Many businesses which sell and distribute their own products these days have started years ago as importers, bringing products from Asian open market, building brand by simply placing only their logo on products. They were not manufacturing, but merely buying a product in Asia, bringing it across the ocean and selling it in North America. It worked for a while, and for some companies worked quite well. Unfortunately, not any longer. Many brand names do not provide same good quality as they did before. Some competing brands even try to sell same exact product under different names and different price point. This mess confuses consumer and consumer turns away from both brands.
Economy is in a tight spot and many businesses, involved in manufacturing and distribution of their products are facing new challenge. The key word for this challenge is "innovation". Buyers do not want same old product any longer. They demand something new, something better than just re-designed packaging, something from a Sci-Fi movie, something that would make consumer say "Ah-h! I want this! I must have this!" And this is when marketing and product managers start using Google in a search for perfect designers and inventors, who can "think out of the box", who can do it well, fast and not too expensive. Who can create innovative product, which will be patentable and earn a good protected shelf space in retail or prime spot in TV and Web infomercials.
What does it take to develop innovative and patentable new consumer product? How to bring it to market in a shortest time? Many business owners and managers do not have a slightest idea what it costs and how long it takes to create a new innovative product. It is a learning curve and it may be hard and frustrating for both parties on the contract. Process of designing and developing a new car takes on average two years. This process involves huge teams or designers, engineers, technologists, technicians and business managers. Smaller consumer products are usually created by a small design agencies with as little as one designer or one engineer. Such process cost considerably less than designing a car. Yet, it may still take up to two years to complete a project.
Companies seeking professional help from small independent designers and inventors are advised to look for a "key solution", which means that they get not only design concept and engineering drawings, but also contacts with potential manufacturers, help sourcing parts and components for the future product. If designers can easily be found through Google and other web searches, best way to find inventors is by searching USPTO (United States patent and Trademark Office) at http://patft.uspto.gov/ Each patent lists its inventors and owners. Once the appropriate latest patent and name and residence state of its inventor is found, it is usually easy to get in touch with this inventor.
Looks like hanger for innovation is a good thing, which drives manufacturers and distributors towards better and less expensive products, accelerating development of new technologies.
Gennadi Fedorov, Founder and Chief Designer at Atus Design, LLC