In 2012, a recent college graduate sharing an apartment with a few other guys was responsible for stocking up on apartment necessities. He decided to buy some baby wipes and put them in all the bathrooms in the apartment. After all the guys started using them, he came up with a new entrepreneurial idea: wipes designed specifically for men.
He launched Dude Wipes in the summer of 2012 and, in 2013, won the Visionary Award at the Vision Consumer Products Conference in Orlando, FL. Swiffer, the company behind floor cleaning pads, was a previous winner of the award.
Today, Dude Products is running strong with large packs and single packs of Dude Wipes sold online and through select retailers.
But what steps did they take to build their new nonwoven product?
- Decide on your product specifications. First, decide what you want the consumer to do with your product. Will they use it for cleaning? Will it be for personal use, household use or industrial use? Will the product be single-use or not? How big does it need to be? Does it need chemical solutions added? Does it need to be absorbent? Figure out all the different attributes your product needs and put them down on paper.
- Determine how many suppliers you need. Chances are, you aren’t going to find one manufacturer who will be able to create and package your product from start to finish. Do some legwork and figure out what types of suppliers you need to get your product to market.
- Develop a Request for Proposal. Figure out how much of your product you want to manufacture, include your specifications and send out an RFP to a group of manufacturers who you think can help you produce your product.
- Work with your suppliers. Coordinate efforts with your manufacturing partners. Ensure that they understand your vision and work with them to get your product manufactured according to that vision.
- Determine your distribution channel. Will you sell your product through an online storefront? Will you use brick-and-mortar retailers?
- Develop a marketing campaign. Figure out how people are going to find out about your product. Develop a campaign to launch your product and then an ongoing strategic campaign designed to attract customers.
- Get your product to market. Sell, sell, sell.
If you take the right steps and work with the best manufacturing partners, you can turn your entrepreneurial dream into a reality. What steps can you take today to turn your ideas into real products?
Blog image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net