The Antenna Buddies had a red-hot launch, but Cindy Jones will soon face competitors. Protecting her patent could cost a lot. One option she can pursue is patent insurance, which can help mitigate the cost for patent infringement suits:
Advertising specialties is another term used for promotional products, and it generally refers to products that businesses buy to give away or to sell at a low price. For instance, Wal-Mart, which uses the yellow happy face in its advertising campaigns, might decide to buy the happy face Antenna Buddy to sell to its customers. Or MTV might offer the cow skull to its viewers.
Promotional items are typically sold through advertising specialty companies that will put a company's name on a product for promotional purposes. Advertising specialty houses sell water bottles, golf balls, Frisbees and virtually any other imprintable item.
In Cindy Jones' case, the Antenna Buddies promotional product possibilities were a point of leverage when approaching manufacturers for a licensing agreement. Jones' product is an outstanding promotional item because it goes where everyone can see it: on the base of a car antenna. That makes it a great tool for any company to advertise its product or service.
Don Debelak is a
new-business marketing consultant who has been introducing new
products for more than 20 years. He is the author of Bringing
Your Product to Market (John Wiley & Sons, $19.95,
Antenna Buddies Inc., (800) 964-0080, www.itsrealstuff.com.