Inventing 101: Why Your Invention Idea Must have Mass Market Appeal

mass marketWhen an invention idea is submitted to Edison Nation to be considered for commercialization through licensing or As Seen on TV, it is vetted through an eight-stage evaluation process before it is pitched to potential licensing partners or developed.

Once your idea reaches Stage 4, it is evaluated against potential competitors in the market as well as its appeal to potential customers. This is known as mass market appeal.

According to the Cambridge Business English Dictionary, the formal definition of the term mass market is as follows:

“A market of as many people as possible, not just people with a lot of money or particular needs or interests”

When we evaluate an idea, we want to ensure your idea offers a fresh, innovative solution that will really resonate with consumers and has a high degree of mass market appeal.

A truly great idea has the following characteristics:

  • Has mass market appeal
  • Has the ability to move a consumer when they are at the walk/buy position – “I WANT THAT!”

When considering your invention, do the “problems” need to resonate with everyone? Does your idea have to appeal to 100% of the population? The answer is no. But it does have to appeal to the majority of members of a market group.

Some examples different types of market groups:






Office workers


…and the list goes on.

As you can see from the short list above, market groups can be large or niche in nature. When we provide feedback indicating that an idea is not a “mass market item” and advise you to “find ways to widen your audience,” it does not mean you have to figure out a way to make a beauty product that is designed for women, also appeal to men. It means you need to find ways to adjust your product to meet a significant need, problem or pain point identified by a core demographic group. This core demographic group also needs to be large enough in order to generate enough revenue to be profitable. A product that only appeals to a very niche market, such as households that own more than three ferrets, does not have mass market appeal even if it is a totally revolutionary idea that will change the way humans feeds their ferrets.

In summary, before you click “Submit” on your next idea, ask yourself these questions: First, “Who is my audience?” Then, “Will my product appeal to everyone in this group?” And finally, “Is this group big enough to be profitable?”

Remember! If you are an Edison Nation Insider, you have the opportunity to go back to edit and update declined submissions from past searches and opt them into new searches for FREE. Use this information to ensure your submissions are going to make your target audience say, “I want that!”.

 Have you ever thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if…”?

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9 Comments Inventing 101: Why Your Invention Idea Must have Mass Market Appeal

  1. bruce hohlt

    I have a repackaging idea taking a product that already is on the market to go after a different customer base. Do you handle this type of pitch as well?

  2. Michelle Sartori

    Hi Bruce, we review ideas in all categories. As long as your idea is able to be patented, you are welcome to submit it. Best of luck!

  3. Lea

    Hi Bruce – Typically ideas that are brought to market with EN are done so through As Seen on TV and IP licensing. We always accept ideas, but in order for them to be licensed they must be patentable so they licensee has something to sell and protect. Our team will determine the patentability within the 8 stage evaluation process once it is submitted through our secure system. For more information, check out our FAQS at You can also reach out to our customer service team at Hope this helps!

  4. Christine

    Hi- how do I know if I submit my idea to EN that the idea itself is now no longer “novel” and can be stolen from me and used without my knowledge? Thanks!

  5. Michelle

    Hi Christine, all ideas submitted to Edison Nation are covered by the terms and conditions of our innovator agreement which you can review before submitting by clicking on “Legal” on our Help page. Best of luck!

  6. Geoffrey Frankson

    I am quite perplexed by the stage 4 rejection report I have received. The writer does not seem to understand the nature and scope of the problem I have sought to solve. To wit:
    1) The report gives examples of “better solutions” when in fact it is the shortcomings of those very products that my invention addresses. Other examples in the report address a DIFFERENT problem entirely. 2) The report says mine is not the preferred approach when in fact the best competing products take the same approach that I have. 3) I live in the tropics. It says I am serving a niche market when in fact the problem I have solved is very, very widespread in the tropics indeed. Is there an avenue to request clarification or to lodge an appeal?

  7. Michelle

    Hi Geoffrey,
    You are welcome to update your submission and submit it to another applicable search (this is free to Insiders). Keep in mind, while an issue may be prevalent in your geographical location, that does not automatically mean it has mass market appeal. If you are looking to resubmit an idea to the same search where it was initially declined, it will need to be submitted as a new idea.
    Best of luck to you!

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