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How I Made My Millions: Four Steps to Developing a New Product

Wayne Beckley|Founder and CEO, Merlot Skin Care
Wednesday, 9 Mar 2011 | 12:57 PM ET

If you talk to any entrepreneur or inventor they’ll tell you that they’re constantly coming up with ideas for new products.

Merlot Skin Care
Merlot Skin Care

Through the years I’ve developed and launched a variety of products including Kolor Key car wax, License Lock, and Weed Wand, and I continue to create products for the Merlot Skin Care line.

There are four steps that I follow to develop an idea into a new product:

Make a mock-up

The first thing that everyone wants to know is what a product is going to look like. You can’t just expect to sell an idea; people need to have something tangible to interact with. In the beauty industry especially, people often have an emotional response to your product. Your mock-up plays to the five senses – people will want to see it, smell it, and touch it to give you an idea of how they’ll really feel about it. This is also the stage where branding, colors, and design – the things that will form your product’s identity – should be taken into consideration.

Get feedback

Talk about your idea with friends, family, business and industry contacts. Others may highlight deficiencies or bring up things you hadn’t thought of. They can also help spark new ideas. Let others talk about their needs and what they’re looking for in a solution or product. Pay attention to what gets them excited. Inventors are sometimes fearful of telling too many people about their great idea, but the best recommendation is to use others as a sounding board and then move with expediency. Good ideas can’t wait.

Know your cost

Research the costs involved in the production and distribution of your product. Along the way there are always hidden costs that can quickly add up. An easy rule of thumb is to calculate a rough production cost and double it. This is the figure to use in your estimated budget. Remember, the bottom line is what will make or break a company.

Find your market

Figuring out where your product belongs can take a little trial and error. Is your product one that belongs in mass retail? Should it be sold though shopping networks or television infomercials? What about selling it exclusively online? Does it fill a need in the marketplace? Determine who your customer is, where they are, and how best to reach them.

Tune In:

Learn more about the story behind Merlot Skin Care on "How I Made My Millions" which airs on CNBC, Thursday, March 10th 9p/12a ET


Wayne Beckley has been involved in the personal care and health & beauty industries since founding Merlot Skin Care in 2001. In developing Merlot Wayne has worked with many suppliers, packagers, and ingredient manufacturers.

Merlot Skin Care products are distributed in more than 7,000 retail outlets in the U.S. With an eye toward innovation, the Merlot Skin Care line was formulated to harness the antioxidant power of natural red grape seeds. As consumers look toward anti-aging solutions, the Merlot line has expanded to include 18 face and body products.

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