It Doesn’t Happen Overnight: Why Patience is Paramount in the Licensing Industry
Securing a licensing deal is the ultimate goal of many inventors, so it’s no surprise that the licensing space is inundated with product owners clamoring for the attention of licensees. Like any venture where the supply is greater than the demand, many of these inventors will be unsuccessful—owing not to a flaw in their product, but to a variety of factors beyond their control, including market trends, industry demand, and licensing companies’ limited capacity for new clients. To increase your odds of success, it’s in your best interest to take the process slowly, make sure all your ducks are in a row, and give yourself the best possible chance. This type of preparedness, however, often runs contrary to many inventors’ expectations of licensing being the “quick and easy route”. It’s true that once you’re signed by a licensing company, much of your burden is lifted, but the process of a product actually arriving on shelves—to say nothing of the earlier pitching, vetting, and testing phases—can be tediously slow. As important as the technical aspects of inventing (and more difficult, for many) is the virtue of patience.
The early stages of procuring a licensing deal are the most frustrating and tedious. You’re competing with hundreds of other inventors in the same industry, to convince a licensing company that your product is the best solution to an ever-present problem, and has the best chance of giving them a return on their investment. Going it alone can be tough. You’ll need to identify licensing companies, dig to find the appropriate contacts, write introduction letters, prepare a virtual presentation, and have prototypes ready to send. In the event a licensing company is interested in your idea, they’ll request prototypes for review. They may run several internal tests, and conduct their own market research before moving forward with a product. Even if they do want to sign your product, it can be months before you see it on the shelves. Between product tweaks and the manufacturing process, you might be waiting quite a while. And that’s okay. If you’re lucky enough to have made it to this stage, you’re in pretty good shape.
Inventors often get frustrated with these many steps, but it’s important to understand that licensing companies invest a great deal of money into new ideas, with the expectation of seeing a return on that investment. They never take on new clients without thoroughly vetting the product, and gauging its potential success in the marketplace. Patience is crucial. It might seem like forever, but once your product is under review, all you can do is wait.
Regardless of how good your idea is, many inventors often drown in this process, lacking the proper connections, and the know-how to put together a professional licensing presentation. For this reason, partnering with a company like Lightning Launch can prove invaluable. Equipped with a comprehensive knowledge of the industry, and long-standing relationships with key licensees, Lightning Launch can help make the process smoother and more transparent. It might not make the licensing company move any faster, but it will make it easier for you to stay abreast of your progress, get regular updates, and manage multiple pitches without the headache of doing it all yourself.
If you're interested in licensing your product, let us help you! Submit your idea to be a part of our free review process.