apps continues to increase, the actual number of apps they are using has stayed the same for the past 3 years. What Does [...]

The Brain Science Behind Designing the Right Customer Experience

Tracy Hazzard2017-02-19T01:28:23+00:00February 19th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Psychological control, developing trust, and the neuroscience behind what makes the sale. Hopefully last year has taught you a lot about how to do business, or in the case of the Mylan EpiPen, a lot about how not to do business. So I want to talk about that, as well as how we can all do better in 2017 by understanding what it means to transfer dominance to our clients and also how to earn their trust. First Let's Talk About the Epipen Disaster When customers, who were truly in need of a real solution, gained the EpiPen, they felt in control. They were thrilled, willing to pay the asking price, and were experiencing a rush of positive emotions associated with that gain. To make a somewhat long story short, when Mylan raised the price of the EpiPen, they went from a company quelling fear to a company instilling fear. [...]

Why Pantone’s Color of 2017 Matters to Your Business

Tracy Hazzard2017-01-09T05:37:39+00:00January 9th, 2017|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Color trends can make or break your business, but it's more than just picking a color. As we prepare to move into a New Year there will be plenty of preparation done by businesses looking to scale and level up in 2017. With these preparations, there should be room left to look at office design, color palette choices, and what your 'look' will feel like in 2017. Architecture, design, planning and consulting firm​, Gensler's Senior Associate, Nestor Santa-Cruz discussed his 2017 color trends thought and I was thrilled to get his experienced insight. Going Date-Less In 2017 One of my favorite pieces of information from the conversation between Nestor and myself was the term 'date-less' and what that means when applied to design. This is core to what I practice everyday in time-less product design. Date-less is the idea that space or product design needs to have a long lasting [...]

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 [...]

Guns: The Dark Side of 3D Printing Arrives in Reno Airport

Tracy Hazzard2016-08-25T01:06:28+00:00August 25th, 2016|Capital Funding, e-Commerce, Free Articles, INC Articles, Private Label, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Concerns over criminal use of 3-D printing spawns legislative action in California and hits home for the TSA.   Up until now, it has been rare to find a 3D printed gun being used outside of fringe activists. But recently concerns over 3D printed guns has hit both the Reno, Nevada TSA and the California legislation. While this dark side of 3D printing has been a passing concern, it is hitting close to home and raising concern from law enforcement, legislation, and 3D print experts like author and intellectual property attorney, John Hornick, partner at Washington, DC based Finnegan IP law firm. "There are starting to be a lot of reasons law enforcement is taking a closer look at 3D printing," Hornick says. TSA 3D Printed Gun Find Surprising or not, the Transportation Safety Administration reported on their blog that they found 68 firearms in carry-on luggage this week - one of them was 3D printed. "While [...]

How a Young Woman Designer Is Changing the Way the World Poops

Tracy Hazzard2016-04-30T16:22:12+00:00April 30th, 2016|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Wish for Wash Founder Jasmine Burton shares her thoughts on innovation and social good. Believing that you have the power to make a difference might sound like the ideals of youth, but putting those ideals into action is what separates designers that just draw from innovators that build. Jasmine Burton, Founder of Wish for Wash a social impact organization that saves lives by bringing innovation to sanitation through culturally-specific research, design and education is an innovator and a doer. As a freshman at Georgia Tech, Jasmine was inspired to do something about the global sanitation crisis by a women's leadership conference by Susan Davis of Improve International. Nearly half of the world doesn't have access to a toilet; of those people, women and girls are disproportionately burdened and pubescent girls in the developing world frequently drop out of school as a result of the lack of toilets in their schools. Angered by this reality, [...]

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 [...]

Stats and the facts to consider before you start a crowd-funding project

Tracy Hazzard2016-02-26T02:44:12+00:00February 26th, 2016|Brand It, Capital Funding, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Stats and the facts to consider before you start a crowd-funding project. Even with all the posted statistics on demographics, failure rate and high cost of marketing for running a Kickstarter campaign, inventors believe that they will be one of the elite to overfund. Here are the top reasons inventors give me when I ask them why they want to Kickstart and some things to consider before crowd-funding: It's extremely difficult to find traditional or venture funding for product-based start-ups except on Kickstarter. While not completely unfounded, the Quandl report on Angel/VC funding for consumer product ventures shows that the statistics are low - less than 5% for VCs and 16% for Angel investors. Consider this, Kickstarter is market proof that someone will buy your product. Failing to fund like the 63% unsuccessful projects reported in 2015 will make it even more difficult to get investors. Making a small run on Amazon [...]

5 Creative (and Cheap) Ways to Test a Product Idea

Tracy Hazzard2016-02-08T02:06:33+00:00February 8th, 2016|Brand It, Free Articles, INC Articles, Inventors, Private Label, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It|

Getting an early read on the market value for your product or services is an essential component of a successful launch. The earlier in the development process you can conduct market research, the better it will be to make critical design adjustments in your message, your target market or your product. Plus, finding effective ways to conduct market testing can provide valuable evidence of market proof to data-driven retailers or investors. What Makes Market Research Effective? According to Aaron Keller, founding partner of Capsule, a Minneapolis-based brand development and research firm, "good market research gives you an indication of value by demonstrating an emotional connection between a human and a product." This does not always come in the form of what price is willing to be paid. It might be making physical contact by picking it up and checking it out, sharing or talking about it with others, or even going [...]

ACA Exchange is a Healthy Fix for Self-Employed

Tracy Hazzard2013-10-09T01:19:53+00:00October 9th, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, whatever you want to call it...my small work-at-home business needs it...desperately. My family needs it. And, as a newly pregnant woman, I definitely need it. As I have begun to face our own work-at-home health care crisis, I have discovered that this is not about politics. This is all about money. Our money, our business' money and our family budget, especially in regards to health care costs. HAZZARD HEALTH CARE COSTS Like a good business and family budget manager, I keep track of everything, every receipt, every invoice. So, I was able to run our family's specific health care costs for the past six years. I went back this far because 2008 was the last full year that one of us had health coverage through an employer. 2009 and 2010 were COBRA years. 2011 was the first year of our current Aetna insurance plan [...]

Blog & Baby Announcements

Tracy Hazzard2013-10-04T23:08:05+00:00October 4th, 2013|Brand It, Free Articles, Inventors, Promote It, Prototype It, Prove It, Retail & Big Box|

Here at the Hazz Design home office, we are buzzing with new announcements: First up is this spin-off blog all about our adventures working from home. We've done this because so many people had great questions during our Lifehacker Live Q/A on How We Work from Home and have continued to tweet and email us. Plus we wanted to make it convenient for those of you interested in subscribing and reviewing our archives on this specific topic only. Second, our new design partnership with Mod Mom Furniture has brought up so many great internal debates, questions and ideas about designing for working parents, about being work-at-home parents ourselves and about designing furniture that can span an entire childhood. We are uniquely suited for this last one having kids at all stages right now, which brings us to our third announcement... Third and last (definitely last!) we are expecting [...]

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 [...]

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