Whether you are new to Edison Nation or a seasoned inventor, submitting your idea into our system is the first step in being considered for a licensing deal. As you may know, every invention idea submitted to one of our searches is reviewed through a complex, eight-stage process to determine its likelihood of licensing success.
So, what is the secret? What do you need to do to achieve a G5 or more? In March, we started a blog series where we give you a look into what happens when your idea is shared with the Edison Nation review team. In this post, we are going to review Stages 4 and 5 AND provide some hints and tips to get you to your next green check mark and one step closer to successfully licensing your invention idea.
In Stage 4, we’re taking a deeper dive to determine if your idea is better than competing products that already exist in the market.
We’re looking to answer the following questions about your invention:
- Does this product idea offer an easier, more efficient solution than what already exists?
- Will this product idea be able to compete with products already in the market?
- Does the product idea have mass market appeal, offering a fresh and innovative solution that will resonate with consumers?
Stage 4 is where research plays a major role. We cannot stress the value of doing the proper research around your idea before sending it to us. When working on an idea, you should consider the key fundamental feature/benefit and value add of your idea.
Ask yourself this question: Have I developed a product concept that sets itself apart from potential market competitors?
When conducting research please be as specific as you can describing exactly how an innovation not only differs from something on the market or disclosed in an issued patent, but how it is better. Even if your idea is different than competing products that doesn’t necessarily mean that people are going to stop what they’ve been using and pick up yours. It need to be better and provide more value.
But where to begin? What are some best practices for performing competitive research?
Walking into Wal-Mart and not seeing anything resembling your idea does not mean it does not exist. Indicating in your submission that you have looked everywhere and it does not exist is also not a great qualifier. Often the team can find several similar items with a simple Google search. The keyword here is similar. When we compare your idea to what’s currently out on the market, we’re not necessarily looking for identical concepts. We are trying to see how your idea stands up against what’s currently there or what could potentially break new ground. Think of it this way, consumers have lived this long without your idea, so it’s not whether or not they need it, but do they want it?
Expand your thoughts when doing research and try not be so focused that you miss other leads. Other methods to explore beyond store visits and internet searching can include other names, phrases and terms that might apply to your product. For example: a water gun – It can be called a squirt gun, super soaker, aqua blaster and more. Using a thesaurus, looking for synonyms and similar tools, can also help.
If you do find competing products during your research, make sure you are identifying how your idea is “better than” or “more efficient” in a way that will clearly carve out a market share and be worthy of the required development/marketing dollars. Can your product idea be manufactured more efficiently? Can your product idea be produced at a lower cost than existing competitors? When the Edison Nation Review team evaluates your invention they will consider the potential return on investment and sales volume given existing items in the space and market size. These are all components you should be able to estimate and have an understanding of after conducting your initial research.
Another question to ask yourself relates to the appeal of your product idea: Have I addressed a potential everyday situation where my product will offer up an easier, more efficient solution?
In Stage 4, we are also looking to ensure your product idea will appeal to a core demographic group who will ultimately purchase it. 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:
…and the list goes on.
As you can see from the short list above, market groups can be large or niche. Make sure your product idea meets meet a significant need, problem or pain point identified by your target customer. If the review team determines your idea can hold its own against existing products and will appeal to a mass market, welcome to G4!
In Stage 5, we’re reviewing your idea’s merit in its respective industry in terms of market potential and price point. We’re looking to answer the following questions:
- What is the estimated maximum sales revenue of all suppliers of the product during a specific time period?
- Can the product be manufactured in an efficient, cost-effective manner?
During this stage, we conduct extensive market research in order to determine that the cost to manufacture, ship and sell this product is relevant to the perceived value that a consumer would expect to pay for the item. In other words, we want to ensure the product will be profitable once it hits store shelves. Ideally, products should be able to be made inexpensively and quickly. Remember, the higher the profitability, the more likely your product will be licensed. In your submission, be sure to include an estimated price point and target demographic to help us determine market and revenue potential.
While there are a variety of factors that can contribute to the overall cost of your product, some variables to consider are the type of material being used to create your product and the potential tooling costs associated with manufacturing the product. We need to be able to justify to potential licensing partners that the product can be made to fit within their current margins.
In addition to evaluating for cost in Stage 5, we review the process of how your idea can be made. Once a product design is realized, engineers need to determine how to execute that idea to make it a reality. Our goal is to ensure your idea can be manufactured quickly and efficiently. Our Licensing team needs to be able to easily convey how product can be incorporated into a partner’s existing product line. Remember, the quicker and more efficiently a product can be produced, the faster your royalty checks will start rolling in. If your idea will be a good fit from a cost and engineering perspective with potential partners, you’ll sail into a G5!
The next post will take a closer look at what happens during Stage 6, Intellectual Property Review.
We hope this information provides a bit more insight into what we look for and we look forward to reviewing your idea soon! Happy Inventing!