The next several blog posts will be upon “checklist” items for inventors:

Today’s topic: Inventors Checklist: Your 30-Second Commercial

Many inventors (though certainly not all) come from technical backgrounds – engineers, software developers and others. Technical people are great with details but sometimes overlook key marketing issues perhaps because they feel that a great product will sell itself.

A great product will not sell itself – it must be promoted in a clear, articulate way. Having a 30-second commercial for your product is absolutely essential.

Your 30-second Commercial

What exactly is a 30-second commercial? It is a short, concise description of the key facets of your product. Think of it as your answer to the question, “so what is your product and how does it work?”

Let me illustrate with an example for my first product, the Savvy Caddy wallet.

Prospect: So, what is a Savvy Caddy and how is it different from other wallets?

 Inventor: The Savvy Caddy is a thin, RFID protected, flexible leather wallet. Four different models hold from 8 to as many as 32 cards. The wallets hold twice as many cards but are half as thick and flexible, super comfortable in a back pocket. I sell them on and other venues.

If you read the reply above and time it, it is less than 30 seconds long. But, it succinctly tells what the product is, why it is different and where they can be purchased. Your 30-second commercial will, of course, be different. You should used clear, descriptive words. Construct your sentences such that you can very easily remember them so it never sounds scripted. Note the first sentence above actually comprises a shorter, 10-second commercial.

The 30-second commercial is very important because it is often your first chance to introduce your product. It  should make the questioner want to know more.

Below are examples or what not to include in your 30-second commercial:

Prospect: So, what is your product and how does it work?

Inventor: Well, about 6 years ago, I got an idea for an improved hair care product ……

Inventor: I am an engineer and I simply hate things that do not work well. So I came up with a wallet that ….

Inventor: Umm, it is so much better than other kitchen utensil storage units……

The above three responses all contain extraneous information the prospect did not ask for and probably doesn’t care about. They don’t want a life history or how you came up with your ingenious idea. They don’t care if you are an engineer and hate things that don’t work. Lastly, giving them your assessment of how great your product is before they even know what it is just annoys them. Their minds will wander after the first five seconds.

Keeping your 30-second commercial short, sweet and on point will make the prospect want to know more.

Stay tuned!