Yak About It Gives Inventors a Voice - Page 2
Inventions come in all categories and price points. Some are targeted towards niche segments, which have little support from major retailers or manufacturers. Shopping Yak About It is an adventure in impulse shopping, since a consumer may not expect a solution has ever been created to address a particular problem and therefore can’t really know when to look for it.
The Yak About It customer, though, thrives on the discovery process and likes to be the first in their group to tell everyone about their find. That customer type, which describes the community of engaged visitors known as Yak Nation, also makes a great “partner” to inventors looking to refine their ideas into successful solutions. The process of improving the idea to make it more marketable or distributable is one Gawronski says retailers typically won’t engage in with inventors.
Yak About It uncovers inventions through site submissions, trade shows, and inventor forums. The products are assessed more on their “retail readiness” than on product quality or design. An inventor must be ready to fulfill a product and have no licensing entanglements or national distribution.
Gawronski points out that a product’s niche appeal may be more of a hurdle to sales than the fact it could be considered junk. For example, the inventor of the EarCoolers, soft inserts to place in your ear canal that care said to reduce the impact of headaches, cost $39.99. In the product comment section, some consumers indicate they’d pay anything to cure their migraines, while others vocalize their suspicions about the product’s curative powers.
Yak About It thrives on servicing the underdog by wanting to help independent entrepreneurs get their products noticed. In its early stages, the company is focused on building a pipeline of inventions that can continue to attract an audience and creating a destination for sharing and exchanging feedback that will get consumers to keep coming back.
Revenue streams, Gawronski expects, will come from monetizing the community of influencers, selling advertising and acquiring distribution deals for inventors. But he is also quick to point out, that with inventors their work is their passion, and they have a tremendous need to scratch that itch. “Our success comes when inventions and inventors succeed. This is not necessarily connected profit.”