It’s not easy to remain objective about the brilliant invention you created. But to successfully license it, you must look at your invention through the eyes of your licensing partner.
We all have biases for what we create (yes, your baby is the most beautiful!). But only by recognizing our biases can you successfully succeed with licensing. Your new invention may truly be great, but let’s take it one step at a time.
Your invention may be new, but is it really better? Is it really different? You need objective opinions, and those opinions should not be related or friends with you. Often your friends and family are not in a position to give you honest, objective opinions. It’s likely they will say only positive things in order to avoid conflict or simply to show their support.
You need honest, objective feedback. Test marketing and giving away products or services is a great way to get customer feedback, testimonials and proof of your intellectual property’s market potential. Licensing partners like IP that has customers ready to buy.
I had a client who invented a biodegradable material for making umbrellas. They would produce sample umbrellas and give them away at outdoor events, green events and especially at rainy day events. One day, they got a call from one of the largest umbrella manufacturers who had heard about their IP.
Social media is another easy and often no-cost way to get feedback. Crowd sourcing customer feedback on websites such as suggestionbox, Feedbackify are some of the best ways (click here for a list of more). You can get retail buyer feedback for new product inventions at websites such as buyerly.
Potential licensing partners are a third way, but be careful with this option. If they don’t see the value in your IP, they’ll have little interest in licensing it.
Rand Brenner is an IP professional whose passion is helping inventors, startups, and businesses of all sizes use licensing to turn their IP into income-producing products, services, and technologies. His decades of experience run the gamut from medical devices to food technology to consumer products. He’s licensed some of the biggest Hollywood entertainment blockbusters including the Batman Movies (1 and 2), and the number one kid’s action TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rand speaks about licensing and is a featured speaker at investment conferences, trade shows, colleges and startup events. He’s a published writer with articles appearing in several prestigious trade magazine including The Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India. Rand also mentors at the Cal State Fullerton School of Business and Economics and is a judge for their startup business plan competitions.