How Inventors Can Partner to Win
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.As a consultant, I often meet with inventors who've created--and sometimes even patented--an innovative product that has the potential to take the marketplace by storm.
The problem: It takes more than just ingenuity to get a product onto retailers' shelves and into the homes of millions of American consumers. It takes money, marketing and distribution--and most inventors don't have any of these things.
That's why I often send inventors like these to Michael Weinstein, an entrepreneur and internet marketer who runs the Internet division of Lipenwald Inc., a 60-person direct-response marketing company that finds, creates and markets consumer products through the internet, catalogs, direct mail, retail and television. As Chief Internet Officer, Weinstein is responsible for finding products, driving website traffic and increasing internet revenue, as well as ensuring effective online creative development and execution for more than 200 websites that offer thousands of products ranging from collectibles and horticulture to cosmetics and "As-Seen-On-TV" general merchandise.
"Most inventors do not have the resources, the experience or the capital to take a product from concept to market," Weinstein says. "From manufacturing an item to creating an offer, producing and airing television commercials, creating and marketing websites and fulfilling orders, these are tasks that are not familiar to most inventors."
That's where Lipenwald comes in. Rather than charge inventors for its go-to-market services, Weinstein's company partners with them, taking the product from conception through marketing, manufacturing and distribution. Typically, Lipenwald seeks out inventors who have products or product ideas that the company believes have mass market potential. Lipenwald then manufactures the item, purchases large quantities of the item after market testing, and stores the item in its warehouse while driving sales through a multimedia marketing campaign. Lipenwald has successfully marketed hair-removal products, automotive products, pet products and collectibles.
"We only succeed if the product succeeds, and we assume the risk," Weinstein says.
Tapping his internet marketing experience, Weinstein has been able to spark discussions of his company's products on social media sites and online discussion boards. Weinstein also uses the internet to increase brand awareness and to generate sales through e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing, display advertising, search marketing and viral marketing.
"We are always looking for affordable, quality products that solve a common problem," Weinstein says, "the kind of products that save you money, make your life easier or both."
Inventors can submit their inventions or product ideas at Lipenwald's website at http://www.lipenwald.com.