Inventing New Products/Inventions/new product marketing


Application sheet
Application sheet  

Mr. McCrea:

       I am an independent inventor in Utah.  I have developed a new kind of school notepaper that is intended to encourage students to outline and otherwise manage and work with their class notes, leading to improved study habits and, hopefully, better grades.  This device is protected by US Pat. D667,497.  Attached are files showing the notepaper leaf, applications sheet, and the patent publication.

  This product will compete with conventional school notepaper in either loose-leaf or spiral notebook format; however, conventional notepaper does not offer the unique features of my product.  I believe that students from middle school through college level and beyond can benefit from this product.  The potential market is substantial.

  At present, I am in the process of test marketing this product online in loose-leaf format.  You can find my adds at and  My price point is $5.50 for 100 sheets and $6.50 for 140 sheets.  

  I do not have a background in marketing or business and I am wondering how to best promote and commercialize this product.  I'm concerned that web-based marketing is not the optimum venue for this item and I may be spinning my wheels trying to sell it online.  

  I would appreciate your ideas on promoting this product to high school and college students.  What are the chances that a major retailer would agree to stock this item, since it has no track record?  Do you think this is a niche product that would appeal to only a certain demographic of students?

  Thanks in advance for your input.

Hi David,

This is an interesting idea that I believe has market potential.  However my opinion means's the market's opinion that you need.  So what you need to do is go talk to students.  Get their feedback, their testimonials, their thoughts and their orders! At the beginning, you will need to sell this in-person.  YOU are the passion behind the product and it's hard to translate that passion into an ecommerce site.  If you can convince the student that your design will help them achieve better grades through better organization, then this is your momentum you are looking for.  

After you sell a few thousand sheets, go to the local bookstore at the school.  Talk to the purchasing manager and sell them.  Show them all your orders that the students already placed, thus demonstrating that buying your paper would be a good investment and will achieve product turn-over without extra inventory.  Getting into Wal-Mart and Target is a whole different animal.  I would suggest doing a large amount of research on 'how' purchasing agents determine which products to buy when buying for Wal-Mart or Target.  Getting into these stores would be your holy grail in exponential distribution. Take it very seriously, it's a tough road....but people achieve it every day!  Make the decision to get it done, and then go do it.

You can research while you sell to students.  I would also create a list of all the purchasing managers for schools and universities in your area and send them a sample pack of paper with a handwritten note and a one page (professionally printed) specification sheet outlining the features and benefits of your design.  Make sure and put your contact information and how to order on the spec sheet as well.  

Do this, commit to this and you have a much better chance at succeeding with this idea.  Do this half-assed and you shoot yourself in the foot.  Your choice.  

Best of luck David, happy selling and go get it!


Marty McCrea

Inventing New Products/Inventions

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Marty McCrea


Commercialization of an idea is truly an art form and I'm really good at letting people borrow my paintbrush. Although, it's important to note that you are your own artist, I can't paint what you see in your mind, only you can do that. But I can help. I can answer questions about honing your idea and helping it to become more real in your mind, your research, and within your speaking. I can answer questions about market research, validation, and where to go to make your first contact. My expertise is in answering the large questions that you have into more manageable pieces. I can also assist you in finding the source of the data that you can use to prove and pitch your idea if that's the path that you're on.


In my opinion, the current way to invent is inherently flawed. Regular people like us normally get “eaten up” by the proverbial sharks in the water. (corporations, invention submission companies, lawyers, etc)

We can not stand for this any longer; you feel this too, yes?


I have helped people think and re-think their ideas for years. Nobel Prize Winner Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi once said that "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what no one has thought." I agree with this truth with all of my heart. Now let's talk about your question, your passion, and how I can help your idea gain momentum if it is ready. If your idea is not ready for the market yet, I'll help you determine how you can get ready.

Bachelors of Arts in Organizational Communication from the University of Northern Iowa Masters of Science in Technology Commercialization from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin

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