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Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ix

INTRODUCTION xi

Who This Book Is For xii
Organization of the Book xii

PART ONE: GETTING STARTED 15

CHAPTER 1: NEW PRODUCT IDEAS 17

Three Approaches to New Ideas 17
Creative Thinking 20
Keep It Simple 22
Market-Step Enhancement 22

CHAPTER 2: YOUR ROADMAP TO SUCCESS 24

The Steps from Product Idea to Product Success 25
Getting Started 26
Market Research and Evaluation 26
Path A: Self-Market Development 27
Path B: Licensing 28
Going Forward 28

CHAPTER 3: PRODUCT FAILURE AND SUCCESS 29

What Is a Product? 29
Why Do Products Fail? 29
Why Do Products Succeed? 31

CHAPTER 4: PROTECTING YOUR IDEA 32

The First to Conceive Wins 34
The One-Year Rule 35
Your Idea Notebook 35
Disclosure Document Program 36
Types of Patents 37
Costs of Patents 39
Provisional Patents 40
Preliminary Patent Search 41
Where to Find Patent Attorneys 42
International Patents 42
Trademark Protection 43
Copyright Protection 45

CHAPTER 5: LICENSING YOUR IDEA 47

The Licensing Process 48
What Do Companies Want? 49
Where to Find Companies to License Your Idea 50
Write a Licensing Proposal 51
Elements of a License Agreement 53
Let Someone Else License the Idea for You 54
Where to Find Agents to License Your Idea 56
Sell Rather Than License 56

PART TWO: MARKETABILITY 59

CHAPTER 6: THE ROLE OF PRODUCT MARKETING 61

What Market Data Are You Looking For? 62
Market Research Sources 63
How Much Market Research Is Needed? 65

CHAPTER 7: AT WHAT STAGE IS YOUR IDEA? 66

Idea Assessment 66

CHAPTER 8: SIMPLIFIED NEW IDEA PROCESS 69

Decision Paths 70
How Long Does It Take? 70
The Market-Step™ Process Diagram 71
Product Evolution 72

CHAPTER 9: STEP ONE - FLESH OUT YOUR IDEA 74

What's Your Moneymaking Idea? 75
Step One - Flesh Out Your Idea Flowchart 76
Find Similar Products 76
Uncover the Benefits 78
Advantages Beat the Competition 82
What's the Profit Potential? 83
Decision Path One 90

CHAPTER 10: HOW YOUR CUSTOMER THINKS 91

Customer Problems, Needs, and Wants 91
The Many Faces of a Customer 92
I've Got to Have It First 93
Know the Customer's Buying Process 95

CHAPTER 11: STEP TWO - TEST THE NEED 98

Who Is Your Future Customer? 99
Step Two - Concept Evaluation Flowchart 100
Create a Concept Survey 104
Get More Details with Informal Interviews 107
Decision Path Two 110

CHAPTER 12: STEP THREE - REFINE AND VALIDATE 111

Step Three - Prototype Evaluation Flowchart 113
User Scenarios 114
Prototype Requirements 116
Prototype Development 117
Prototype Interview Plan 126
Recruit Attendees 128
Ask Prepared Questions 129
Feedback Summary 131
Decision Path Three 133

CHAPTER 13: PATENT REVIEW 134

What to Look For 136
Patent Search Methods 136
Search Periodicals 139
Patents That Match Your Invention 139

CHAPTER 14: SELF-MARKET OR LICENSE 140

Self-Marketing vs. Licensing Example 140
Is Self-Marketing for You? 142
Is Licensing for You? 142
Decision Path A or B 143

PART THREE: DEVELOPMENT & LAUNCH 145

CHAPTER 15: STEP FOUR - PLAN IT 147

Product Positioning 148
Step Four - Development Planning Flowchart 149
Pricing for Profit 152
Marketing Communications Plan 157
Getting into Retailers and Distributors 161
Regulations and Certifications 164
Product Requirements 167
Manufacturing Your Product 168
Project Plan 172
Launch Checklist 175
Budget Setting 177

CHAPTER 16: STEP FIVE - DEVELOP IT 179

Convert Requirements into Specifications 180
Step Five - Development Flowchart 181
Bill of Materials 185
Test Cases 186
User Documentation 187
Product Production 187
Beta Recruitment 191
Beta Feedback 191
From Beta to Final Development 193
Branding Your Product 194
Product Naming 195
Marketing Theme 195
Packaging Your Product 197

CHAPTER 17: STEP SIX - LAUNCH IT 205

Launch Strategy 206
Step Six - Product Launch Flowchart 207
Finalize Your Product 209
Announce the Launch with a Press Release 210
Supply Product Information 214
Advertising Builds Trust 216
Effective Direct Mail 219
Personal Selling 229
Launch Conclusion 230

CHAPTER 18: POST-LAUNCH PROGRESS CHECK 231

Marketing and Sales Analysis 231
Sales Losses 232
Customer Satisfaction 233
Competition Review 233
Product Review 234

APPENDICES 235

APPENDIX A: INVESTIGATE YOUR COMPETITION 237

List Competitors 237
Collect Detailed Data 238
Organize Data 239
Evaluate the Competitive Environment 240
Combat Competitors 241

APPENDIX B: SELECT YOUR TARGET MARKET 245

Target Market Factors 246
Methods to Select a Target Market 247
Your Target Market 252
Other Targeting Methods 254

APPENDIX C: THE MARKET-STEP PRODUCT PLAN 255

Market-Step Product Plan Contents 255
Market-Step Product Plan Sections 257
Product Plan Notes 273

APPENDIX D: PRODUCT MATH 275

Profit and Loss 275
Return on Investment 276
Break Even 277
Margins and Discounts 278

APPENDIX E: FUNDING YOUR IDEA 283

The Need for Money 283
Types of Funding 284
The Investors 285
Stages of Funding 287
What Type of Funding Do You Go After? 288
To Receive You Must First Give It Up 288
Prepare for Funding 290
Steps to Get Funding 291
When Do You Seek Funding? 291
The Investor's Process 292
How Investors Evaluate You and Your Idea 292
Funding Rejection 295
SBA Loans 296
Other Funding Possibilities 297
Additional Funding Tips 298
Funding Resources 298

APPENDIX F: BUSINESS STARTUP 301

Business Entity Advantages and Disadvantages 301
Business Entity Considerations 306
Business Startup Checklist 308
Further Startup Guidance 309

APPENDIX G: NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT 311

INDEX 315

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