So What’s the Big Idea?

Do you have the next big thing? The next billion dollar brand waiting to be discovered?  Here’s a few ways to find out…

Since the Magic 8 Ball on my desk has proven itself to be somewhat unreliable in determining the success and failure of products, we created an expert product evaluation team to determine specific criteria to evaluate a product’s potential success.

Here at IntelliVision, we have the privilege of seeing literally dozens of new and exciting products every month, brought to us by everyone from small inventors to large corporations, and from every product category imaginable.  So we have had to develop a systematic way to evaluate each product.
Our team sits down together and reviews each product for it’s features, benefits, uniqueness, cost of goods, strength of offer (price), and much more. Inevitably we see products and services that are perfect for infomercial advertising and those that simply don’t fit the direct response television model for one reason or another. This is not to say an ”unworthy infomercial product”, is not a good or even great product, or that there isn’t a solid market out there for them.  It simply means not every product is a good fit for an infomercial.
Now, you may be wondering what special characteristics make a product  “Right for TV”.  Well, here’s some basics:
Does your product have mass appeal?
Television is mass media and your product needs to appeal to the masses!  I always use the example of mops & mattresses.  No matter who you are, where you live, how much money you make, whether you’re male or female… almost everyone has a mop and a mattress in their home.  It appeals to the masses!  My point is, that if your product  only appeals to fly fisherman that make their own lures, or pet owners of Yorkshire terriers, then television infomercials are not for you.   Your marketing efforts would be best directed by doing targeted web marketing  targeting your specific customer base.   You get the idea.
Does your product fill a need?
Does it make you thinner, happier, and more successful? Can it cut your cooking or cleaning time in half? Or does it make or save you money and time?  Does it solve a common problem?  The classic infomercial products fill a need or solve a problem.  And in these challenging economic times there is definitely a trend for  products that help people save money or make the things they have last longer. Example, with the Snuggie you can turn down the thermostat and stay comfortable, with Furniture Fix you don’t need to replace your couch, etc.
So does your product fill a need? If so what is it and how common is that need and can it be demonstrated or clearly explained?
Is your product in a proven category?
There are certain product categories that are the bread and butter of the infomercial industry and have been proven to work over and over and over. Why? Well there is a saying that comes to mind… “everyone wants to look , better, younger, thinner, have more money, and make their life easier.”   So here are a few (not all) of the proven and successful product categories.
1.            Beauty
2.            Hair / skin care
3.            Weight loss / diet
4.            Exercise / fitness
5.            Kitchen
6.            Housewares – indoor & outdoor
7.            Automotive
8.            Business opportunity – make money, real estate, stocks, etc.
9.            Lead generation – insurance, health care, legal services,etc.

Now, these are just the basics. There have been many successful products that didn’t fit into one of those categories above, so don’t get discouraged.

Does your product demonstrate well?
Does your product create an immediate visual impact? Is there a WOW demonstration that will immediately get people to order?  Obviously TV is a visual medium and if you have a product that demonstrates well and when in action, and shows what it does, it is perfect for an infomercial or short form spot.
Dollars and Sense
No, that’s not a typo and common sense is required.  You can’t lose a dollar on every sale and make up the difference in volume! Now this may sound silly, but it’s true.  The numbers have to make sense and the proper margins need to be in place for your product to have a solid chance of infomercial success.  As an industry standard we want the core product in an offer to have a 4 to 5 times markup.  That means if you want to offer a product at $19.95 your cost of goods should be between $4 and $5.  Your product needs to have the right margins and still remain at a competitive price for TV.
As I eluded to earlier in this blog, not every successful infomercial or commercial project fits neatly into a category, formula or box, and I am sure we can all name half a dozen that have defied this basic logic (Chia pet, Snuggie, pet rock…).  So I always recommend getting the advise of seasoned professionals who can look at your product through the eyes of a highly trained mass marketer before making a final decision about whether infomercials are right for you.

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