How to Market Your Invention

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The best invention ever devised will remain only a fascinating trinket if people don't know about it. Even a genius would do well to know some marketing basics. Here are some ways to get the word out about your invention.

Things You'll Need

  • Attorney
  • Prototype
  • Marketing plan
  • Press release

Fine-tune your prototype to resolve any lingering design issues. You'll need a flawless version to sign up licensees and investors or show potential clients.

Decide if you intend to retain full control of the concept, and all the associated marketing, or if you will license it to an established business.

Ask your patent attorney to help you draft a nondisclosure agreement early on, essential to protect your intellectual property when dealing with potential licensees.

Draw up a marketing plan, which is absolutely central to gaining attention for your invention. Define your customers and pinpoint your competition. Even if you want to sell your idea outright, a sound marketing plan will make your pitch that much more comprehensive.

See <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_107729_patent.html" target="_top">How to Take Out a Patent</a>.

Budget a reasonable amount of funds to get the word out--from trips and trade shows to print and television advertising. Hire professionals to help craft the message (see <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_107853_hire-someone-design.html" target="_top">How to Hire Someone to Design and Build Your Web Site</a> and <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_107863_hire-graphic-designer.html" target="_top">How to Hire a Graphic Designer</a>). Identify and attend trade shows, speak at civic clubs, and research and get to any event where potential customers or buyers might be.

Set a price. Research your competition so you get a sense of what the market will bear. If you want to sell the product outright to someone else or license it in some way, call in a consultant to determine a fair market value.

Work with your attorney to understand licensing and what kinds of deals you can make. Be careful to define and cover derivative work, where a licensee makes a new product that extends your original concept.

Write a press release and start making the rounds. Contact your local paper to propose a profile of your invention, and e-mail the editor of any major trade publications that are read by your target audience. Send out a press kit with information about your product, your background and the key benefits to television stations, newspapers and magazines in your area. Get the word out to everyone you can think of.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be wary of companies purporting to market your invention. As the inventor, save the money and do a better job of it yourself.
  • Talk about your invention at local groups such as the Rotary Club (rotary.org) or the chamber of commerce. You never know where a potential backer might be.
  • Find a financial angel. These are private investors who will fund business ideas, back inventions and provide manufacturing capital. Ask your accountant or attorney for referrals, and look into angel organizations located throughout the country. Read How to Finance Your Business Idea.

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