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Viral Buzz Blogs Launches Toothbrush Entrepreneur

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Austin entrepreneur Richard Trocino

had a great product idea

. And, like thousands of other innovative inventors with a new product concept, bringing that idea into a marketplace dominated by long-established brands with deep links and dominance in the retail outlets is challenging. In these days of mega-corporations and Walmarts, VCs, and small businesses defined by the government as the land of opportunity, one entrepreneur with a grand idea or product may be considered irrelevant and insignificant by any of those groups. Another challenge small businesses face in today’s marketplace, like in Trocino’s case, is getting an idea produced and generating sales.

Despite impossible odds

, Trocino’s invention sells almost faster today than his factories can produce and distribute worldwide. The established companies allowed to brand and make it now may wish they had not dismissed the popular product so readily. Not when the blogosphere is broadcasting around the globe faster and with more range than a speeding bullet; comments appearing include; “OHSO gets my nod for the most stylish and futuristic toothbrush/toothpaste contraption on the market today,” “The Coolest Toothbrush Ever,” and “World’s Most Elegant Travel Toothbrush.”

Trocino received micro-level funding

to get the prototypes built and into limited manufacturing through friends and family after attempts to license the product to both toothpaste and toothbrush companies fell on deaf ears. Similarly, Trocino found his innovation locked out of normal channels of retailing without the benefits of an established proven brand in the marketplace.

Discouraged but undaunted

, Trocino abandoned efforts to take the product to market using traditional marketing methods. Instead, like entrepreneurs who have met with unexpected success throughout business history, he proceeded by the seat of the pants and gut instinct. Acting on a hunch, he put it out there exclusively in the world of the internet and ignored the traditional “wisdom” of standard marketing techniques—no phones, faxes, or printed paper junk mail—nothing but the net. A guerrilla marketer does not have the luxury of the corporate behemoths who can afford (since it’s investor’s and stockholders' money, not their own) to throw 98% of their marketing dollars away on a numbers game in a business model that justifies and covers its inherent wastefulness by overcharging those sold customers the expenses of marketing to everyone else.

Trocino decided to be a “Swamp Fox” marketer

, like General Francis Marion, who confounded the British in South Carolina during the Revolutionary war and broke all the rules of modern marketing warfare. Marketing is a form of action, and many entrepreneurs have discovered the reality of today’s business battlefields. In today's market reality, the corporations and financiers have stacked the deck against the upstart competition by raising the ante in the game of commerce. One unnamed entrepreneurial internet advice columnist estimates the cost of entry even to be considered for funding by an angel or VC group at between $25,000 and $250,000. That is merely for developing the business plan, pre-startup consulting, general expenses, and purchasing access to their secretive inner circle. Trocino decided to wander into the unknown swamp of the internet and blogosphere and see what people would do when offered his innovation directly.

Trocino, like most entrepreneurs, is a risk taker

, but most intelligent businesspeople like to reduce risk wherever possible. He knew a poorly executed good concept had little chance of success in the market, so he took his idea to a locally based but internationally known design firm called “Design Edge” and negotiated a co-marketing partnership for assistance in ‘packaging’ his innovation. Trocino knew that people who travel a lot would naturally respond favorably to the concept of an integrated toothpaste dispensing toothbrush in a self-contained case that protects clothing in suitcases and keeps things neat and sanitary. With the co-marketing partnership with ‘Design Edge,’ the product took on a new personality within a sexy futuristic design that takes the basic utilitarian idea and wraps it in fashionability and elegance.


with a few well-chosen words

, a friend with an excellent photographic eye, and a smattering of HTML code, Trocino put up a website at http://www.goOHSO.com and invited a few friends through http://MySpace.com to look at his new line of toothbrushes. MySpace would become the testing ground and ultimate launch pad for the rollout of his product.

With its stylish modern design and elegant photography, the buzz it generated in cyberspace was somewhat unexpected. It was explosive!

Driven by the dynamics

of the blogosphere, where coolness and fashionability become badges of personal taste and sophistication, the OHSO toothbrush rapidly found its way onto the personal blogs of graphic designers and jet setters as the most remarkable thing since crystal ice. When Josh Spears, the blogger, posted his rave about the sleek product, sales and global visibility exploded. Even the legendary Steven Wozniak, the co-founder of another innovative product, the Apple computer, is counted among the OHSO toothbrush users and fans.

Today the product is available

in high fashion boutiques in the swanky Beverly Hills bastions of elegance and among the cappuccino makers and executive toys on the shelves of Brookstone stores around the country. Blogs have elevated the sensible, functional, practical toothbrush for harried travelers into fashion statements that provide high status and calm despite its less than $20 price tag.

Not a bad state of affairs for the beaming Trocino, which is today expanding the line with even more designs to satisfy the market demands. OHSO is a product that owes its success to a seat-of-the-pants approach to beating the corporate gorillas with a bit of its guerilla marketing. He put it out there in the vast uncharted cyber world where the old MBA strategies have no more influence on the hip youth market than the complete color fallouts in the increasing unread Sunday paper.

Today freedom of the personal press in the global Blogsville rules a small voice with a message, or a product like the OHSO toothbrush, can be magnified into a worldwide phenomenon. People who like what they seey tell their friends who today are everywhere. Just like Richard Trocino’s classy and well-designed toothbrush.






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