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Family Physician
Family Physician, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 12572
Experience:  Researching answers to questions online for 20+ years.
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how can I present a Marketing idea to DuraFlame

Customer Question

I have an idea for a new type of fireplace log rack. I am in the process of patenting it now. When the patent is complete, I want to present the idea to DuraFlame and any other fireplace product companies that might be interested in marketing it.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Kathleen replied 7 years ago.

Hello,

What a great opportunity for you! I'm happy to answer your question.

As I researched your question, I learned that it's valuable to have an organization assist you in marketing your product. It would be easy to say "just write to Duraflame" but that may not produce the results you are hoping for.

Here are a few links to help get you started:

http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/doc/general/faq.htm#10

United States Patent and Trademark Office

In their FAQs section, they indicate the ways to develop and market your product. This may be too generic for you but if you haven't checked out their website, this will be a valuable resource for you.

Invent-Tech

http://www.invent-tech.tv/patents/?sc=Google&key=patent%20pending&gclid=COqPu_uywYkCFSREgQod5XiaLg

"Let the nation's preeminent Inventor Assistance company help you protect and confidentially present your invention to manufacturers, marketing companies and the media worldwide!" is stated on their home page. This could be the assistance you need to help you follow the right steps to successfully marketing your product. I checked the Better Business Bureau and they do not have any reports on this company. See link: www.fortworth.bbb.org/commonreport.html?compid=A2020402.

Joining an inventors association would be valuable. This would offer many resources, including input from fellow inventors. I located the United Inventors Association at www..uiausa.org/. There is an Innovation Assessment Program, free email newsletter, and an Ask the Experts forum, among the many services listed. I tried to get the membership fee but the membership page wasn't available at that time (perhaps updating the site).

I hope this answers your question. I wish you much success and hope that you do well with this, and future, inventions.

Best of luck,

Kathleen

 

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Kathleen's Post: Thank you for your response but it does not provide the information I was looking for. Your response focuses on patenting an invention but I already have that part of my opportunity in progress. My question is about how to market my invention; I just don't know how to begin. My question to you is specifically about how to make the right contacts at DuraFlame. I need you to tell me how to find out who to contact, what to send them, how to send the materials (i.e. FedExp, personally deliver, something that will increase the chances that the material will be looked at), etc.

Can you help me with that information?

Thank you,

Pauletta
Expert:  Kathleen replied 7 years ago.

Hi,

I'm sorry I was unable to help you. I will turn this question over to another expert. I wish you much success with your product.

Kathleen

Expert:  Family Physician replied 7 years ago.
I'm sorry that you have not yet had a satisfactory answer to your question. As I read your question, and did a little research on Duraflame, I am concerned that this may not be the right approach for such a product.

Duraflame only sells fuel - logs, firestarters, and charcoal. The do not have any products in the equipment/fireplace line. You would be asking a company with a focused on FUEL, to make a change to a multi-line business model. Different market outlets would be needed to market your product, than their current outlets for fuel.

Have you considered marketing this product to companies which sell fireplace supplies rather than Duraflame?
Family Physician, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 12572
Experience: Researching answers to questions online for 20+ years.
Family Physician and 125 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
That makes sense, Kathleen; I'm hoping that your answer will help me guidance on how to go about getting my materials to any appropriate company. If I were to identify a company that is appropriate, say a company like Portland Williamette Company http://www.portwill.com/indexframeset.html ; what should I do to make contact with them and get them to look at my product?

We're almost there; I really appreciate your help!

Pauletta
Expert:  Family Physician replied 7 years ago.
Actually, Kathleen had opted out, and asked one of the other experts to help you: FYI - I am a physician with an MBA, and I have a fireplace - love them, wouldn't own a house without one.

That would of course depend on the particular company. Probably your best bet, would be to call and ask to speak with someone in the CEO office (you would likely get their executive assistant) I would explain your interest in meeting someone in product development or purchasing about bringing a new product to market through their company.

A few questions (I understand that you may not want to give too much detail in this setting, but as much information would be helpful)
  • Would you consider this a luxury product (something that might be more appropriate for a premium catalog company)? Example: http://www.hammacher.com/ or http://www.plowhearth.com/welcome.asp
  • What price point would this product be marketed at (general price range)?
  • Do you intend on manufacturing the product yourself, and having someone distribute the product, or do you want to license the product for someone to manufacture and then distribute?
  • Why would I want your product over any other log rack - What competitive advantage does your product have over every other product on the market?
Family Physician, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 12572
Experience: Researching answers to questions online for 20+ years.
Family Physician and 125 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi! I just went back into my answer link to review and I noticed it said the answer hasn't been accepted yet. I thought I accepted it when I clicked Accept last time I replied to your response. But, if you are still open for discussion on this question, I'd love to run one last thing by you. In response to one of your questions, I am hoping to find a company to manufacture and distribute my product. I thought that meant I'd be selling my patent to them but you mention "licensing" the product. Is that different than selling the patent?
Expert:  Ramesh replied 7 years ago.

HiCustomer

The previous expert who followed with you is now offline. Will you wait for him? or would you want me to answer?

If yes? Please let me know, if you can pay me for my time..

Thanks

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, thank you, Ramesh. I'm OK for now. I'll check back with the Answer Line when I'm ready for my next question.

Thanks,

Pauletta
Expert:  Family Physician replied 7 years ago.
YES indeed - If you sell the patent - you get paid a single payment no matter how many they sell. They control rights to the invention, they can manufacture, distribute, resell - whatever they want to do.

If you license the product - you control (within the limits of the licensing agreement) how the product is sold - and you get royalty payments based on sales etc.

Look at the history of Coke - the inventor sold the rights for $2,300 - imagine if he licensed the rights for a minimal payment of 1/10 of 1 cent per bottle rather then selling the rights.
http://inventors.about.com/od/cstartinventions/a/coca_cola.htm

Another option is to find someone to manufacture your product - and market the product yourself - such as was done by Steve Jobs (Apple Computer), Bill Gates (Microsoft) rather than licensing the product - at least until you have created a demand/larger market - which then makes the value of your invention worth more.
http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa121997.htm

Depending on the type of product, cost of starting production - you may be able to outsource production to a local small business (metal shop/craftsman) and then sell to local/regional fireplace shops, hardware stores, craft fairs etc.

This give you a JOB (self-employment) which may or may not be more interesting and/or more profitable than your current occupation.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to FamilyPhysician's Post: You are very kind to follow-up after I already Accepted your very helpful answer, Friendly Physician. You have given me great insights.

Thank you so much for your reply,

Pauletta
Expert:  Family Physician replied 7 years ago.
Your very welcome - Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Good luck with your invention.

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