consumer research?

How do you go about consumer research if you can't find anything similar to the product you want to produce. This is my problem, I have the idea, I have the research to tell me there doesn't seem to be anything that I can find anywhere for sale like it, I know it will be popular having been asked in the past to make the items on request - which is how I came up with the idea. But I have nothing to compare it to for pricing or anything similar. At present I have just begun a blog which covers a number of things but NOT my idea for sale, cause I don't want my idea nicked. So far I'm stuck on this part.


That's a tricky one! You may want to try running a Kickstarter ( https://www.kickstarter.com ) or another crowd funded campaign for your product. That will give you an idea of the demand, and you could also use the campaign as a way to ask interested customers what they'd be willing to pay for your product as well.

Otherwise, I'd suggest just going for it! Come up with a great product name, and charge according to how long it takes to make and the material costs. You can always adjust your pricing as you go and make modifications to the product as needed. Sometimes I've found that just getting the product out there will help you figure things out. :) Good luck!

In a case like this, would a patent or trademark filing be helpful or necessary before throwing it into the public arena?

Honestly, that is a choice that will vary from product to product.

If the product is something the maker considers a huge breakthrough in that product's field, it would be a good idea to at least study the patent-filing process and to determine whether to go forward. Patents can give you legal protections against copycats and knockoffs, which is always a good thing to have!

Trademarks are a little more complicated. I suggest reading the USPTO article over the process for a better idea of whether or not you need to get one!