Editors Note: New Products Help Drive DR and the Economy as a Whole5 Apr, 2010 By: Thomas Haire Response
Last month in Chicago, I had the privilege of once again moderating an Inventors Revue panel at the International Home+Housewares show in Chicago. More than two dozen entrepreneurs pitched their new housewares product ideas to a crew of retail and direct response experts, who responded with feedback and suggestions on perfecting those products and getting them to market.
Working with the team at Brainchild Marketing — which runs the stellar Inventor Showcase at the housewares event — the Response team debuted an Inventors’ Pavilion at Response Expo in 2009. That pavilion is back — and even bigger — at Response Expo 2010, set for May 11-13 in San Diego.
The direct response universe is driven by new products — and always has been. Even today, as direct response has worked its way into the halls of major corporations, the hot new product is still a huge win, whether it’s an entrepreneur’s dream like the Snuggie, or a brand extension like the new Men+Care line from corporate giant Unilever’s Dove brand (see page 24).
However, new products are not only lifeblood for marketers, but really, the worldwide economy. Successful new products boost manufacturing, jobs, consumer spending and more. The world economy is so intertwined today that one successful idea from an entrepreneur in Colorado can feasibly boost the fortunes of a marketing company in New Jersey, a media buying firm in California, a payment processor in Massachusetts, and so on — not to mention the likely manufacturing contracts in Asia.
As the entire globe has struggled through recent economic troubles, many so-called “solutions” have been bandied about. Bailouts, businesses that are supposedly “too big to fail” and some very interesting math by corporations and governments have left a sour taste in the mouths of many.
But the best solution is the same as it ever was — build things. You cannot jump start an economy without manufacturing — whether the government is paying to build new roads or a marketing company is paying to build 10 million Ped Eggs.
That’s what makes the inventor such a crucial part of not only our business, but the world, as well. Certainly, the single-mindedness it takes to not only create but also drive a new product to market is admirable. But no inventor can make it alone. That’s where you come in.
Your role as a shepherd for these entrepreneurs cannot be understated. You have the expertise that they need to understand how that prototype they built in their garage can one day fly off the shelves of fulfillment centers and retail stores.
So, next month in San Diego, I urge you to visit with the dozens of inventors who will bring their dreams with them to the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. It may become a win-win-win — for you, for them and for the global economy.