Patents have helped to propel big ideas into the marketplace and the advertising of those patents have created a special niche in the mind of consumers. Consider Isaac Singer who applied for a patent for his commercial sewing machine 60 years after the first one was created by Thomas Saint. History says Saint failed to properly advertise or market his designs and now more than a century and a half later, Singer is synonymous with sewing machines worldwide and has mushroomed into a company once valued at over $500 million dollars. In an article about the value of patents Katie Steelman suggests inventors understand the weight of their discovery. Steelman thinks patents are real game changers for your customers, your competitors and more importantly – your partners.
In a Launch Solutions blog post she says three little words “patent “ or “patent pending” can change the way your product is perceived. “It means that you can offer them something that no one else can, which automatically adds value to your product or service. It also affords you greater credibility and establishes you as an innovator in your field. Setting yourself apart with a patent is the best way to stand out in any crowded field of new products. Accountant Chizoba Morah agrees that patents are a valuable commodity which she says are not wise to overlook. According to Morah a seasoned financial expert, “This value is especially important to businesses in transactions involving mergers and acquisitions, business dissolution, bankruptcy and infringement analysis.” Morah says it can be challenging to assign value to your patent but once you jump through those hurdles using the economic valuation method for analysis, you will understand that: “As intangible assets, patents present a challenge in terms of valuation, but they can be pivotal in determining a company’s success – and the success of investors who buy these companies’ stocks.”
Over time you will soon see the value of patents when customers begin associating your patent with your product niche. Georgina Hey of Norton Rose Fullbright adds “It is essential for consumers to be able to easily identify a brand and instantly associate it with the company’s product.” Hey explores the Velcro Company which lost its patent 4o years ago however due to marketing efforts their name is synonymous with their product and to this day they are reaping the benefit of customer loyalty. This backs up Steelman’s theory that the best way to utilize your status as a patent holder is to mention it as often as possible.
“Patent” should be in every bit of your marketing plan from marketing emails, to demo videos to your website. Patent attorney Russ Krajec thinks “Patents and patent applications are very effective marketing tools and deterrents to competitors” but they are also a great way to entice new customers, “By offering a product that is patent pending or patented, the retail buyer and the end customer understands that they get a unique product.”
My advice for new inventors who are looking for a way to stand out in the social media jungle is to add depth and strength to their brand story. A patent is the perfect way to show your worth and it legitimizes your product for inquisitive consumers who are looking for an exclusive item. If you are looking for a model to follow check out more recent patents including industry giants like Dropbox, Square, GoPro and Facebook.
Alegra Hall is a Producer and Guest Booker with more than a dozen years in media. Over the years Alegra vetted thousands of guests for TV, radio, print and social media interviews. She is also the editor of Living Wisely Magazine.
Photo Credit: Fletcher Patents