AON Invent is situated in the heart of America’s retail world. It is hard to believe that there are more than 1,500 Consumer Packaged Goods companies (CPGs) within a 20 minutes of our office. We interact with them on a daily basis, and they all have one thing in common: they need innovation.
Retail is often a cut-throat industry, and there is fierce competition among CPGs for just a tiny piece of that coveted real estate: shelf space. In most cases retailers appoint shelf space to the vendor that can bring the best return. So when multiple vendors have similar items, there is constant pressure to provide the best value at the lowest price.
Innovation, then, is the life blood of any CPG. No one wants to be the low cost producer, because before long, there is no profit left in the item, and one tiny turn of event can put them in a negative revenue situation.
For this reason, consumer packaged goods companies are striving for innovation, but the small team at one company doesn’t come up with all the best ideas. This is where the inventor comes in with the next great product. Or so we would think… except things still aren’t that simple.
The truth is, most CPG companies do not like to work with inventors. They have all tried it, and most vow that they won’t do it again. I find it almost comical that when we are introducing a CPG company to the AON business model, one of their first questions is always, “Will the inventor be involved? Does the inventor have control?”
This sounds abrupt, but the product development managers at these companies know that if they work with an inventor, they will likely deal with emotional attachment, patent issues, unrealistic expectations – ultimately losing hours or days to the inefficiencies chasing a rabbit that they can never attain.
AON Invent changes this model for everyone. Unlike the traditional invention service company, we focus on working with the invention, not the inventor. We secure the patent and ensure that the product is both ownable and sound in concept. And we become the professional voice on the inventor’s behalf that CPGs are delighted to deal with.
We don’t believe there is a better model out there, but, of course, we are biased. We’ll say this, though: since we have been running this program, not one company has disproved or disagreed with this model, and we don’t believe any ever will.