Inspiration from one niche product start-up
We talk a lot about developing innovative ideas and protecting those ideas with intellectual property safeguards, such as patents and trademarks, but what happens next? How does that idea eventually end up in the hands of consumers?
That’s why this story caught our eye. It’s about a simple product, the ubiquitous reusable water bottle, that has made a big impact thanks to its sleek design and unique characteristics. Now the start-up, which is self-funded by its founders, is reaching a whole new market through its deal with mass-market retailer Target.
Daniel Roberts writes about the deal between the start-up, S’Well, and Target for Yahoo, saying:
For S’well, rolling out its first line extension in Target provides a virtual guarantee that the bottles will get some immediate notice. And after the first six months, it’s easy to imagine the other chains where you might see S’ip: think Walmart, Kohl’s, or J.C. Penney.
In addition to its strategic partnerships created with higher-end retailers, such as Neiman Marcus and Williams Sonoma, and the new deal with Target, the company seems to have landed on a marketing formula that has helped propel them to 400 percent growth in sales in the past year:
S’well has already managed to make its bottle into a collectible. At its price, height and heft, a stainless steel water bottle may seem a strange thing to collect. But S’well has marketed it as a fashion item—the company even rolls out “seasonal” designs, as though the bottles are clothing. For example, S’well offers darker colors in fall and winter, and lighter shades in spring and summer. And it releases new collections each season– the latest is called Galaxy and changes color under bright light.
This story illustrates how strategic thinking and planning can help take a start-up idea to a profitable business. In addition to a new idea, great design and protected intellectual property, the right partnership and marketing decisions can make a big impact. We’re excited to see how this company grows in the years ahead.
To learn more about protecting your intellectual property and growing your business strategically, contact EmergeCounsel for skilled business legal counsel today.