As Seen on TV is a term used to describe products marketed through television commercials. These are also known as infomercials and are a popular form of advertising in the United States. These products are usually sold through a toll free telephone number and include the standard red seal in the shape of a television screen with the words “AS SEEN ON TV” written in white.
Ron Popeils was the first As Seen on TV Pitchman and made millions selling his Spray Gun, a gun-shaped garden hose nozzle with a chamber in the handle that could be filled with soap, wax, weed killer, fertilizer or insecticide. He became a major player in the As Seen on TV industry and continued to sell his products through the 1970s and 1980s.
As Seen on TV and Direct Response offer lucrative income to inventors. Learn what the industry seeks in consumer products and how to get your invention featured without breaking the bank.
A successful Direct Response Television campaign can rapidly transform an idea into a lucrative success. The right DRTV company can take that idea and turn it into an award-winning product that generates millions of dollars in profits.
The Ronco Strategy
The Ronco marketing approach is one that focuses on making products more useful than just selling them. The company sells a range of household products through infomericals, which are long-form televised commercials that last up to 28 minutes and 30 seconds.
Ron Popeil is the founder and CEO of Ronco Inventions, which markets products like pasta makers, rotisseries and food dehydrators through infomericals. He also sells these items on QVC and through retail partnerships with Wal-Mart Stores, Kohl’s, Sears Holdings and Walgreens.
In the 1950s, a few years after he graduated from college, Popeil began his career as an infomercial salesman. After gaining experience in the streets of Chicago, he was able to snag a job on a television shopping channel. He was given the task of promoting his father’s kitchen gadgets on USA Direct, a cable shopping show owned by Fingerhut, which made him popular with audiences who loved home-shopping TV.
Eventually, he moved into manufacturing his own inventions. He developed the Veg-O-Matic, which produced vegetables in minutes, and the CleanAir Machine, which cleaned up grime in an instant. He also introduced the London Aire Hosiery line of pantyhose guaranteed not to run, which generated nearly half of his firm’s annual sales in the 1960s.
The success of these products helped the firm achieve a rapid series of product launches that increased its revenue by leaps and bounds. The company’s profitability, however, vacillated erratically over the 1970s and early 1980s. By 1984, the company was facing heavy debt and filed for bankruptcy protection. Two years later, Popeil sold the business to a private-equity group.
Patenting an original product
A patent is the best way to safeguard your invention. Not only will it ward off copycats, but it can also serve as a promotional tool that helps sell it to potential customers. While applying for a patent requires patience and some consideration, with enough diligence you could be on your way towards success. Having a patent saves time, money, and stress in the long run.
The initial step in patenting a product requires identification. From there, decide what type of patent you wish to file; there are various options such as utility patents, design patents and trademarks – so be sure to select the right one for your needs. You could also hire an expert who can advise you on next steps with confidence; they will be able to suggest the most appropriate course of action so that confidence grows stronger over time. Alternatively, hire them to complete filing, researching and negotiating patent applications on your behalf.
Developing a prototype
When creating your product, it is essential to create a prototype. This step provides an invaluable opportunity to experiment with your concept and prove its novelty to a patent reviewer/examiner. Furthermore, prototyping allows for further evolution and refinement of the concept, leading to new features and functions.
Prototyping products can range in complexity from simple paper or cardboard mockups, to fully functioning electronics devices. Prototypes are an integral part of product development and should accurately represent the final product both visually and functionally.
Although you can build a prototype yourself, hiring professional manufacturing services is usually the more economical choice. A qualified prototype manufacturer will possess various skills and abilities that make them the ideal candidate to construct your product.
Before choosing a prototype, it is essential to conduct extensive market research and understand your target audience’s wants and needs. By doing this, you can more accurately pinpoint pain points and prioritize features for your design.
Testing your prototype in the real world by asking friends and family members to use it and provide feedback is a wise idea. This way, you can determine whether or not everything functions as intended and if so, what changes need to be made.
You can do this by testing a prototype of your product or asking someone to perform specific tasks with it. Even asking family and friends if they would pay for the prototype can add value and credibility to it.
Utilize the feedback from your test group to create a more functional and visually appealing prototype. After that, you can showcase it to potential investors or manufacturing companies.
Though the development process can be lengthy and expensive, having a functional prototype of your idea will make it more believable to consumers, investors, and experts, while decreasing the chance that it’s copied. Furthermore, having the correct prototype helps secure necessary intellectual property protection for your venture.
Filing a patent application
To legally protect your product and obtain a patent, you must file an application with the relevant government office. A patent is an asset that can last up to 20 years depending on which country or region in which it was filed.
A patent application is the written documentation describing your invention or improvement and including one or more claims. It also includes drawings and other supporting documents to help the Patent and Trademark Office comprehend how the device functions. Ultimately, an inventor must sign off on a patent application before it can be approved or rejected.
When seeking a patent, consider hiring a registered patent agent. These experienced professionals are knowledgeable about the complexities of patent law and will guide you through the entire process. They can assess whether your idea merits protection, draft up your application and guarantee all documents are submitted correctly.
Before filing a patent application, it is essential to select the appropriate category for your invention. In America, there are three primary types of patents: design, plant and utility. A design patent protects only the aesthetic aspect of your creation while either a plant or utility patent provides legal protection for its functional aspects.
To determine which patent type is appropriate for your innovation, research the USPTO database to see if any similar inventions have already been patented. Doing this helps you save both time and money by not patenting something which already has protection by another company.
The key to getting a patent for your invention lies in demonstrating that it is unique and not already used. An example of this would be if you wanted to make a swing, but had an innovative way of connecting the tubes together.
Furthermore, your invention must offer an original benefit that is not widely known in the field at the time you file for patent protection. For instance, if you have created a device to take photos inside your brain, then you must demonstrate its usefulness rather than just being an innovative marketing ploy.
Getting a patent
If your invention has the potential for greatness, getting a patent may be your next step. A patent is an official document that grants inventors and their companies protection of an exclusive, non-transferable intellectual property right for up to 20 years. In America, patents are granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Before filing a patent application, make sure your idea deserves protection. The process can take years and your patent could be rejected due to various reasons. Your idea must be unique and creative, with evidence to back it up and explain its function. Additionally, make sure your solution is useful to others by explaining why someone would want to utilize it.
You should also take into account whether your product has a strong market demand and is straightforward to manufacture. A market feasibility study, which costs a few hundred dollars, can help you decide if your idea has any chance of becoming profitable.
In addition to determining whether your idea is marketable, you need to confirm it meets patentability requirements. This can usually be done through a specialist who will evaluate your product’s feasibility and offer suggestions on how best to safeguard it.
Generally speaking, the best type of patent to apply for is a design patent. This form of protection covers products that are intended to be physically formed into physical objects.
Obtaining a patent can be costly, and the fee charged to the patent office depends on your invention and where it’s applied for. Once your patent application is approved, you can begin marketing it. Investing in a patent could prove worthwhile as the product will be protected for up to 20 years.
You may be able to obtain a patent for your idea in other countries, such as the UK (a member of the European Union). A UK patent will give you legal protection against anyone who infringes upon your patent rights.