12 November 2016

How to Launch a New Product




We’ve previously talked about product development and how to go from a simple idea to a physical product in just 7 steps; but then to actually launch a new product, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. Even if you’ve created a phenomenal product, it’s not going to sell if people don’t even know it exists. The launch process can be broken down into three stages:

 

  1. Planning your product launch

 

As with anything, proper research needs to be done. You will have already done thorough research on your product before the production stage, but this time, you should be focusing your research on your competitors. You should already know what products they have released, as you wouldn’t have exhausted your energy “inventing” a product that’s already out there! However, during this stage, you should be finding a way to improve on what your competitors have done and what will make your product stand out from the crowd.

 

Once that’s done, decide who you are going to market your new product to – your target customer. Talk to potential customers; what do they like? What don’t they like? This will give you a good idea of where your niche will be.

 

What message do you want your product to convey? Some of the most well-known brands have catchy slogans attached to it, such as Nike’s “Just Do It”. Try to create a product slogan that will connect to your target market. Then, design attractive packaging that matches that message and speaks to your target customer. We have expert designers at Idea Reality who can help you create stunning packaging that will impress your customers.

 

  1. Marketing your product idea

 

It is essential to have a website these days, and when you launch a new website, you want to get all the publicity you can get. Have a website simply dedicated to your new product, have plenty of call-to-actions where they can buy your product, read reviews, share on social media and help spread the word.

 

Anyone can produce a stunning-looking website to show off their product, without having any previous coding experience, through using free website-building packages such as Wix or Webflow that both offer attractive Website Templates, which are easy to edit and update.

 

To get reviews, you will need to have gotten people to test your new product. If your product isn’t too costly, then offer a free product to testers for honest reviews and feedback. Otherwise, you can set up demonstration displays at events or other public places. This can help you gauge interest and analyse the demographics of the people interested. Use these testimonials on your website.

 

Invest in good advertising; as well as website ads (e.g. Google Adwords) and social media, don’t forget the “old-fashioned” methods such as newspapers and magazines. Find out which are the leading publications in your product’s industries and get quotes on advertising space.

 

 

  1. Launching the product

 

Now that all the prep is done, all that is left is to actually launch the new product! Try a “rolling launch”, meaning that the process is stretched out over a significant amount of time. We recommend you start 6-8 weeks before you plan to unveil the product. “Leak” pictures and start rumours about its features – get people talking on social media. Send in anonymous tips to bloggers and plant news on various channels.

 

When you choose to launch the new product, create a big event out of it and invite influential people in your industry, as well as popular bloggers and journalists. Give out free samples of your new product do demonstrations. If you can get a celebrity or two to turn up too, that will help make the event newsworthy.

25 October 2016

Crowdfunding campaign goes live




The new dragéekíss™ is now available for pre-order on Fundrazr.com. Developed with the Idea Reality design process, the dragéekíss™ is a clever new cake decorating tool that enables users to rapidly place silver pearl balls (dragees) on to cakes. This speeds up the decorating process dramatically, improving accuracy and minimizing marks in the icing. No more messy fingers or dropping the little balls all over the floor.

Click here to go to the drageekiss campaign page

 

 

16 October 2016

Licensing or selling an invention idea




Many inventors get excited about the potential success of their new product idea but don’t know who to involve. They worry about sharing their idea with others in case someone tries to steal it. Here at Idea Reality, we understand how important it is to keep your idea safe, so we always take measures to protect your invention.

 Read more on: “How to protect your invention idea”

But when it comes to launching your product, we often advise that an existing company manufacture and market your product for you. This article should help give you some more insight into what is involved in such a process.

What is a licensing agreement?

 

If you are looking to go down the licensing route, it would suggest that you want someone to take the hassle of manufacturing and marketing your product for you. Perhaps starting a new business and selling the product yourself does not interest you? Therefore, you will need to find a company willing to take on your product design and draw up a licensing agreement between yourself and that company. In this license, the terms of your partnership will be agreed and will state that they will manufacture, distribute and market your product. This could be under their own brand own name, but importantly you will receive royalty payments as a result.

 

The licence may not necessarily manufacture or directly sell the product themselves but they will take on responsibility for these tasks and pay for all costs involved. This leaves you free to continue with your career or focus on other projects.

 

What types of licenses are there?

 

Non-exclusive license: This is when several companies can produce your product freely. You can compare different manufacturers and see which works best for you before sticking to one. Or perhaps you can keep several on for various marketing purposes. You are also free to manufacture the product yourself.

 

Sole license: When you give permission to just the one company to manufacture your product. You are still free to manufacture the product yourself if you wish.

 

Exclusive license: Only the company you choose has the rights to manufacture your product. No-one else, including yourself, can produce your product under this license.

 

Benefits of licensing your product idea

 

You should see licensing as finding an ideal business partner; they handle all the manufacturing process, the distribution of the product and all the advertising too. That’s essentially all the heavy-lifting involved with any business. You won’t need to worry about raising capital or establishing relationships with distributors and retailers.

 

Essentially, your licensee is the one who takes on all the risk involved with producing your product. They are the ones investing funds into their staff, production costs, marketing, etc. Naturally they would really need to believe your product will succeed. You just need to sit back and relax and watch your royalty payments come in.

 

How do I sell my idea?

 

If you like the idea of licensing and think that it might be the right path for you and your product, then please get in touch with us and we can help you find the right company to take on your product. Naturally, since it is your invention, you want to see it succeed, so you will want to research companies and see which is right for you. However, you will also need to pitch the product to demonstrate the value to potential licencees. Our team specialise in preparing your pitch with our sales presentations that can help your idea to big shine.

 

If you do decide to go down the route of manufacturing your idea yourself, we can help there too! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Idea Reality to help you bring your product idea to reality!

 

2 October 2016

Prototyping a new product




Creating a prototype is probably one of the most exciting stages of the product development process. It is essentially when your invention turns into a physical version of your idea. Use the creativity that allowed you to come up with the idea in the first place, to create something amazing that’s tangible and real.

What is a prototype?

You may have been told to create a prototype of your product, but you’re not entirely sure exactly what one is! Essentially, it is a representation of your design before the real one is made. It will have the same look and feel, and most likely, functionality as your real product. However, it will purely be for testing.

What types of prototypes can you get?

There are a variety of different reasons you would want to create a prototype of your product so that we can classify the prototypes into the following categories:

Visual Prototype:

These prototypes can be used as display products or a way to showcase your product at an event, or to a potential investor. Less expensive materials would be used, and it may not even contain working parts.

Concept Prototype:

This will not be visually similar to the final product, but is purely for testing the functionality and to test whether the concept actually works. “Off-the-shelf” components can be used in this prototype, so as not to waste money on custom parts in this early testing stage.

Presentation/Sales Prototype:

This is the most expensive type of prototype, as it is designed as close as possible to the final product. A mixture of materials will be used so that you can balance efficiency and quality, but this prototype will be used to test product viability before it is produced in mass. It is also what you would show to any investors or potential licensors.

What are the benefits of a prototype?

In addition to some of the benefits of the specific prototypes above, there are several other reasons why you should create a prototype. If anything, it will create credibility for the project – by creating a prototype, you demonstrate that it can be done and it is functional.

Benefits for licensing:

If you decide that you want to license your product, then a prototype is the way to go. You could produce a sales prototype, but this would more than likely be too costly. A concept prototype should suffice, as any investors who are interested in licensing your product should already be interested in the concept anyway. However, if you create a prototype, it might help you negotiate a better rate for your royalties!

Benefits for manufacturing:

Whether you are choosing to manufacture the product yourself or not, a prototype is usually the best way to go. The manufacturer can clearly visualise what is to be made and how the design can be further refined.

How to create a prototype

There are several ways you can create your prototype, but by far the most popular is by 3D printing. You can create parts of your product very quickly and efficiently. Here at Idea Reality, we work with with some of the best prototype manufacturing companies in the world! We have built up partnerships over the years, and we are confident that we can provide you with the most appropriate prototype options for your project.

 

27 September 2016

How to protect your invention idea




When you’ve come up with an amazing idea, the first thing you want to do is to tell all your friends and family about your exciting new invention, to see what they think. However, this may not be wise…unless you want someone to steal your invention! But, in order to try and make money off your invention, you need to pitch the idea to investors, potential manufacturers, distributors, etc. So, how do you protect your invention when discussing with others? First of all, you should start with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This is a simple document signed by you and the person/company you share the idea with. It states that information shared will remain confidential.

Having a feasibility study carried out will help you to decide the best route forward in terms of development and protecting your idea. If you discover your product is patentable, you could file an application straight away or develop the idea in secret before filing the tried and tested design. If it is not, you will need to consider alternatives such as Design Registration. Sometimes it may not be necessary to patent or register your design anyway. Should I patent my idea?

Here at Idea Reality, we always sign an NDA before working with anyone, to ensure that their idea is safe. We also have NDAs with all our partners too, so you can feel secure when talking to us about your product.


What is a patent?

A patent is actually government-issued and protects the rights to an invention and prevents anyone else from using it, making the product or selling the idea to others.

How do I patent my idea?

It’s important to realise that you are not able to actually patent an idea per se. You must patent a product/invention, which of course stems from an idea. You will only be able to patent your idea if your invention fits all the following criteria:

  • It is something physical that can be made and can be used
  • It is something completely new
  • It is an invention – it cannot just be a variation on an already existing product

Only if your invention fits all these criteria, you should apply to patent your idea. They are actually quite difficult to get and expensive too, so you should be sure that patenting your idea is right for you. If you are not sure, we can also help you with this; we will answer any of your queries about whether patenting is right for you and if so, what the best way for you to go about it is.

What if I cannot patent my idea?

Many ideas/inventions cannot be patented, for a variety of reasons. In these cases, you still do not want to run the risk of people stealing your ideas, so it is important to ask for a non-disclosure agreement to be signed. Whoever you will be discussing your invention with, you should ask them to sign an NDA first. There will usually be clauses within the agreement stating what will happen if any details of the invention are disclosed to others. A standard breach of an NDA will mean that you will be able to sue for damages.

What information should be found in a non-disclosure agreement?

It is advisable to get a professional to draw up an NDA if you really want to be sure that your idea is protected. You can get standard templates online, but you want to be sure you apply the terms to your invention specifically. The main content of the agreement should include:

  • What is confidential and what is not
  • Exactly how the information should be handled
  • How long this information should remain secret
  • What happens in the event of a breach

What if I cannot patent my idea AND people won’t sign an NDA?

Many people get suspicious when someone refuses to sign a NDA, but there are various reasons why someone will not sign. You could suggest signing a simpler and less-detailed confidentiality agreement instead. However, we at Idea Reality suggest that any company which does refuse to sign a NDA is somewhat dubious, as most reliable companies would always be willing to sign without an issue.

If they are not willing to sign any paperwork, it doesn’t mean that you should not do business with them altogether, but instead, perhaps in some cases you could just disclose a basic form of the idea and not specifics. Whet their appetite, and then let them know that if they want more information, they need to sign on the dotted line!

Visit the Intellectual Property Office website for further guidance or speak with an Intellectual Property legal advisor. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office

 

This is an informative article only. The above is the opinion of Idea Reality Ltd and is not to be used without proper professional advice taking into account individual project circumstances

8 September 2016

Crowdfunding a product idea




One of the most difficult things about launching a new product design is trying to find the funds to back your idea. Taking out a loan is risky and you may not even have this as an option. However, there are more and more new and exciting ways to raise money to fund your product idea, and crowdfunding is one of our favourite financing options. This article has been written to help you understand how to crowdfund a product idea and get the most out of it.

How does crowdfunding work?

Crowdfunding is when you raise money from a number of different people, who are donating money because they are interested in your product. Crowdfunding usually comes in three different forms:

 

  • Equity: those who donate money to your product will receive shares in your company.
  • Pre Sales/Rewards: Customers can pre-order and receive the product upon release. You can also offer another benefit for donating money. This might be a special offer or freebie, signed or customised goodies, or any other benefit associated with the brand.
  • Credit: individuals act as lenders to the businesses. Agreements are drawn up, and interest is applicable, but rates are usually more attractive than at banks.

 

Benefits of Crowdfunding

Many people worry about giving away a share of their company of product but by using the “Pre-Order” method used on sites such as Kickstarter you can raise the funds needed by simply selling the product to customers.

 

There are so many benefits to crowdfunding:

  • Set Targets: If you need a certain number of sales or amount raised then you can set this as a target. If the campaign does not reach the target you can are not committed to ship the product and can re-evaluate your approach for a second attempt.
  • Validation: the fact that people are willing to invest in your product suggests that your idea is well liked if people are willing to pay to see it happen.
  • Marketing benefits: first of all, when you advertise on crowdfunding websites, you get free publicity for your product. These sites generate a ton of traffic, so your product gets great exposure. You will also have had to think up a marketing plan before launching your campaign, so you learn great marketing skills along the way too. If this stage is daunting for you, the Idea Reality team has great experience with crowdfunding campaigns and are more than willing to help.
  • Feedback: comments from investors or crucial to your product development. Also, negative feedback on your product will also help you change your product for the better.

 

How to launch a crowdfunding campaign

Your first step is to win over the crowd with an inspiring story about your product and why you need their help. You have to convince them to invest in your product, to invest in you. Idea Reality has great experience in creating powerful sales presentations and product animations, and can put a great campaign together to help you crowdfund your product idea.

 

Showing a prototype of your design is also essential. You will need to demonstrate the product and inspire confidence. A physical working prototype will provide this.

 

The biggest crowdfunding websites are Indiegogo, Kickstarter and GoFundMe, so those are great places to start. Think carefully about what rewards you want to offer and ensure that the pledged amount will cover the cost of the reward and still help you towards your product goal.

 

Once you’ve put together all the details of your campaign, you need to spread the word to as many people as possible. Share the link with all your family and friends and share on social media. Encourage others to share on social media too. You never know whose eye you might catch.

This is an informative article only. The above is the opinion of Idea Reality Ltd and is not to be used without proper professional advice taking into account individual project circumstances.

8 August 2016

New Product Development in 7 Simple Steps




New Product Development in 7 Simple Steps

As a developing business, or a budding entrepreneur, there may come a point in your career where you want to develop a product alongside your business. This might be because you have a fantastic invention that you want to share with the world, but it could also be because you want to establish yourself as an inventor, or give your business more credibility by adding a new product development to its offerings.

 

Whatever your reason, we have put together this guide which will demonstrate what is involved with new product development and how you can go from an idea to a product that is ready to sell in just 7 simple steps.

 

Step 1: Idea Generation

 

Presumably you already have a product idea or invention lined up, but you will still need to conduct market research and understand your target audience. One of the most popular techniques to analyse your product idea is using the SWOT technique: evaluate your idea’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You may also look to developing different versions of your idea for various scaled projects.

 

Step 2: Idea Screening/Evaluation

 

It is difficult to be involved in a new product development that means a lot to you, because you could be quite blind to any flaws or any unsuitable ideas. This is why the screening process is really crucial to the success of your product. Ensure that you share your product idea with your management team, analyse the numbers – the ROI and affordability. Together, you can work out what the market potential of your product is.

 

Step 3: Idea Testing

 

This stage is where you will test the concept of your product, rather than the product itself. This is also very different to the test marketing stage. You will need to gather several of your target market demographic and introduce the concept of your product to them. Do they understand it? Do they feel that they would benefit from or use this product? Your marketing strategies will depend upon the answers they give. Have confidentiality agreements signed by your focus group before revealing sensitive information.

 

Step 4: Business Analytics

 

Once you have confirmed the details of your concept, you will need to work out how to make your product successful! This stage will analyse the product’s marketing strategy and full cost analysis will be carried out in order to work out profitability. Some analytics of potential competitors can also be carried out at this stage, as you can learn from their new product development mistakes.

 

Step 5: Product Creation

 

The very exciting part! You get to decide how your product will look and experience it in your own hands! Of course, it will just be a prototype, but it’s great to get actual customer feedback on the way it looks and feels. Not only will the actual product be able to be reviewed, but also the packaging, as that is an important aspect of your product.

This phase of your project will require professional help from a product design company such as Idea Reality. Find out more about taking an idea from concept to prototype and beyond: http://www.ideareality.design/the-idea-reality-product-design-process/

 

Step 6: Test Marketing

 

This is where you take all the feedback about your prototype and use it as a marketing strategy. All the positive aspects about it should be publicised. You can even do a small product launch to test how the sales go. Depending on the results, you can adjust your strategy for the main launch. You can also assess your marketing strategy and if it’s successful, you can adapt it for a larger scale.

 

Step 7: Launch

 

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Your product is now public and sales are (hopefully) coming through. You may consider crowdfunding the launch or selling direct depending on your manufacturing options and route to market. Of course, there is still a lot of work involved at this stage, as you will need to decide how many products are going to be sold and where. You will need to form relationships with product distributors and advertisers.

 

We hope that this guide has shed some more light on what is involved with new product development. If you follow these steps, it will make things much easier to plan and your new product development experience should be a pleasant one!

This is an informative article only. The above is the opinion of Idea Reality Ltd and is not to be used without proper professional advice taking into account individual project circumstances.

12 May 2016

ScooterPeg design shortlisted in Design Week Awards




We are delighted that our “ScooterPeg” design has been shortlisted for a Design Week product design award.

Full details of all shortlisted designs here: Full shortlist

Find out about the ScooterPeg

25 April 2015

Bring your product ideas to reality




Bring your product ideas to reality

What can you do to turn your product idea into reality?

How many great ideas never get developed or noticed? MANY.  Don’t let your idea or invention go to waste.  Idea Reality specialise in helping clients turn their ideas into money making opportunities. Many go on to start new businesses around the idea or licence the product to a bigger player.

 It is easy to feel daunted by the thought of taking your idea all the way to market. 

Most clients have never done anything like this before.  However, don’t be put off until you have sought advice.   Idea Reality is set up to assist first time inventors as well as companies with existing product lines.  As such, we utilise a guided and staged product development process to direct you along the path most suited to your project.  The costs are broken down into manageable chunks, you stay in control of the project pace and you always retain 100% ownership of your idea.

How can you protect your idea?  There are often concerns about patenting ideas, the associated costs and also worries that someone could steal your idea. The first thing to do is not tell anyone about your product idea without having first signed a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement.  You may also want to ensure you can prove when you came up with the idea.  There are a number of ways to do this, however the simplest is to send yourself a security sealed and signed package with the postage date clearly visible containing copies of any drawings and confidential information.  This could be opened and examined in court to prove you were in possession of the idea at that date.

When it comes to the designing and engineering of the product, Idea Reality carry out concept design studies to explore the full potential of the idea early on. We utilise 3D CAD and visualisation to develop designs into engineered and manufacture-ready products.  Prototyping, 3D printing and testing are all used to get ideas ready for the market.  We can also assist with protecting your idea through patents and design registrations where necessary.

The difference between realising your dream or letting someone else get in first is taking action.

If you need that expertise to develop your idea then take that next important step and visit our website www.ideareality.design  or email us at info@ideareality.design for more information.

Start your product journey today!

22 April 2015

Product design and development workshops at Hampshire Nucleus 2015




Product design and development workshops at Hampshire Nucleus 2015

Idea Reality are pleased to announce they will be running product design and new product development (NPD) workshops at the Hampshire Nucleus 2015 event.

The event will  bring together all the innovative science and technology companies in the region. Supported by Hampshire County Council and organised by React Communications, the event will be held as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week on the University of Southampton Science Park.

Businesses and individuals alike are invited to explore their product ideas and inventions with a product development professional in a confidential setting. Idea Reality can help extract innovation and new ideas as well as advise on the most cost effective route to market. Confidentiality agreements will be available to sign before the workshop and any information or advice given will be free of charge. Give your project a boost and get it headed in the optimum direction!

The team at Idea Reality Ltd, take concept ideas through to prototypes and finished engineered designs ready for manufacture, utilising their staged development process. Intellectual property (patents), crowd-funding, 3D printing and product visualisation are just some of the techniques utilised to get innovative ideas to market. Several clients’ projects were recently included in the Virgin – Pitch to Rich awards with the ScooterPeg product shortlisted out of over 900 others.

For more information please visit http://www.hantsnucleus.co.uk/product-design-and-idea-development-workshop-to-be-hold-at-nucleus-2015/

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