In 2009, local inventor Sterling Roberts was struck with an idea after watching people forget to unplug their block heaters and consequently driving with an electrical cord flailing behind their vehicle. He called his invention the Q-Plug.
Fast-forward past prototype designs, engineering drafts, testing and revisions to April 2018 when Roberts received a patent for his innovative product. This major accomplishment encouraged Roberts to continue moving forward with the invention and he sought ways to get consumer approval and the product to market.
Northern Development committed $5,650 through the Competitiveness Consulting Rebate program for Roberts to have a professional consultant create a website and strategic plan for launching a Kickstarter campaign.
“The Q-Plug came from an idea I had while driving down the highway watching the car in front drag an extension cord underneath,” said Sterling Roberts, CEO of Sterling Innovation and designer of the Q-Plug. “It really works from a safety perspective and also for ease of use. It’s easy to use because of its circular design which connects almost effortlessly. After many years of designing the Q-Plug, I’m excited to share this with the Kickstarter community and have them support this project.”
Working with a marketing consultant, Roberts was able to develop both Q-Plug’s website and Kickstarter page with dynamic, engaging content featuring videos and images. Roberts gratefully acknowledges the marketing advice he received which allowed him to promote Q-Plug through promotional materials, such as product banners, magnets, shirts, cards and packaging. Media exposure was also received, and knowledge of the product was organically dispersed through word-of-mouth.