While we might not think about it in our daily lives, inventions are consistently and inevitably surrounding us, making our day to day lives easier, more efficient and effective. Let’s take a look at how they’ve progressed over the years…The eruption of inventions began as early as 4-5 billion years ago when people discovered that the sun produced energy, which later turned into something we use today known as solar energy. We as humans are constantly changing and evolving and so is the world around us, making the need for new inventions crucial to human existence. While it’s important to think about how we can keep moving forward, it’s also important to remember where we started. Sometimes looking into the past sparks a new idea that could change the future!
Dating all the way back to ancient times stands one of our most prominent and important inventions, the alphabet! Thanks to the Semites of the Mediterranean, we have a way to communicate with one and other to collaborate and keep new and improved ideas flowing. To expand upon just how much we’ve grown in the form of communication, we now have cell phones, smart phones, computers and other electronics that allow us to communicate on the go. The beginning of the electronic invasion began with Steve Jobs in 1984 with his invention of the Macintosh laptop through his company, Apple. Today, we can communicate quickly and efficiently due to his help and hard work towards the colossal progression of communication.
Another invention that has greatly influenced human life dates back to 1886 when walking or riding in a cart and buggy
ceased from being the primary source of transportation. This change occurred as a courtesy of Germany’s Karl Benz and his magnificent invention of the automobile which has continued to improve and evolve. Today even autonomous or self-driving cars are being tested as a result of Ernst Dickmann’s wild and faulty idea to create them in 1986. This essentially means that there could potentially be cars driving around without drivers!
However, while we’re still behind the driver’s wheel and in control of our own cars, a common issue we have is getting lost. When you’re driving around in a new place and realize you have no idea where you are, what do you turn to? A GPS! The early stages of
this invention dates all the back to 1050 BC when the Chinese created a compass for ‘spiritual and navigational purposes’. Once the electromagnet was invented in 1825, the compass really took off and progressed into our navigational savior, the GPS. Beginning with Roger L. Easton, Ivan Getting, Bradford Parkinson and Dr. Gladys West’s early invention of the GPS in the 1970s, today we are able to navigate our way through the world with countless electronic devices to get us from point A to point B in a timely fashion.
While this timeline barely scrapes the surface of all of the incredible inventions that have been created since the dawn of time, it makes us think and reflect on human capabilities. It also shows us that even the simplest ideas can transform into life changing inventions that eventually become almost crucial to human existence. So get reading and get thinking and you just might be on your way to creating the next best thing!
Feeling unprepared for an upcoming trade show? We’re here to help! After researching tips about trade show dos and don’ts we’ve come up with our own top ten tips:
Train your booth staff: You want to make sure you’re only choosing qualified, well-kept professionals who will positively reflect your company during the show. Make sure they know your company’s goals, marketing approaches etc. Most importantly, make sure they’re approachable!! You want prospects to feel comfortable walking up to your booth and striking up professional conversation related to your company’s services. Most importantly, make sure they come prepared with a plan to sell!
Don’t overwhelm your audience with too much information: It’s easy to stumble over your words and over explain what your company does. While it is important to know your company in order to represent it well, it’s also important to refrain from sharing every detail of what you do with your prospects. In times of panic, refer to the 80/20 rule. Listen to what the prospect has to say for 80% of the time while only speaking for 20% of the time. You want the prospect to feel heard in order to make a good impression and set the base for a valuable connection that they’ll remember.
Ask specific questions: Avoid rambling and asking unnecessary questions. Nerves get in the way sometimes, we get it! But it’s important to stay professional and efficient. Ask questions like: Where do you work? What’s your position there? Then ask for permission before getting into more specific business related questions by simply saying Would you mind if I ask you some questions about your business?
Bring and store sales literature: When it comes to sales literature, you want to work smarter, not harder. Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of literature for prospects to read but keep it in a stored away box, perhaps under the booth’s desk and give it out after speaking and connecting with a prospect who is genuinely interested in what your company is selling. This prevents just anyone from taking literature that they’re going to throw away later (a huge waste of money) while keeping serious prospects informed and involved.
Avoid speaking poorly of your competition: This is a bad reflection of your company and puts your own company’s insecurities on display. This is a major turn-off to prospects and will quickly turn them away from your company which is exactly the opposite of what you want to do.
Don’t eat or drink at your company’s booth: It's extremely important to ALWAYS be professional. This includes not only looking and speaking professionally but also staying away from eating and drinking at your company’s booth. This makes you look unapproachable and unavailable and prospects will stray from conversing with you. It could also make the venue smell poorly all of which poorly reflect your company.
Put a trade show page on your company’s website: This allows prospects who don’t want to carry home loads of literature and paperwork to review your company at their leisure in the comfort of their home. It is also important to have a simple URL that is easy to access and remember.
Promote your company before the show: Make sure to set up appointments with important prospects at the show. This ensures that there will be time set aside for them personally. It doesn’t hurt to put up announcements and advertise a bit for your company prior to the show as well. Getting the word out beforehand, helps in the long run.
Hand out free stuff! Having free company related merchandise to hand out during a show helps promote your business even after the shows over. While a flyer might not be memorable, merchandise that is interesting, sensible and entertaining will! Prospects will remember your company whenever they use or see the merchandise that you gave them. Examples of sensible and interesting merchandise may include but is not limited to, high-quality pens, reusable water bottles, lip balm, t-shirts and fidget spinners.
FOLLOW UP!! Last but not least, it is arguably most important to follow up with prospects after the show. Make sure you get the prospect’s business card or email address before they leave your company’s booth as it is vital to staying connected post trade show. Don’t wait any longer than needed to follow-up, you want to be fresh in the prospect’s mind when you contact them to avoid any later confusion.
Keep our tips fresh in mind before your next trade show. Take a deep breath, take notes and be yourself! Good luck! (You’ve got this)
For many inventors, the ultimate goal is licensing, even if they don’t quite know what licensing means. When you hear about inventors getting huge, profitable deals, it typically comes through the licensing process. But that’s only a small, lucky percent of inventors who go down the licensing route. If you’re considering licensing your product, you should have all the information, and know exactly what to expect. Unfortunately, since licensing companies are investing millions of dollars in any product they choose to sign, they must be incredibly selective in their choice. This means your product should be as highly polished as possible before pitching to licensees. And when inventors come to us looking for licensing help, there are a myriad of steps we take to prepare them.
Before presenting a client’s product to a licensee, we take a comprehensive look at that product and ensure it has a working prototype, a social media presence, informative blog posts, pictures, a sizzle reel, etc. We want our products to stand out from the rest, and that requires a great deal of preparation. It’s also essential to identify the licensees who are the best fit for a product, represent products in the appropriate category, and who are actively looking for new ideas. Licensing is like searching for a new home, and that means the fit should be just right.
It’s also essential to keep track of ever-changing market trends, which can be difficult for inventors not involved in the industry on an everyday basis. At Lightning Launch, however, it’s our job to keeps our finger on the pulse of the market, so our pitches are always targeted appropriately, and directed at the right companies.
Many inventors who pursue licensing often make the mistake of trusting inventor classes or coaches, and shelling out huge amounts of money. Inventors frequently sign up for one-on-one coaching, or weekly classes/Skype sessions, wherein they are advised by “experts” on how to bring their product to market. While this coaching is purported to ultimately save them money, coaches charge upwards of $2-3,000, and provide no hands-on assistance with sales materials, presentation prep, or pitching. A reputable invention company should be providing those services for half the cost. Interestingly, the same inventors who would willingly spend thousands of dollars on these coaches are reluctant to pay for reputable invention companies, having been told in vague terms: “never pay money to an invention company” — often by the coaches themselves! Our clients, however, understand that despite what inventor coaches and classes might tell you, there really is no fast track to licensing. Only though intensive, collaborative work with industry professionals can a licensing deal truly become feasible.
To learn more about the licensing process, and what it involves, reach out to Lightning Launch today. If you believe your product is ready for licensing, or could benefit from the assistance of true industry professionals, contact us for a free product evaluation.
Before you bring your invention to a licensing company, or attempt to secure retail distribution, you should make sure the product is actually ready for public consumption.
Finding buyers, retailers, and licensing companies for our products is of course your chief objective, but it’s simply not possible without the necessary preparation. At Lightning Launch, we believe a product cannot be truly successful without a significant amount of attention being paid to branding and messaging. Before a product can be successfully pitched to licensing companies and retailers, and generate real sales, the audience must be both targeted and appropriately educated. Too many great ideas fail to reach their peak sales potential simply because they aren’t presented clearly, or completely. Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether your product is ready for launch.
Social Media Presence
Although it might sound surprising, many inventors neglect solid social media. Having a cool, unique product is great, but without a solid Facebook page and website, they will fail to communicate the benefits of that product to their consumer base. Beyond simply “having” a website, inventors should focus on clearly communicating what the product does, what problem it solves, why that problem actually needs solving, and why it’s different than anything else on the market. With regard to social media, inventors should update their product pages frequently, with fresh content, and do their best to engage page visitors. Regularly posting pictures, videos, and promotions is a great way to spread the word about your brand, and generate more followers. Sales should be made as easy as possible for customers, posted directly on your product’s website for ultimate convenience. Purchasing should be quick, simple, and convenient. That’s why Lightning Launch dedicates a significant amount of time to providing useful website advice, and taking an active role in social media management.
Don’t limit your online strategy to social media, either. Blogs are a great way to educate potential buyers about a product’s story, give them a heap of useful information, and as well as open a dialogue with consumers. Post regular blog entries on your website, or reach out to established retail bloggers who might feature your product. At Lightning Launch, blogging is a key tenet of our brand building program. Our in-house bloggers generate fresh content for clients, to ensure their product is getting as much attention as possible.
None of the above methods really matter if you don’t present your product effectively. This means having an attractive logo and packaging, and — if you’re planning to pitch to licensees — a thorough presentation. It’s important to remember that retail and licensing success doesn’t result simply from a good idea, but from hours of preparation and brand building. To truly pique the interest of consumers or a licensing company, people need to truly understand your product, connect with it, and have the means to interact with it online.
For advice on how to get your product ready to pitch to licensing company, or to launch into the retail space, contact Lightning Launch. We also offer free idea evaluations, which are invaluable in determining if your product is worth pursuing.
Spring is here, and so are an exciting new line of spring products. Whether you’re trying to get in shape for summer, planning that first spring shopping spree, or have already begun thinking about backyard landscaping, these products will make your transition to the warmer weather a whole lot easier. From the Buttmaker, designed to get you toned and in-shape for summer beach days, to AvoSeedo, which will help you grow your own avocado tree in your backyard, these products should be on your radar as you prepare for the warmer months.
This zipper puller is designed specifically for the invisible zipper, though it works well on all types of zippers. Now, you won’t have to embarrassingly ask a friend to zip your dress ever again. Carry Zip My Dress in your purse, and use it conveniently when shopping or trying on clothes. “At zip my dress, we believe the best solution is zipping your own dress,” and this zipper puller truly makes that possible.
Growing your own avocado trees is an appealing prospect for any gardener, but actually doing it can seem daunting. AvoSeedo breaks it down into an easy step-by-step process, and facilitates your tree’s growth. Just cut open an avocado, and place the pit inside the AvoSeedo. Then, put the AvoSeedo in a bowl of water, write the date on a small flag and place it into the flag holder, change the water every two to three weeks, and watch your avocado pit turn into a little avocado tree. It’s as simple as that!
The Moxxi Pilates home gym is designed to be the most convenient home Pilates experience
on the market. It’s more than just a Pilates Chair. Moxxi’s goal is to “make the age-defying benefits of Pilates attainable for any person, no matter social status, age, or size.” It includes a spin seat, spring based resistance, split petal, and functional resistance bands to truly hit all the important parts of your body. Whether your goal is to build strength without the bulk, become leaner, or improve your stamina and mobility, Moxxi Pilates home gym is essential for anyone, regardless of your fitness goals.
The GirlyGoGarter is a functional piece of lingerie designed to not only look beautiful, but perform well and last for years. The lace garters are lined with soft, moisture-wicking microfiber, and patented latex-free GentleFlex™ can grip bare skin in total comfort without slipping. And the best part — because of the unique pocket design, you don’t have to worry about anything falling out. They can truly be used by anyone in a variety of situations, from waitresses to single-moms to those in corporate settings.
Summer is creeping up on us, and before you know it it’ll be beach season. That means your body has to be beach-ready, but that can be difficult to accomplish in just a few months’ time with your traditional gym routine. Buttmaker utilizes Eccentric Training, which has been proven to be the most efficient type of training for butt muscle growth and muscle fiber density. With Buttmaker, you will train with higher average force than traditional weights, leading to more muscle growth and strength. Learn more about Eccentric Training on the Buttmaker website.
To submit an idea you think could be perfect for the spring or summer season, reach out to us today for a free evaluation.
Listen up ladies, it’s time to ditch the purses! GirlyGoGarter is seriously the most epic need for
girls on the go. Not want, need! If you’re tired of carrying your purse, remembering a wristlet, or awkwardly dancing with your purse when you’re out with your friends (don’t worry we’ve all been there), then this product is for you!
GirlyGoGarter was designed by women for women. The garter holds up to 3lbs, yes, we’re
not lying... 3, whole, pounds! And, get this… it never slides! Made of gorgeous lace, comfy microfiber and patented GentleFlex™ gippers to ensure ideal comfort and security. It holds anything and everything your purse does.
Chock it full of all your essentials, look trendy, and never have to worry about carrying anything. It’s that easy. Even Taylor Swift thinks so, after all she uses hers for her mic pack on stage. How will you GirlyGoGarter?
“PUSH, PUSH, PUSH-almost done!” Scratch that! The days of wishing your workouts would just end, are over! With these must have products you will find yourself looking forward to your workouts. Boobuddy x SMUG provides the perfect starter pack while training for the marathon. Compared to other active wear companies, Boobuddy won’t break the bank!
After months of training and cycling through different active wear products, I had the chance to experiment with many workout accessories I’ve seen on commercials and word of mouth. Although I was let down many times, my long hours of running lead me to my favorite products I couldn’t run and train without. Once I had the opportunity to try a few SMUG x Boobuddy products, they have superseded all of my expectations.
Original Boobuddy: Running can be a full body workout, and without the right support for your assets, your planned 10-mile run turns into an irritating 2 mile run. If you don’t want this accessory to be seen, it can easily be hidden as well. Feeling lighter, put together, and comfortable in your skin is a must on a long run.
SMUG Active Bluetooth Audio Headband: In the colder weather, the Bluetooth Headband was ideal. With a quick set up to my iPhone, I was ready to run with music blasting in my ears. Not only did it comfortably cover my ears from the colder weather, I didn’t have to worry about wearing headphones underneath or in general. As the warmer weather is approaching, the Bluetooth Headband has come in handy to listen to music without the hassle of having to adjust your ear buds or having a string dangle in front of you.
SMUG Printed Hair Bands (Logo or Star Print): No matter how long or short your hair is, you NEED your hair out of your face while training. These elastics are the perfect material, not too tight or thin to not give you a headache while running. These are a must for me!
SMUG Contoured 3D Blackout Sleep Mask: Not only is sleep so important to stay fresh for every run, being relaxed is essential after training. I’ve found the mask to be a peaceful accessory after a shower and help the processes of falling asleep so much easier.
SMUG Active Accessory Bag: With all the products I need for
my runs and strength training sessions, having an accessory bag to carry everything makes it easier to travel with. Not only am I prepared for my session, but also I’m doing it in style.
The long process of training for the marathon isn’t always easy, but with the right products my hours of sweating through the pain has been worth it. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a run not go as planned, so being prepared is key to a successful training session. It’s time to ditch the uncomfortable gear!
As an inventor, it’s essential to create a marketing plan that will help your business flourish. But before you create a marketing plan, there’s a few things you should consider doing.
First, what is your demographic? That will give you the best view of your target consumer. Knowing your target audience can help you effectively design the product, packaging and marketing materials. Second, who are your competitors? What’s working for them and where do they need to improve? Take notes and improve your product and materials based on the competition.
Now that you have a better understanding of who your target market is, it’s time to find your why. Your customers are investing in your product, why should they buy it and invest in your company? You need to sell your story just as much as your product. The best way to do that is by making a connection with your customers; what’s your brand's story? Creating a story not only offers value to your brand but creates a personal connection with your audience. When a customer can relate, or connect with your brand, they’re more apt to invest in it.
Lastly, do you have a digital presence? Have you created a website, are you on social media? If you want to survive in this market you need to be present. After all, the first place a new customer will look before purchasing your product is your website and your social media pages. Have your friends and family write reviews of your product; the more content the better!
There’s a lot that must be in place before launching your product. If your serious about bringing your product to market rather than licensing it, you need to have your “ducks in a row”. Lightning Launch can help get you there!
If you’re looking to bring your product to market or looking to improve your sales, we can help. Lightning Launch It!
Marketing is one of the most important aspects of any small business. Social media has made it more accessible to reach out to buyers and promote products. With so many consumers using social media, this presents a great opportunity to reach your
audience. Staying in contact with your audience is easy if you are active on the channels they use. Different social media accounts help you reach specific buyers. Here is a list of tips on how to use social media to increase your amount of consumers.
Social Sharing- encourage your fans and followers to share your posts. Any like, retweet, re-pin, or shared image can spread the word about your brand and lead to new followers. Quality Content- develop content that is both informative and beneficial to your audience. The goal is to build trust between your target market. This allows you to make your brand more approachable for new experiences and buyers.Engagement- Likes, shares and reposts, shows your audience that you find what they say to be important. Show, Don’t Tell- showcase the benefits of your product. Explain how the product works and its advantages. Ask Questions- asking followers questions shows interest and creates generosity toward your brand.
Social media is a great way to build connections with consumers that results in a foundation of loyal customers. Engaging and posting fascinating content increases value to your target audience. The more useful material you are sharing, the more opportunities you have to display your skill and knowledge. When others share your content with their fans and followers, this creates a more powerful brand.
Everyone is excited about 2019 for their own reasons. We’re excited because of the amazing product launches we have coming up. Every year we have the pleasure of working with inventors through all stages of the product development process – from ideation and design, to manufacturing, creating a marketing strategy, and eventually either a licensing deal or retail launches. Our best days are when we see product launches our inventors have been anticipating for years. 2019 is a particularly exciting year when it comes to our new products. We’re launching inventions in a wide range of industries, from fitness to kitchenware. Take a look at some of the 2019 products we can’t wait to introduce to the public.
Like most household inventions, Spoon Buddy was created out of frustration. When serving Thanksgiving dinner, the inventors of Spoon Buddy were fed up with the buffet area becoming so messy while people served themselves with traditional spoons, with nowhere clean to rest those spoons between servings. Enter Spoon Buddy. This is a spoon rest that can be attached to a lid, countertop, or any flat surface, to hold your spoon between servings, and before you’re
ready to wash.
The goal of Moxxi is to make Pilates accessible to everyone – not just those who can afford expensive weekly classes. The creators of Moxxi Pilates wanted to find a way to help people exercise, while also balancing their family and work lives. Moxxi is designed to be the perfect in-home solution to this balancing act. It uses the latest technology to deliver on-demand workouts and virtual instruction, allowing you to work out on your own schedule, and get the personal attention you need to really get the most out of the experience.
The Natboo brush was conceived in an effort to combat the pollution caused by the countless disposable plastic brushes discarded every day. After working through several prototypes, the inventor came up with a 100% biodegradable brush (except the bristles), made of sustainable material, and designed to fit the human hand perfectly. Using the Natboo brush is comfortable, effective, and most importantly, reduces your carbon footprint by 30%.
It might not be summertime quite yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stock up on summer gear in advance. You’ve heard of the traditional beer and drink koozie, but while you’re drinking your first beverage, all the others are getting cold. DoubleUp lets you stack two drinks on top of each other, keeping both cold, so when you’re done with the first, you can move right on to the second. DoubleUps are available in either foam or neoprene, and the neoprene versions fold into a single version once you finish the top beverage.
If you think you have an invention that would be a great fit for our 2019 lineup, or are eager to explore the licensing or retail possibilities for your product, contact the experts at Lightning Launch for a product review.