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- TOPSYTAIL™, The $100 Million Hair Gadget that Could... And Did©
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9 Tips for Success in Bringing Your Invention to Market ©
THE HERE AND NOW
In an uncertain economy, what can retailers do NOW to intrigue shoppers, make them feel good in this new moment, and encourage them to buy more of your product? GET INVENTIVE!
Your product offers retailers a gift. The gift of originality and of escaping the expected. There are things that you can do to help your buyers make your product a three star sales champion. CAPITALIZE ON YOUR EDGE OF INNOVATION.Tips for Inventors:
- Make your consumer invention saleable and user friendly. The item should be visually and tactilely appealing, have a nice shape and be made available in an attractive color; with smooth edges and an even finish.
- It should work easily and be durable. Packaging should be compact so that buyers do not have to give up much space to include it in their mix. The product name should be catchy and memorable.
- Logo and graphics should be clear and easy to read. Photos of product results should appear on the front of the package. Simple 'how to's' should appear on the back of the package.
- Provide alluring signage, displays and photos if the retailer permits. Offer live demonstrators and "guest" appearances by the inventor, YOU.
- Offer "how to" videos to stores that will run them on the selling floor. Create special price breaks to your buyers if they will "outpost" your product in multiple locations in a store.
- Offer bonus booklets showing extra style or use options as a method of sampling or giveaways to consumers. Provide periodic surprising new add-on products to keep the buyer interested, grow your solitary item into a full product line; and satisfy consumers who are always looking for "what's next" (regardless of the economy.)
- As the economy is improving and buying budgets grow, dare to break the vendor matrix and experiment. Save a percentage of your 'open to buy' and add 'out of the box' products that will fulfill your customers' needs and fancies.
- Continually provide surprising innovative items. Mine the internet by searching for "inventions" or "product innovations" for new ideas. Attend invention expos. You will be amazed at the wealth of invention available in every category of consumer products.
- Customers will come to buy what they know they can rely on you for; but they will also come to you for your unique new products.
A Personal Lesson
We all remember the last big recession. As the gold-plated eighties started to erode, retailers and vendors were hard hit; with many having to close their doors. As a multi-line showroom, to keep our vendors going during hard times, we recommended that they think 'out of the box' and add new and novel products to their lines. These items made the retailers smile and had a big response at retail. Some of you may remember the 'jeweled watergun necklace.' Other people started bringing us their "inventions" to review. In the early nineties when the inventor, Tomima Edmark, contacted us about her patented hair tool invention that turned a ponytail inside out to make beautiful hairstyles; we were ready to take the leap with a one item vendor. TOPSY TAIL™ made fashion accessory history, with over $100,000,000 in retail sales. We have continued to take on new inventions in addition to the full product lines we represent, and the combination has created a strong sales balance for our company.
Joan Lefkowitz, an original marketer of TopsyTail™, is president of ACCESSORY BRAINSTORMS, NYC, a licensing agency, sales representative and consultancy for Fashion/Beauty Accessory and Lifestyle Inventions. Accessory Brainstorms is always looking for inventions in these categories, and offers one-on-one consulting. ACCESSORIES Magazine awarded Joan for “Most Inventive Products” and cited her as one of the 100 most important accessories industry “Movers and Shakers”. Contact at www.accessorybrainstorms.com.