When I started reviewing products for As Seen On TV shelves at Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and other retailers four years ago, it was a different world. Our team would take napkin drawings and turn them into “testable assets”. Today, there are so many good product ideas already at an advanced prototype stage, that inventors need to step up and do more in the way of product design, development and marketing. It’s the inventors job to make it easy for Will It Launch to test the concept with real consumers, who are the final judge of mass market viability.
What kind of “Test”
In DR-TV, products are tested for mass market viability in three ways. The first test is a simple survey of known As Seen On TV buyers to determine if the “Problem” the product solves is viable on a mass market scale. This test uses proprietary methods and metrics to gauge if consumers are willing to purchase the product on a mass market scale. Is it a home run product idea?
What kind of “Asset”
We need a well-made prototype with a solid demo video and product photos. These assets don’t need to be professionally done. Smartphones work fine for videos. Spray paint goes a long way in prototyping. It’s the content, visual effects and marketing message that matter most.
Look at “As Seen On TV” commercials and consider the “wow” factors being used. Great 'Before and After' demos and quality pitches are key.
How To Submit
Get started now on making a great prototype that looks like a finished product. Script out your video pitch, shoot the visuals then voice over so the 2 minute demo video is concise. Upload to YouTube in “unlisted” setting and submit to www.WillitLaunch.com website.
If our team thinks you have the next winner, we’ll invest in a test.
2018 is our year. Get started now.
Details about Special Guest, Carrie Jeske:
Carrie Jeske shares insider secrets to get ideas on the As Seen on TV shelf space at Walmart and everywhere Direct Response industry products are sold.
Carrie Jeske is a direct licensee in the “As Seen On TV” category, paying full inventor royalties, through Will It Launch. No patent is required. You just need a simple hand-made prototype to explain the unique benefits and problem solved by your invention. Market ready products launch at lightning speed. Products in stores now are Get Up And Go Cane, RotoClipper, My Fun Fish and the newest 60 Second Salad.
Carrie’s connections in other distribution channels is vast. Through Inventive Ideas, Carrie Jeske manages a team of licensing agents that work to secure distribution agreements and license filed patents. Successful products include SportsShade Canopy Awning, The Perfect Party Chair and Attach-A-Vac.
Prepare in advance by reading Carrie Jeske’s new book, “Sell Crowdfunding Products On TV – Fast Track To Retail” on Amazon. Online reviews appreciated.
Carrie Jeske is active on these social networks: FACEBOOK LINKEDIN YOUTUBE TWITTER
Carrie will open up the floor for people to pitch their product ideas for instant feedback and the chance at a license deal!
All you need to pitch is a hand made prototype. We take on products from concept to market ready stage. Specifically want ideas that 1) are physically small since shelf space is limited. 2) cost under $50 retail - we'll worry about cogs. 3) solve an everyday problem in a unique way.
Watch her Youtube channel for more information! Try keywords...
Will it Launch
Meet Carrie Jeske on June 10 at 9:30 am in Chicago, IL. Carrie shares insider secrets to get ideas on the As Seen on TV shelf space at Walmart and everywhere.
Carrie Jeske is a direct licensee in the Direct Response industry, paying full inventor royalties, through Will It Launch . No patent is required. You just need a simple hand-made prototype to explain the unique benefits and problem solved by your invention. Market ready products launch at lightning speed. Products in stores now are Get Up And Go Cane, RotoClipper, and My Fun Fish.
Carrie’s connections in other distribution channels is vast. Through Inventive Ideas , Carrie Jeske manages a team of licensing agents that work to secure distribution agreements and license filed patents. Successful products include SportsShade Canopy Awning, The Perfect Party Chair and Attach-A-Vac.
Prepare in advance by reading Carrie Jeske’s new book, “ Create New Products As Seen On TV ” on Amazon. Online reviews appreciated.
What’s a Morel Mushroom?
Morels are prized by gourmet cooks, particularly in French cuisine. However, in the United States, they are preferred fried. Due to difficulties in cultivation, commercial harvesting of wild morels has become a multimillion-dollar industry in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, in particular North America, Turkey, China, the Himalayas, India, and Pakistan, where these highly prized fungi are found in abundance. They sell online and at Farmers Markets for about $40 per small carton in Kansas City. Scientists have not discovered a mass production method for growing morels so finding them wild can be a goldmine. Morchella , the true morels , is a genus of edible sac fungi. These distinctive fungi have a honeycomb appearance, due to the network of ridges with pits composing their cap.
In Kansas City, the morels spring up only for two weeks sometime in April or May. Hunting morels is an art and a science. Morel hunters are highly protective of their sources and methods though YouTube is a helpful place to get started. Stewart and Carrie Jeske are avid hunters with many patches secretly known only to GPS, on public lands. They consider hunting a fun personal adventure so won’t take money for morels. Instead, their friends and family are often blessed with “a mess of morels” as a surprise. They’ve been known to ship overnight when the situation requires it!
The goal is low cost, high return inventing sequence. The As Seen On TV (ASOTV) industry is always the fastest, most financially rewarding option, when consumers respond. If ASOTV won’t fly (meaning no one will fully fund your idea and you can’t afford to partially fund the market viability test partnership or your product did test and failed). you need to step back and consider your other options. Maybe it doesn’t meet the narrow criteria of ASOTV at all?
Inside the As Seen On TV category, patents are not required, but in slower moving. niche distribution channels, they are critical.
As with any service need, you can Do It Yourself (DIY) or hire a professional. It’s all a choice between time, quality and money. Below is the sequence I recommend. The most common mis-step I see inventors make is moving to Step 5 before 1-4 are complete. This is a mistake since filing a provisional starts a 12 month clock that runs fast. Negotiating licensing agreements takes time. so completing steps 1-4 first, maximizes your investment of money and time.
Whether your product is selected by our licensing agents and you hire Inventive Ideas or you decide to Do It Yourself. here are the next steps I recommend. Inventive Ideas does not file patents so you will need to DIY or hire an attorney you can understand for that step.
Here’s what needs to be done.
Step Back and Research
Produce Marketing Materials of Concept Prototype
File Provisional Patent.
Prospect & Gain Feedback.
Secure Interest &
Set Up An Conference Call. Carrie Jeske Optional.
Conference Call De-Brief.
Receive Mailbox Money.
When making calls, if all you hear is “No Thank You” or crickets, find a place of peace, consult with those closest to you. whom you trust, and make changes to press onward or drop it and move on to your next idea.
Inventing is a gamble for individuals and companies. Never invest more then you can afford to lose and never make financial decisions out of desperation or fear.
Cautious Optimistic Hope is your friend.
See you on the shelves!
We live in a fast moving, quick changing world. The opportunity for independent inventors has never been greater. The risks never more crippling. Be smart when launching new product ideas. Beating knock-offs can be a dirty business or a magical mystery tour. Here are my tips on the latter (while taking a dip in the former.)
1) Stay Pure
Use private submissions till you’re ready to go public. The public domain can generate consumer interest, but it comes at the price of increased market competition. Don’t take your product idea public too soon.
Many manufactures in every category including As Seen on TV need time to test the product before investing capital. In TV, it’s about surveys, web tests and 2-minute TV commercials. Getting a positive result with a strong marketing message takes time.
Stay pure. Find a partner you trust and gather inside feedback to make your pitch and product the strongest it can be. Leverage industry insiders by giving permission for candid feedback. Consider negative feedback or you may be dismissing important product and market competition information. If opportunity arises, sign a licensing agreement BEFORE going public. It’s likely the direct licensee can capitalize on the head start so everyone makes more money.
Improve the prototype, product pitch and demo video so when you do go public, you’re putting your best foot forward. Stay pure, till you’re seriously ready for something more. When you’re in position, put your best effort into going viral. Try crowdfunding.
With 60 Second Salad, the inventors gave WIL the opportunity to complete the testing cycle before going public. We had an early advantage over competitors. Even so, within weeks of the viral video, Asian knock-offs began flooding Amazon and my email.
2) Marry A King
Once you go public, you’ll get suitors or hear crickets. If a billion-dollar company comes calling, get hitched if they are willing. Be charming, smart and marry for the money! After all, this is business. You’re not having human babies together. The King controls the distribution channel and has the power, time, money, connections and experience needed to make your product a financial success. Let them do it.
Don’t make the mistake of telling a King how to run a business or spend money. Just say “Thank you” and collect a royalty check in the mail then live a happy life, in community with friends and family.
The alternative; become a competitor and battle in the open consumer market. Call it a knock off, a follower, or capitalism. Either way, it’s coming.
A Speedy Wedding
Be fast and first. A big company with current products already on store shelves has a fine tuned operational infrastructure humming like a sailor on shore leave. They want more products! They move fast. Don’t over haggle or delay the prenuptial or they’ll tire with you and move on to another or leave you at the altar. A business marriage is not a lifelong commitment. It’s a term agreement to make money together. Don’t confuse the two. Make money.
Having a fully granted utility patent is helpful, but only in the hands of a large experienced company. Most independent inventors cannot afford the legal fees to enforce their patent.
Fighting legal battles is what attorneys are trained for. Don’t be naive. Knowing how long to draw out a court case, when to settle, and how to leverage product sales to the last penny is a strategy. An inventors best bet, is to have their patent protected by a direct licensee, large funding source or pro bono legal firm.
If you’re determined to do it yourself, make sure you have the funding in place to handle large purchase orders. Start with equity partners, factoring or investor notes then move to credit lines with caution. I strongly discourage credit card debt or high interest business loans.
Connecting with the right partner is one of the single most important decisions an inventor can make. Working with someone you trust, who has your back can avoid many pitfalls. There are no guarantees with product inventing, but feeling good about the people you work with… priceless.
With 60 Second Salad, WIL secured a billion-dollar partner to handle the operational rollout. They took our testing data and ramped up product development and lined up retail buyers in under three months. That’s the power of a King.
3) Flirt with Social Networking, Online Selling, Crowdfunding
If there are no wedding plans, play your own game. But keep an eye out for suiters to avoid being knocked off.
Use remarketing campaigns through Google AdWords and fall in love with social networking. Paying for clicks or sales isn’t easy or cheap but there are low cost strategies that gain market awareness. If you don’t have big bucks, it costs TIME and SKILL. There are many free preview training programs that will share one to three good ideas for free, in hopes of selling the program. Before you buy, try DOING the three free steps. Too often, inventor entrepreneurs focus on the “knowing” rather than the “doing”. Both are important, but before I’d pay for a program, I’d see if I could implement a few suggestions for free. Take the free classes, learn, and do. See what works. The secret is testing to determine your target market.
Affiliate marketers choose the products they want to sell. Sellers provide a unique affiliate code that is used to refer traffic to the target site. Most affiliate programs will offer ready-made text links, banners, and other forms of creative copy. Affiliates simply copy the code and place it on their website to start referring traffic. Interested visitors click on these links, are redirected to the product site, and if a product purchase is made the referrer makes a commission.
This was a boom in the 1990’s and can still be a fantastic strategy. Today, inventor entrepreneurs must wade through the mass of internet service providers and affiliate marketing programs. I don't have all the answers, but if I were investing in a product with this as a strategy I’d require an credible expert on the launch team.
A no brainer. Your margins are better, but you still must market the site and fund inventory.
Get funded and go viral. Be noticed. Just remember; a marriage to the King is still the best end game.
4) Know Who You Are
If you’re on your own or seeking a partner, know who you are, but let the product lead. The jockey and the horse work together to win the race, but quality horses are harder to develop then good jockey’s. Leverage what you’ve got.
· Friendly – great customer service. Excellent return policies.
· Giving – donations to causes. Affiliation with those causes.
· Caring – environmentally conscious materials? Does this matter to your target market?
5) Do It Better
Ultimately, it’s the product that will stand on its own. Focus on:
· Uniqueness – Think about product design and problem / solutions consumers will pay for. Think soberly on the truth and integrity of this requirement. Is your product solid or are you making a mountain out of a mole hill?
· Marketing - Develop legendary branding. Put together a well thought out marketing pitch that is compelling to your target. Be the purple cow.
· Diversity - Create many product lines. Consider adding accessories and product extensions to broaden the value of your offer. Most knock-offs won’t go the extra mile. Always count the cost.
· Trademarks - Unlike patents, trademarks are harder to get around. If you have a clever name or brand that the direct licensee values or that the market knows, this could be important. If not, it’s not. Spend wisely.
· Value - Price competitively. Is there a strong value proposition? Today’s consumers have many options for spending money. Is your value clear?
· Quality - Make the best quality at the lowest possible price to consumers and highest profit margin for you.
With 60 Second Salad, the viral testing video and crowdfunding campaign used a white prototype. The final rollout product is red, a part of an existing product line, and comes with a bonus knife for added value.
6) Two Is Better than One
Sometimes it’s best to knock yourself off. There are a couple of good strategies here.
Different Distribution Channels
With some products, the best of both worlds is possible. License one version of your product to one market, then make and sell to build a business in another market segment. Two is better than one. Get a big company working on a version of your product that works for them and keep on your own path to marketing. Double dipping with a partner reduces risk for the inventor entrepreneur.
Do this yourself if you can fund the manufacturing and distribution. Working multiple channels where the market pulls product, rather than pushing it up the hill is the way to go.
Different Price Points and Feature/Benefits
Some experts claim covering three price points with a mix of feature/benefit works to keep the big companies at bay. Try low, medium, high price prices, giving consumers a wide array of choices that all say “Buy Me”. The risk is too much inventory and higher operational costs.
7) Love the Masses or Know Your Place
Think soberly. Is the product a mass market consumer item or a niche? There’s nothing wrong with niche products. In fact, it’s easier to sell niche products on your own sometimes because it takes less money to reach a select group of customers. Is your product more geared to people who love biking? Is it sports related or fishing?
Finding the right customer is like having 12 ponds to fish in. You must figure out what pond has fish and then understand what bait they bite on before you run out of time and money. The faster you find your target, the more sales.
Mass market products are at greater threat because big companies have greater need for products and more resources to produce them. They sell more and make more, which by default means greater market competition for dollars.
Niche products can fly under the radar and become nice lifestyle businesses for inventor entrepreneurs. The risk of knock offs is much lower with a niche product.
In my way of thinking, making money on a new product idea is the goal. Avoiding knock offs is an important key toward that end. I trust these steps will help inventor entrepreneurs make wise decisions, find high quality partners, service providers and direct licensees. There are a lot of good people in the inventor community and a few scoundrels.
I hope we can work together on the next big retail rollout. It is my singular business focus. Please:
1) Give me "First Look" on "As Seen On TV" product ideas. Submit to carrie@WillitLaunch.com
See you on the shelves!
PS - Carrie Jeske has been happily married for 30 years to her Jr. High School sweetheart. They travel extensively but reside in Kansas City.