The question of "Market Viability" comes up from time to time in the inventing industry - however not as much as it should. In fact, it's one of the first questions that should ever be asked by an inventor simply because if you can't determine market viability of a product your invention is nothing but a cocktail party conversation. It will never go anywhere in terms of distribution or sales, and it will never make you any money, not real money anyway....so why bother?
What is “Market Viability” anyway? Simply put, it’s really three things rolled into one. So we’ll start by explaining the things that make up this concept.
-Acceptance viability - The acceptance of your product by the consumer (the market) that is, your product solves a problem, fills a need, creates a fad, or in some way is embraced by the consumer in such a fashion that they will trade you their hard earned money in exchange for having it. Your product, in short, brings value to the consumer’s life.
-Production viability – It can be manufactured using materials and methods that result in the product doing what you claimed it can do in a way that provides quality of the physical product itself. It’s not going to fall apart after a few uses and it’s not going to cost a ton of money because of how it’s made and what it’s made with.
-Fiscal Viability – The math adds up. The product can be manufactured, shipped, displayed, fulfilled, discounted, sold, and royalties paid all for a cost reasonable to the consumer. Now, keep in mind as a rule of thumb, you will be accomplishing all this for about ½ the retail price the consumer would pay. Example= If the item would sell for $10.00 in a store, you have to get that entire math problem done for about $5.00. In some cases as low as about $3.00 per unit…
I’ve been doing this a long time, and trust me, you only reach market viability about 35% of the time, no matter how “great” the idea. So be honest with yourself when you run your idea through this mill, and don’t feel bad if it doesn’t meet the bar – it happens most of the time....even to the professionals.
Hope this helps