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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the February 12, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Marketing Basics For Engineers

Investors are atheists, says David A. Breithaupt

of Princeton Strategic Management. "A typical five-year plan for

a new company marks year three with an Immaculate Reception in the

market. But investors are not believers. You need to have a solid

marketing plan that matches your financial objectives."

Breithaupt is a speaker at "Launching and Financing a Business

in New Jersey," on Wednesday, February 19, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

at the POEM center in the Princeton University Engineering Quad on

Olden Avenue. Intended to help engineers and technical professionals

from Lucent and other telecommunications firms consider new careers

in entrepreneurship, the workshop is sponsored by the IEEE, Princeton

POEM, and NJSBDC.

Presenters also include Larry Chong of Princeton Strategic Management,

Debra Dorfman, Richard Mattessich, and Louis Sapirman

of Hale and Dorr; and Randy Harmon of NJSBDC Technology Commercialization

Center. Cost: $35 in advance, $50 at the door, and free to IEEE members.

Call 973-353-1923 or register online (www.NJSBDC.com/register).

Breithaupt went to Yale, Class of 1963, and has an MBA from Columbia.

At Colgate Palmolive, he launched Irish Spring soap, and he also worked

at Warner Lambert and came to Princeton to be marketing vice president

at Church & Dwight, where he launched Arm & Hammer Dental Care Toothpaste.

At Market Source’s technology division he outsourced sales for IBM

in the college market. He started his consulting company in 2001 (609-683-7706;

fax, 609-497-0107, www.princetonstrategic.com). He will explain

the basics:

Know how your product is unique. Ask whether your project

meets a critical need. Venture capitalists like to ask "What pain

does your product relieve?"

Know your product’s barriers to entry. For instance, is

it expensive and time consuming to install? Have established competitors?

Do a solid competitive analysis.

Know the maximum market opportunity. A niche product with

a potential market of $5 million may suit an angel but could be too

small for a venture capitalist.

Identify sources of revenue such as product sales, licenses,

fee for services, or subscriptions.

Know the scalability, how the line can be extended or

what the next new product might be. If it is designed for one vertical

market, can it go into a second, third, and fourth vertical market?

Of his soap launch, Breithaupt remembers that Irish Spring had

a much larger than usual sampling campaign (direct mail of free samples).

More important, it had the "right" name and the "right"

fragrance (a very expensive one, he remembers, devised by Dayton-based

International Flavors and Fragrances). Irish Spring was also the first

soap to have a striated color and a saddle shape. But he resisted

attempts to "scale it up." He dragged his feet on introducing

the yellow version of Irish Spring, believing that it would never

be as good as the green original. Yellow has little Irish appeal.


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