Identifying Winning Concepts

Inventors frequently have multiple ideas. The question is which one to pursue. Other inventors feel like they are creative and can solve many problems and wonder which ones to attack. Even in winning categories there are some products that are better than others. Recognizing winning categories and then the wining products in that category will greatly help you succeed. This article will help you recognize which ideas have the best chance of success.

Winning Opportunities

Some of these principles apply across the board, whether you are looking to produce your own product, license it to a manufacturer, or strike a joint venture deal of some kind.

Across the Board Principles

  • A new market is emerging – when the scrapbook industry started, many of the suppliers were inventors and small companies that have since become mainstays of the industry. Another example is that many of the accessories for cell phones were from small companies and inventors were the leaders in creating the pampered pet category.
  • A product category is stale – there haven’t been any new products for a time, which results in companies having low margins. A few years ago wall paper had become a stale product, and then a flourish of activity developed with faux painting sponges, speckled paint for entertainment rooms and glazing print applications.

Licensing Opportunities

  • Companies responding to competitive moves – companies move as quickly as possible when they are at a competitive disadvantage. Some inventors stay in a an industry, often one where they have worked before, and watch for opportunities created by new product introductions. They simply move to offer a product to companies who at a disadvantage in a product category after a new product introduction by another company.
  • Companies with slowing growth rates – a company who has led the market in the past sometimes will run out of ideas and their growth will slow. These companies are very interested in ideas that keep their sales rates increasing.

Winning Products

Once you have an opportunity, you need to create a product with a high wow factor that will accelerate your product into the market. Follow these guidelines and you will have a much better chance for a successful idea.

  • Appeals to customers with passion – people with passion know what products are available, spend freely, and will pay a premium for products they want. High income mothers with babies, people with beloved pets, dedicated golfers, and gourmet cooks are all examples of people with passion.
  • Clearly understood benefits – products were people immediately grasp the concept have a strong chance for success.
  • A cell phone that also does email is an easy to understand concept. A smart meter in your home to control energy is an easy to understand benefit, but how to install and control the usage is confusing and the smart energy meters is a concept that has been slow to catch on.
  • Meets a total solution – customers prefer buying one product that takes care of their entire need. The concept of a total solution applies to new products as services. This is the core concept behind a catering business, but also the concept behind products like the iPad, the new generation of cell phones and the Swifter, the all in one cleaning product.
  • Helps customers meet their goals – customers buy products for their own reasons, not your reasons, so always look for ideas that help people meet their preferred goals. Weedwackers were a big improvement over grass clippers, and the products are now owned by most homeowners. Granite counter tops help customers meet their goal of having a high end home look, even for modestly priced homes.

Are Successful Inventors Lucky?

Inventors who have yet to have success sometimes feel that winning inventors have had good timing or that they have been lucky to be in the right place at the right time. Truly, some do have luck. But inventors can greatly increase their chances of being the lucky ones by simply watching for winning opportunities and then create products that meet the criteria for success. Some inventors just fall into the right product, but you can succeed by planning and watching and creating ideas where the timing and features are right.

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