I guess my invention will be very well received in Finland if it ever gets there.
Bus stop icon I was rather puzzled to see my drill bit holder shape figuring on buses in central Helsinki on a holiday trip. I ran after the first bus to get a photo of it. But they turned out to be everywhere, some kind of route symbol for commuters.
Yes, it’s nice I am pleased with the design of my drill bit holder Gearfix. And I guess it is a good sign that the Fins use this similar shape to ornament their buses. It was nice, in a freakish way anyway.
It’s very simple to protect your product design within the European Union. It’s rather cheap and I recently registered another design online last week.
Online protection service
Just log on to OAMI and go for it. If you can’t patent your invention you can at least try to protect its design. Make sure to have proper images of your design. From OAMI the design officially will be yours in all of Europe.
Another great thing is that you can wait registering 12 months from when first released. Sometimes you want to see if your cool design has any value by trying to sell or demonstrate it publicly. It is the “other party” that has to prove that your design registration isn’t valid.
The other day I got advised by three attorneys to “never” patent designed things. They claimed design protection is much better. Still, as stated earlier, the protection is not stronger than the size of your wallet.
Product presentation was essential and I thought it was a nice idea to place the products in neat rows, divided by paper sheets as in the chocolate-candy boxes. The problem with this was, apart from the time it took to pack, the boxes only held 90 products.
What the hell?
If you haven’t figured it out yet, this made it rather tricky handling my first order for 5.000 units. I realized this in the last minute and eventually sent them 56 boxes (56 boxes x 90 units = 5.040 products). I didn’t dare to charge for the extra 40 units.
I certainly didn’t want to embarrass myself but I had to point out this mistake to the retailer. Otherwise their computer data would get messed up not having the correct amount of products in stock. It doesn’t feel good to be a hassle for your first and most important customer.
Later when I visited some of the stores the paper sheets, supposed to make everything look exclusively designed were anything but fancy. Crumbling paper were spread all over the place making the designed boxes look like trash bins.
It was an important learning experience to have gone through this ordeal. Now I knew what I needed, got rid of the dividing paper sheets and I even found plastic strings for half the price and re-designed my boxes to hold 100 Gearfix units each. But there were dark clouds summoning ahead.
I really needed a retail package box for my invention and was running out of options. It turned out not being as expensive as I thought.
I made a huge effort finding a box to suit my needs. After visiting several manufacturers I met one actually willing to shape and make 70 blank boxes for a very reasonable price. I used the previous chocolate-box as a reference.
Sticker solution To save money I got blank boxes and printed out stickers instead. It worked out nicely and was a lot cheaper than I could have imagined.
Sometimes the container of your innovation seems more important than the actual product. This really sucks when you don’t have any money.
A strange product Gearfix looks a little peculiar and its shape doesn’t really help you understand it’s a drill bit holder. A functional presentation was important. I thought the consumer should be able to feel the product to understand it was elastic and could wrap around his/her machine nicely.
In a perfect world… … you wouldn’t need to spend cash advertising stuff. Every one would intuitively understand their needs. But reality bites and I had no money. The package had to catch the customers attention, advertise and educate them instantly.
Thinking inside the box My Gearfix invention would have a small paper tag with the necessary information. And if I put a bunch of them in a nice box there would be plenty of eye catching box space to profile my gadget.
Sugar daddy got what you need For the first order I only needed about 60 retail packaging boxes. I looked around for quick and cheap solutions. Custom designing them would probably be super expensive and I found a special chocolate-candy box that was perfect. But the manufacturer wasn’t interested in helping me out. Sugar daddy was cruel and I had to think of another way to solve this.