Global Marketing

Taking New Products to Market??? One size fits all?

Posted by Team J, Robin Follman-Otta, Sandro Siles

Get Your Product to Market in Six Steps

You're the best person for the job, so get started.

“I have an idea but I am confused as to how to get it to market”

 Here is my new attempt at blogging since I have managed to totally miss the point on my last posts 🙂

This article tends to go with how my team produced two operatic recordings in the past 10 years.  Always a fun project artistically but never financially profitable.  Opera tends to be very costly with not alot of financial payout.

I saw this article and thought about Tamara Monosoff’s perspective on taking a product to market verses what we’ve done in the past and how we succeeded and also missed the boat at the same time.

“The first step should be to research how others have gotten their products to market, understand the tools available including sell sheets, intellectual property such as trademarks, copyrights and various patents, and the potential market for your product. There are several good books, courses, columns and online communities available for aide in your research, but as the inventor, you are the best person to decide which market is best for your product.”

Ok- so I did this.  I researched and called managers, producers and various artists.  What I learned is: I am not the best person to decide which market is best for my product.  While I had a very high brow opinion on what my cds were, I missed the true commercial potential by pigeon-holing my project as being for the serious opera afficianado.

Six steps to take your product to market:

  1. Buy one or two well-regarded books on inventing. Look for those that focus on making money, not just patents and read them. I frequently hear from people who say, “I bought your book but I am still confused.” In answer to a couple questions I find they have not actually read the book. After this step you may adapt the next five steps to incorporate what you have learned in your research. (My question is “why do I continue to produce classical music CDs when there really isn’t profit potential in today’s market?” – we do it because we love the craft – standard answer, but not realistic in terms of finding a way to make the projects profitable).
  2. Conduct market research. Identify products on the market, both online and in stores that are similar to your product idea, and note which companies make them and where they are sold. (Did this – decided to do random and unknown music instead.  Then there wouldn’t be alot people to be compared too)
  3. Spend time on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website to identify and read any patents similar to your concept (We didn’t really need to spend alot of time on this – very easy for recordings but we did have to pay rights to certain composer’s foundations because they DID have copyrights on everything.  So they are still making money hundreds of years after they’ve died…too bad they didn’t get to enjoy it while they were still living.)
  4. Develop as good a prototype as possible with your available resources. This can be as basic as a drawing or as evolved as a professionally made product. (We were great at this.  We worked with the best of the best in terms of conductors, producers, engineers, etc.  Quality is fantastic.)
  5. Connect with other entrepreneurs in your local area or online to share information, resources & offer support.  (Did alot of this too with various musical publications so that other artists could gain insights on how to self-produce and make it cost-effective.)
  6. Draft a simple business plan; starting with the fundamentals.  (So here is where we fail; both recordings, we never had the marketing plan component for the recordings.  We had budgets, stuck to them and had great finished products but no financial means or plan to distribute them properly and aggressively.)

Avoid the temptation to take too good to be true sounding shortcuts. Be highly skeptical of those who claim to have unique access and ability to take your product to market for you starting with a basic feasibility study. You are the best person to take your product to market so get started!

“My response, if you don’t have the knowledge or experience to take your product to market, find someone who knows more and put your money behind it or you just wasted significant funds making a beautiful vanity project for your grandkids…In my case, I am not the best person to take my product to market; I have limited knowledge in the marketing world.  So, in the future, I will have a plan and people surrounding me who know MORE than me.”

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