This is a great question. I've seen some videos that do a really great job of demonstrating a product's benefit. But do you need to have one?
I think it all depends on the industry for which you are creating products.
If you’re submitting ideas to toy companies (and submitting a lot of them which is how to be successful) then making a video for each one might be time-consuming and potentially expensive.
For the toy industry I would recommend the more traditional way of showing the company a sketch of the product to see if there’s any interest. I’ve seen wonderful drawings that look fantastic and show the benefit of the product very clearly. If the company asks you to develop the idea further then that's probably the time to actually build a prototype and make a video.
To be fair, this approach will not work for every toy company. Sometimes you’ll need to build a relationship and find out what is the best way to submit product ideas to their company. Each toy company is different. In a perfect world, most toy companies would love for you to build a prototype but we all know that's not practical!
Let's talk about a different industry - As Seen On TV. This is a great industry and there is a lot of money that can be made.
Companies in this business absolutely want to see a product video.
Obviously, one benefit of a video is that you can prove that your product really works.
The As Seen On TV industry lives or dies by the visual, by the demonstration of your product in one minute. The format is simple and straightforward - there is 15 seconds featuring the "problem" and 45 seconds showing the "solution" (which of course is your product). Companies in this industry rely on videos to test product ideas before they roll them out nationally. Videos generate interest and then drive consumers to stores to purchase.
If you are going to submit an idea to a company in the As Seen on TV industry you simply must have a video.
Here’s are some pro tips to create videos with a "wow" factor!
You can make a wonderful one-minute video sales pitch using an iPhone. It's important to script it very tightly, meaning you use every second wisely. You want to have sound and picture both demonstrating your product's benefit. Make sure to show your product from different angles. Have a voiceover to make it professional. When you are finished, you should have a one-minute commercial for your product that can be shown to anyone! It’s easy to do and I’ve seen the most amazing videos done by everyday people.
I make videos by first creating a "storyboard" of all of the shots that I want to take, in the order I want to take them in, with the words that I am going to say about each shot. I just use rough sketches but this process allows me to have plan and get all the shots that I need for my video.
Does this mean you have to build a beautiful prototype? Yes and no.
If you can make your product appear to be real, often that's all that is needed! Because you’re making the video you control the shots - which means sometimes you can fake it a little bit.
I believe videos are probably one of the best sales tools that inventors have today. To watch some really good examples of one-minute videos visit Allstar Products Group website.
The format is a little cheesy but it works every time. It’s one-minute storytelling at its best.
The point is each company in each industry is going to have different requirements. So build those relationships and ask what they’re looking for - you may be able to license your product with just a sketch. Lots of our inventRight students license products ideas with just a sell sheet - no video necessary!
Check out our Design Studio for more help making your video.