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Market Research without giving away the idea?

jessieb578jessieb578 subscriber Posts: 6
edited July 2008 in Marketing
How do I ask if people will like and use my product without giving away the bank?  My product isn`t something that I can patent as it wasn`t my invention, I`m taking an old idea and marketing it differently. This product is something that will help people who have lupus and others who are extremely sensitive to the sun, as well as those who are health conscious and are careful about their sun exposure as well.
I have found many forums surrounding these issues and I`d love to ask them if they`d like my product, but how do I do this without giving it away?? This is something that is easily obtainable and can be copied and granted I`m sure I`ll find competition at some point, but without any right now, I`d like to get in without any competition.
Am I making any sense??


  • DougsterDougster subscriber Posts: 4
    Hello Jess,
    Have you tried to use it on friends & family?
    People you know & trust?
    Good luck/Skil
  • daleyfla99daleyfla99 subscriber Posts: 1
    Give free samples to a charity that works with the people it works for.  Then do a press release to announce it. Call the local TV stations.  Get testamonials.  Then get busy.
  • GrillCharmerGrillCharmer subscriber Posts: 7
    Hi there Jess!
    I know it`s scary to put your idea out there, but if it`s not something that you can patent, IMO you need to get out there and hit the market hard and fast.  (Dale`s got the right idea).  You might not be able to protect the actual product, but you can trademark your brand or maybe a design patent would be applicable.  (It`s hard to say w/o knowing anything about the product).    I think Doug is right, do as much research w/ your friends and family and people you trust, then as Dale said GET BUSY!
  • jessieb578jessieb578 subscriber Posts: 6
    You guys are absolutely right...I`m so nervous because in all honesty I`ve never done anything like this! I don`t even know where to begin - do I get a tax ID number, do I get a bank acct., design a tag, etc.?? It`s like I know what my product is, I have the money to invest in it, I just don`t know the steps to get there! Ultimately I`d like to sell my product to large retailers like WalMart. This whole thing is so scary.  
    Leslie!! You were on Donny Deutsch! I saw you on there! Wow...believe it or not, it`s really my dream to end up on his show! What fun that must have been. Oh, and your product is absolutely great! I love it!
  • GrillCharmerGrillCharmer subscriber Posts: 7
    Hi there Jess!  I`m glad you saw the show.  It really was so much fun!  Have you read The mom inventor`s handbook by Tamara Monosoff?  If not... BUY IT NOW!!  That`s the best pc of advice I can give to someone just starting out on the idea to market process.  Buy it, study it, then email me   If I can do it, ANYONE can do it!
  • jessieb578jessieb578 subscriber Posts: 6
    Nope I haven`t even heard of that book. I`lm going to find it right now.  Thanks, I will definitely keep in touch! Maybe you`ll see me on Donny one day!
  • melanienegrinmelanienegrin subscriber Posts: 0
    Dear Jess:
    What type of research are you seeking to implement? Are you testing the product itself or trying to get a sense of whether there is a strong need for the product, understand the behaviors that might lead to use of your product, develop a strong positioning for the product, put together a well thought out business and marketing plan, etc.? Depending on your end goal, you may be able to gather significant useful information from potential customers without actually showing them the product and then leverage that information during your planning and execution.
    Melanie R. Negrin
    Owner & Managing Director
    Merocune Marketing & Public Relations
  • jessieb578jessieb578 subscriber Posts: 6
    Basically I`m trying to see if the need for my product is out there. I`ve been talking to friends and family and from what they feel there is a definite need.  I just wanted more confirmation that there is a need out there.
  • melanienegrinmelanienegrin subscriber Posts: 0
    If the product is designed to meet the needs of individuals with lupus, I would recommend including some doctors who treat lupus and other similar conditions in your pool of people to speak to. Without telling them you have a product to sell, ask them about the solutions currently available to their patients, ask them how well these solutions are meeting the needs, and explore what gaps might exist in the solutions marketplace. Ask them about how they evaluate a product for potential recommendation to their patients, i.e. does it need to be backed by significant research testifying to its safety and effectiveness? These types of questions can provide you with a greater depth of helpful information that can guide how you market your product, who you approach, and why. No need to talk product up front.
    You can have similar conversations with people working at foundations focused on lupus and other similar conditions and, of course, with anyone you can identify that has lupus. 
    Friends and family are a good starting point, but unless they are part of your target market, it is critical that you seek insight from the people you hope to serve and/or market through.
    Melanie R. Negrin
    Owner & Managing Director
    Merocune Marketing & Public Relations
  • CookieCookie subscriber Posts: 2
    I`m going to disagree about talking to family & friends for feedback.  They love you.  Naturally they`ll say it`s a good idea -- they wouldn`t want to hurt your feelings or rain on your parade.  They can be an audience as you practice your pitch &  develop confidence in speaking about your product but I agree with Melanie. If you want to see if there`s a need for your product, start talking to docs, nurses, foundations, folks with lupus....                                                      
    Good Luck!                                                
    Cookie6/5/2008 3:37 AM
  • MakrinaMakrina subscriber Posts: 0
    The internet is a great research machine. Just write "Lupus" in search and it will give you thousands of websites providing information. It may take some time, but see if there are similar products in the market, or if you can get any statistics. Then start to make a business plan. There are many free templates available also in the internet. This will help you to organize your ideas. There are other websites that can provide a media to post your product. Just give little information and none of the key features. People interested in this subject may contact you. If you do not get calls, it may be there is no interest in the market. Remember, big pharmaceutical companies have a grip on the market. It is very difficult for an individual to market a product like that without  big financial support. Best of luck to you.
  • WellsworthWellsworth subscriber Posts: 0
    Run a survey, get outside input, and let the people tell you what they want.
    I use MasterSurvey, but there are many. Create the survey with some closely related questions without giving away the exact product idea. Offer a free something that they would want, and make it worth their time. Make it related to the product, like a recipe if its a food related idea,
    or tips about your category. Ask them how often they might use your concept, when they might use it, would it be something they would refer to a friend, find out if they`re male or female so you`ll know what kind of visitor to market towards, age is a factor as to your content you write to. Like, Hey Dude, dig this product ... if its the younger crowd. Or May I please have two minutes of your precious time, if its an older crowd. The people that answers your survey are the type of people that will be interested eventually.
    Run your survey off of pay per click, its the fastest way to get responses from page one on the search engines. From that you`ll know what kind of expense you`ll expect to pay to get the future visitors when the real market rolls out.
    Any successful market did market research first, if it fails in research, in other words, people weren`t even interested enough to answer your surveys, then them may not even want the real product, and you`ll save lots of money trying to market the real thing.
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