BHR Global Associates, Inc. is dedicated to helping companies bring their products to market successfully. We can help with finalization your design, to helping find the right source at the right price, help you maintain a solid on going supply chain and help you sell the product through our team of sales professionals. Our blog will supply information and details on successes, failures, and road blocks to avoid in bringing products to their full potential.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Basic Mistakes of Inventors

There are a number of mistakes typically made by inventors of "new" products. Today I would like to explore some of these mistakes and some ways to he;p avoid them. First there are unrealistic goals or expectations that come from one's invention or idea. It may be a great idea but without hard work and many hours it will not make you a millionaire or based upon the sales expectations it cannot. The second mistake reveolves around not researching the marketplace. I have mentioned in previous writings about a pet product that someone :invented" that a trip to a major pet retailer would have shown the person the product was already there and unless his idea could improve the products function at a more advantageous retail price, he could have stopped his concept at that point. The third major mistake is the assumption that everyone will want to buy your product or idea. Here you must assess the size of the potential marketplace you are going after and then after doing reasonable research into that marketplace determine if the proiduct is salable. Research does not include asking friends and family about your product, you must get a reasonable amount of independent input from your expected target market. Remember for each year of your target market in the USA there are about 3.5 to 4.0 million people up to the age of 50. Depending on your product and target marketplace you can determine the gross number of potential customers and then begin to do your homework and figure out the sales units and then dollar possibilities. All of this assumes the right price point and the ability to attract retailers to the product will be in your future. These are just three of the major mistakes that are made future postings will cover others and there are more trust me. If you want to learn more about getting your product into the retaikl arena and help in all phases of the product development cycle from finalization to sourcing to sales contact me at BHR Global Associates, Inc (Bruce Rubin) at or call me at 267-664-5165.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Understand the Marketplace

The product you are developing must fit into a marketplace and be saleable within it. I can relate two stories of how companies did not understand the marketplace failed with their products until they did. The first relates to the automobile manufacturers in the US who complain for many years that the could not make inroads into the Japanese market as the Japanese companies had done in the US. I am sure there were some quality issues that were part of the problem BUT the major issue had to do with the products basic design. As you amy or may not be aware the Japanese drive the way the British do and there fore require the steering wheel to be on the right side of the car. The US automaker did not do this when trying to enter the Japanese market and therefore there was no interest. Once the automakers changed this philosophy they miraculously started to make inroads into the Janpanese market place. So even the largest of companies do not do the basics when it somes to understanding a new and different culture. The secomd story deals with a major retailer who was entering a new markeplace, namely South America, and send container loads of mens underwear to the markets from the US. The only problem they were all WHITE which of course is the predominant color in the US. However, from what was related to me, it is not the color of choice in South America and especially the countries that the retailer was going to open stores in. Therefore the inventory sat and did not move until it was replaced by colored underwear in the approproate color ranges. Again no mattewr how small or large your comapny is you must understand the marketplace you are going to sell into and the colors and other issues that will hamper your maiximizing of potential sales. Do not get caught in the thought that if I build it they will come. ------AND NOW FOR THE COMMERCIAL---if you need help with these and other issues with your product contact BHR GLOBAL ASSOCIATES, INC> at or at 267-664-5165

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


The following two stories will point out that the first steps in getting a product to market is to do your homework and do it completely. The first one concerns a friend of a friend who is a college professor who "invented" a new pet product. It was amat to be used by cats after they used the litter box and was aimed at capturing the excess litter caught in their paws while in the litter box. We were brought a sample and after doing some instant marketing research with friends and neighbors it was determined that the product could be viable even at a retail of $19.99. We then went to the next step and visited the major retailer in this arena Petco and Petsmart and what we found was that our initial research was correct people would buy this porduct because someone had invented the exact same product at least six years previously and it and another similar product were already being sold at these outlets. The person who spent a lot of hours, time, and money would have saved himself all of that if he had done his homework once he came up with this "unique" and "new" idea. The second story relates to a product where the people who invented the item did the initial homework and did marketing surveys and took bold steps to see if there was a marketplace for their product. What they did not do is truly determine if the pricepont they were aiming at would actually turn into retail sales to the consumer. The product was a hydraulic addition to a toilet seat that allow the ring to be lowered by itself to the down position if the man of the house left it up after using the toilet. The premise was good and the door-to-door selling to retailer as well as the personal research the comapny did by exhibiting the product and getting pubilicity ended up in sales to retailers and a manufacturer what was not done was price research that would have told both the manufacturer and his customer that taking the retail price of a basic toilet and raising it by a multiple of four would not work at the retail level. This is especially true when you consider that that the average retail price of a toilet seat at the time was $10.00 and making the price around $40.00 was unacceptable as well as the fact that most homes have 2-3 bathrooms and spending anywhere from $80-$120 to solve an issue that may exist between partners would not work. Even buying one unit was a stretch for the average consumer. If the product would have at maximum double the retail price then the product would have had a chance to procue the desired results which was to gain 10-15% of the retail unit volume of 100 million units per year. This would have generated sales of $25-$30 million dollars for the company and made everyone very happy especially the investors who backed the project. NOW FOR THE COMMERCIAL----------------If you have a product idea or product line that you would like to get into retail and need help with finalizing it, sourcing, supply chain management, marketing research, and/or finding a national sales force CALL or WRITE BHR GLOBAL ASSOCIATES. Our phone number is 267-664-5165 our email is: We provide a free half day consultation to get to know you and product and if we decide to work together will tailor a plan that fits your needs.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bringing New Products to Market

The introduction of new products is both a gamble and a challenge even for the most successful companies. This statement is borne out in the facts that 86% of new product ideas never get to market and 50%-70% of those that do fail. The products fail in my opinion because the people, and companies bringing them to market do not have a plan, a structured process, or an understanding of what they are getting into. Since there are no guarantees the twelve-step program laid out in article will assist in this process and help especially new companies, and entrepreneurs in improving the rate of success and entry into the marketplace. Even though my background is in the retail arena and though this steps here are aimed at consumer products they can be applied to most companies selling a product or service.

The steps are:
1) Understand the overall U.S. marketplace.
The retailers involved with your product line, the competition for your product, the typical price points, the required quality levels, the places where the product is usually produced, the type of profit margins the retailers require, and the costs of entry into the market place. You must do this research because you may in the end partner with someone in the marketplace already.
There is a difficult road for a one product company in today’s retail environment and unless your product is totally unique and patented you are at an even greater chance of failure.
2) Understand your market segment.
Once you have the broad overview of the marketplace and the various retailers the next step is to identify the area of the retail store your product would be displayed and the methods in which it is displayed.
3) Identify the latest in design and color trends.
Almost all products sold at the retail level have a need to be in line with the latest looks in both fashion and color. Organizations such as Pantone can help in understanding what are and will be the latest trends.
4) Identifying the target consumer
Based upon your research completed in steps one and two you now you need to decide which consumer you will attempt to reach and thereby which type of retail outlet you will be selling.
5) Develop your marketing story.
The next step requires the development of the strategy that will be used to the sell the product, and the story behind your branding process. The product can be marketed as the lowest priced, best quality, most features, etc.
6) Tradeshows as a method of becoming known.
As a new entry into the marketplace a method of gaining exposure and building credibility for a new product or company is to participate in trade show either regionally or nationally.
7) Develop the specifications to having the product produced.
In order to have your product produced, and produced properly there must be complete specifications and drawings made available to potential vendors. This will include methods of packaging.
8) Find the source for your product.
Sourcing of your product either internationally or domestically or both must be accomplished carefully, and with the understanding of what you are seeking as a final cost for the product. If your product is patented or not, have a non-disclosure form available for potential vendors to sign.
9) Understand the importing and purchasing of products.
There are a number of issues and costs that come with the importation of products into the US. There are ocean freight costs, duties, customs brokers fee, domestic freight costs, and others that will add to the total cost. Payment terms and alternatives must be understood as well.

10) Determine your method(s) of distribution and setting them up.
Once you have determined where you are going to purchase your product then you have to determine the method of distributing the product. Established companies will use their present methods, however, new companies should look at third party logistics providers as an alternative to doing it themselves.
11) Required information to make a sale.
In order to sell product to retail there are certain basics that a company and the products must have. These basics include establishing a UPC (uniform product code) vendor number for the company and an individual UPC number for each product the company wishes to sell.
Other specific details pertaining to the product will be needed as well.
12) Make the sales presentation and the sale.
Now that you have established your marketing and selling story with the benefits of your product over the competitors, the method of how to produce and package your product, and the resources to produce and ship your product to the customers and the selling prices for the product. Then you are ready to put these pieces together and make presentations to potential customers.

Bruce Rubin
BHR Global Associates
Phone: 267-664-5165