That’s one of the top 10 “lies” I hear regularly from entrepreneurs. The answer is: it depends.
In New York City, large fashion companies often knowingly exploit entrepreneurs who come to them with ideas. The city is aware of this situation and, in fact, they were the ones that warned me about it.
So what’s an entrepreneur to do?
Sitting at home nursing your idea is not going to make you famous or rich. Only exposure can do that. So Market!!! By building a brand, you are building market share for yourself and your product. Sure you’re letting the competition see your product. It’s not that you can prevent theft, but by establishing a brand and market presence you are at least in the competitive arena and are there first. If you don’t, then you can be completely ripped off and your idea becomes someone else’s brand. Whether you are a brick and mortar store, an online shop, or a line of clothing, get your ideas up and branded. Someone might steal your idea, but meanwhile you’ve established a leadership position with the product.
BRANDING = $$$.
I know this is not a start up’s success story. But my point holds for a company of any size. GE attributes incremental sales of $10 billion a year just to the power of its brand. Generic soft white light bulbs are sold next to the GE brand. The products have the same performance specs on their packages.
But, 9 out of 10 people buy the GE product and pay 25% more. That’s the power of branding.
Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.