Consider this scenario. You are an inventor. You have come up with the ultimate pet care appliance: say, an electric dog polisher. You’re excited, you’re proud. You’ve labored long and hard to perfect it, and at last, the fruits of your labor stand before you, in all of its canine-polishing glory.
But now what? Clearly, you need to sell this appliance to the masses. That means you need to market it to the right people. This is where you suddenly find yourself at a loss. Whereas you are the foremost authority on dog polishing, you have no idea how to market the thing.
Despair not; today’s dogs will not have to continue their unpolished existence. Check out these options for attracting invention buyers.
Decide On A First Step
Before you start reaching out to people, figure out exactly what it is you want to do with your invention. Are you planning on building and selling your invention yourself? Do you want to sell the rights to a company that will in turn make and distribute your invention? Or maybe you want to license the rights? You need to ascertain just how much work you want to do personally, and how much you want to shunt off to someone else (and consequently get less financial return in the process).
Launch A Website
Like we’ve done so often in the past, we once again turn to our friend the Internet to make our lives easier; in this case, it’s for the purposes of product marketing. Consider creating a website dedicated to your invention, then social media the living daylights out of it. The best website has complete information on your invention, including visually-oriented features such as images or even better, a video (who knows? If the video is cool enough, it could go viral, which means more exposure!). Also make sure you have included information on how you can be reached.
Patent Your Invention
On one hand, you don’t want to go crazy and start over-patenting your intellectual properties, but on the other hand you don’t want to take a laid-back approach that winds up making it easier for a faster (and less ethical) individual to rush in, do an end run around you by copying your work, and getting that patent first. Consult an IP (Intellectual Property) professional early on, and consider getting a provisional patent on your invention.
Create A Prototype
You can describe your invention in glowing terms with beautiful, flowery language that conveys a perfect picture of what your invention is like, but nothing beats actually seeing the thing in front of you, tangible, and in perfect working order. Using the dog polisher example, you should have one functioning model, with all bugs worked out, on hand. Buyers don’t want “Almost done”; they want something that’s ready to go. A perfectly working prototype is also tangible, first-hand proof that your idea actually works.
Using An Intermediary
There are firms out there that act as representatives to innovators such as yourself, licensing your inventions to corporations that have need of them. Consider them to be the invention marketing equivalent of a literary agent. But just like an agent won’t shop a novel that’s an amateurish waste of time, an intermediary isn’t going to expend energy needlessly on something that no one wants.
If you intend to use an intermediary, it’s also wise to watch out for fraud. There’s a ton of unscrupulous companies out there that will take your money (they could care less about your invention), and leave you high and dry. Check out the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s public forum for information on invention promoters and the comments and complaints that they generate,
This should be a good start for those of you out there who want to find a buyer. Good luck in your endeavors!