Looking For Suggestions

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Thinking Big, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Thinking Big

    Thinking Big
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    I hope I posted in the right area:

    Hi, I have created a specialty gift item that is very unique. It is rather difficult to market since the wrong approach could cause its design to be cloned and mass produced which is something I know will eventually happen but not until I have the largest share of the market already sold.

    Id like to know if anyone out there has any insight on how to possibly approach a popular Christian TV ministry to endorse a Christian gift item that could drastically increase their bottom line?

    This item is amazing, it is not some sort of scam or gimmick, I have spent years developing this idea and a lot of money to produce this “item” that every Christian would love to have for their very own as well as give to someone as a gift.

    All that is needed is a big name Televangelist endorsement and a little air time displaying the item and I am positive that at least 5-10% of the viewing audience will want to have one for their very own or a gift for someone else, yes its that good and all it needs is the right exposure to their niche audience. To give you an idea of how much 5-10% can generate here is an example of Joyce Meyers (a popular TV ministry) viewing audience: "With an existing broadcast reach to nearly 3 billion people, Enjoying Everyday Life is available to two-thirds of the world’s population airing in 36 languages worldwide, and on almost 900 television and radio stations nationwide."

    Im open to serious, possible interest partners if your knowledge and support is deserving. This is something that can also be sold as an MLM or on QVC, websites, youtube , etc, etc but has the biggest potential from a Christian viewing audience without a doubt.

    Any advice, questions or support would be appreciated.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Remotestaff

    Remotestaff
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    Hi there, and welcome to BAF.

    I suggest what you do first is record a short video of yourself talking about the unique features and benefits of your product. Have it ready and on standby in case you will be meeting/talking to production teams of Christian shows.

    Then try and contact the production team of Christian shows like the 700 Club, etc. and arrange a meeting with their segment producer/s. Tell them you'd like to work out a casual-mention or product feature deal with them on the show, specifically where they'd let you guest on the show to talk briefly about your product. It's a long shot but it might work.

    Good luck and I hope you make it work.

    Cheers
     
    #2 Remotestaff, Jul 13, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  3. rapidbilling

    rapidbilling
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    Hello friends,

    Yeah...Remotestaff is absolutely right..!! Another way is you can make a video and take some photographs of the product and then put it on flicker.com , youtube.com etc. From there you'll also get more people to whom you can sell..!!
     
  4. Fergal

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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum, Thinking Big. Thanks for posting your business question.

    Have you considered getting some form of intellectual property protection on your design, to help protect you from other people who might copy the design?

    I'm not familiar with exactly how these ministries operate. However, from what I have seen of them I believe that the more popular ones have a very strong commercial focus and are run as a business. They probably don't have time to deal with all commercial interests themselves and may have publicists and or agents. Perhaps try to find out who these publicists and agents are and contact them with your proposal. It shouldn't be difficult to find out who they are, simply phone the minister and they will tell you who to contact.

    What country or state are you based in?
     
  5. GekiDan

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    The best thing to do first is get a copyright and trademark protection on your item. So when you try to promote it in the internet, or even on TV, your item will be safe from counterfeits, and even though these shows up, you have a law that tells you that you are the owner or creator of that product.

    Just a little suggestion. I have seen some Christian items being sold at the Home Shopping Network. You might as well try using that as a method of selling that product.

    You can also use Youtube to make a sale. Create a little video regarding the details of the product and some advantages of using this item. And then state a price of the item and the contact details that people will use to contact and buy that item from you.
     
  6. BizDoc

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    Hello, Thinking Big. Fergal has identified the number one thing you should do before you approach any potential clients if your product has a narrow competitive moat - secure intellectual property on your design.

    I concur that the larger televangelist organizations run like a business. Marketing to Christians isn't any different than marketing to any other segment; they're all consumers with needs. Your goal is to demonstrate the benefits of your product to decision makers; however you reach them is up to you. You need to reach contacts at ministries. A video broadcast is one option for your sales collateral.

    I went to grad school at Regent Univ, the creator of the 700 Club. So many of my classmates run various ministries like the 700 Club. I might be able to comb through my contacts. If you're interested, IM me.

    Cheers!
     
    #6 BizDoc, Jul 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  7. Kay

    Kay
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    Hi Thinking Big and welcome to Business Advice Forum. You've had some excellent advice so far. Unless I missed it, you haven't mentioned what you plan to offer these ministries in return for their endorsement. Will it be a cut of the profits on every sale, a one-off payment or something else? Because they won't do it just because they have faith in the product. No pun intended. :D

    That was an interesting question you raised. I tried to find ways to get a Christian celebrity endorsement. There are some companies that specialize in such things like here: http://www.brooksinternational.com/category_ChristianInspiration_163.htm. Now I know most there aren't tv evangelists per say but maybe that's not a bad thing. I say that for two reasons.

    1) A man like Zig Ziglar for example who is on page 4 of the Christian speakers there would appeal to me because of his business success too.

    2) You also would not be aligning yourself with one particular church in the way you would with a sole evangelist. I know in my tiny town (more wildlife than people - pop. under 2000) we have about 20 different churches. When I moved here, I had a steady procession of church members at my door for weeks wanting me to come to theirs and it started within a day of arriving. All were very nice, mind you. It just wasn't something I was used to. Why settle for one and alienate the other 19? Maybe that wouldn't happen but I think it's worth thinking about.

    (I can't stand Joyce Meyer for example even though I have no affiliation with a particular church here. Imagine how those that do would feel about buying a product she endorsed.)

    Here's another agency with Christian speakers you can consider that may be able to help: http://www.nopactalent.com/allspeakers/50,,b

    I'll keep looking. :) In the meantime, I would be checking their websites for contact information on anyone that looks remotely related to marketing/publicity. These ministries are run like businesses for sure, no doubt about that.
     
  8. Thinking Big

    Thinking Big
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    Hello Everyone and Thanks for the great Responses to my Post!​

    My apologies for not responding sooner, too many other projects keeping me busy and I am finally free to do what I enjoy doing most, "Thinking Big!"

    Remotestaff: Awesome idea regarding the youtube presentation. The only reason I would need to think in a different direction is because I would prefer the actual Minister to endorse, as well as present the item on his television show. He has the highest trust factor already established with his audience and my thinking is anything "he" feels is spiritually blessed, is most likely good enough for them.

    Fergal: Regarding the IPP on my item, Yes I have considered having it protected but the only drawback to me is, anyone can simply change its shape to square, color it blue, call it something else and sell the heck out of them for 2-3 years while my pat pend is sitting at the patent office. The actual design of my item is not the most valuable selling point, its whats in the design that makes it unique and that is something I cannot protect. That is my evaluation from the numerous patent experts I talked to over the years although I may be slightly misinformed.

    GekiDan: The home shopping network is an excellent suggestion which I have also considered. Having the item on QVC after its debut on a nationally ranked TV ministry will definitely guarantee a huge volume of sales.

    BizDoc: Thanks for the great marketing advice and e-mail collaboration. I was honestly thrown back a little when you brought up the issue of .. if I may quote
    you wrote "how people who donate do so out of a sense of altruism and charity. If they actually receive something in exchange it converts the feel of the transaction to a sale. There is a potential for consumer cognitive dissonance which will shock them out of their routine (the limbic system neural net reboots) and cause the neocortex to start up. This means there's a likelihood of reevalutaiton rather than going along with the donation."

    If this concept of your belief is true, I may need to rethink my approach entirely. Perhaps having a Minister endorse the product and advertise the item as a special gift idea after the show is over. Not part of the service, separate from the donations, more of an after church bake sale...?


    Kay: Great question, my plan was to offer the selected ministry exclusive rights to the item, having it redesigned to represent their particular church & pastor, handle all the manufacturing, shipping and customer service support in exchange for them to present the product on their network show by the pastor for X amount of times. for x amount of minutes. We would offer a possible 50% share of the net profits. They would have to do nothing else. In my opinion, its a win, win situation. All they have to do is hold up a gift and say they endorse this item and collect 50% of a multi million dollar religious gift campaign.
    Oh, and thanks for the link suggestions, I am about to look into them and see what develops. Please continue to pass along any other support you may happen to run across. It is very much appreciated!


    To those of you who mentioned why not market on youtube, websites, retail etc, here is my "Thinking Big" approach. This is basically a do or die situation in my opinion.
    IE: If I expose this item to anything less than the largest niche audience I could find, I am risking the chance of someone seeing the idea, talking to the right people and taking my idea to the top. I would much rather take the chance, shoot for the top and let everyone else find their share of the market after I've already landed the masses. All I need to do is be the first one out there with major name recognition and flood the market as quickly as possible, the copy cats can have all the left overs they want after that.

    I feel that even the most simplest ideas can become huge profit makers if marketed creatively. Just take a look at the informercial BS they are selling millions of each and every day. Choppers, sweepers and hair products have been around for years and yet they seem to introduce them as something new all the time. Gotta love creative marketing!

    By the way if I would have approached anyone of you about 20 years ago and said, Hey, lets sell water in a plastic bottle and charge a buck a piece even though its almost free from a faucet would you have thought I were out of my mind?
    How did that one ever happen anyway? lol

    Thanks to all,

    Cheers!
     
    #8 Thinking Big, Jul 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  9. Fergal

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    Thinking Big thanks a lot for posting back and giving your detailed feedback on our suggestions.

    I'm sure you know already, but some care would be needed with that approach. If you give them exclusive rights and then things don't work out for any reason, you might find yourself stuck with them and unable to promote the product through someone else. You might try to come up with ways of avoiding an exclusive arrangement or if you do go the exclusive route, add a term to the agreement to the effect that exclusivity is conditional on reaching certain sales targets.

    Good luck with it.
     
  10. GekiDan

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    I agree with Fergal on this. Exclusives always have a fewer market and most of the time, only reaches a few customers which then, you might end up losing future possible customers.
     
  11. Thinking Big

    Thinking Big
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    Fergal and GekiDan:
    Thanks for responding with your advice and related comments! Us small time guys always appreciate the professional advice you more seasoned pros are willing to offer.

    Regarding the exclusive rights comment:
    Please allow me to explain what I actually meant earlier about exclusive rights.
    What I failed to point out was the "exclusive rights" offered is based on a promise to not offer this item to another ministry for a limited time only, thats all. My thinking was to give a selected ministry the exclusivity to introduce the item to the market exclusively for a certain period of time after which the item's rights comes back to me as I begin marketing to the masses through other venues, online, etc.

    To be honest, I'm not even sure if something like this is doable since they may demand a piece of its continued profits no matter what. I would probably need to get in touch with a good contract attorney and work out the details.

    Another question I would like to pose:

    Do either of you believe that anything marketable, has a chance to succeed even if the business end of the company behind it isn't all that experienced in the industry?

    IE: do I need to be a professional marketing agent with a business degree, a lot of money and a well supported company behind my item before anything substantial could take place?

    How is a regular guy with a decent idea supposed to make it successful ?



    Cheers!
     
  12. Fergal

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    I absolutely believe that, everyone has to start some where and there are lots of examples of hugely successful companies that were started by people before they finished college. Examples that come to mind are Google, FaceBook and Microsoft. Business experience is great, but you don't necessarily need it, in order to launch a successful business.

    Not necessarily, in fact you might be better off without the expense that a company like that would bring.

    Sounds like the next step for you is the preparation of a business plan. You can see links to some great Business Plan Templates in our Useful Business Resources / Links thread.

    Don't let the idea of writing a business plan daunt you. Spending a couple of hours on it, can really help to clarify where you want to take the business and how you want to get there. When starting out writing the plan, don't worry about making it look good or how it would look to other people, just write it for yourself and keep it as realistic as possible. If need be, you can tailor it for potential investors at a later date. Please post back if you would have any questions or would like any help with completing your business plan.
     
  13. Thinking Big

    Thinking Big
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    Thank you for your supportive response. I am planning on taking your advice and give it a try.

    I may take you up on that offer if I run into a bind!

    Thanks Fergal,

    Cheers!
     

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