Not all ideas are bulletproof.
Know which are.
Branding is nothing new.
It is as old as cattle rearing.
But not many know that the real value of brands was known to the world in 1988 when Philip Morris – one of the largest consumer goods producers at that time – purchased Kraft Inc., for $13.1 billion in cash. This gutsy move by Philip Morris relegated Unilever to the second position in the consumer goods market and emerged as #1. Until then, brands were just names that helped companies sell more products and those that possessed mammoth valuations only on paper. But nobody was sure what the real value of a brand would be. What Philip Morris did was nothing less than institutionalizing companies and reinstating that successful companies produce brands but not products. Though branding was a well-established practice in every market, 1988 spelled it out loud and clear that brands need to build a solitary uniqueness for themselves in preparation for the evolution that was brewing in the world around them.
Bullets too are nothing new.
They were first made in the nineteenth century.
But bulletproofing came a century after that.
Check this: Branding for Startups
Today, entrepreneurship has become so common that it is no longer a job restricted to the glass-walled offices. Despite the democratization, every day a lot of ideas end up in garbage bins. While some ideas lack the potential to make business, some good ideas are unable to enjoy the fruits of their efforts because of poor branding and imitable brand traits.
When the tech-entrepreneurship in the Silicon Valley was going at a breakneck pace, it experienced a jolt that had its origins in Europe. Marc, Alexander and Oliver Samwer of Munich, Germany are three brothers who caused this jolt by replicating some of the biggest tech ideas such as Airbnb, ebay, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and many others in the European market and reaped heavy returns. They also made it a habit to blitzscale their own versions of those ideas in Europe and later sell it to the American counterpart. Contrary to this, there are several other brands that made quality consumer goods but failed miserably. Today, nobody would believe that Colgate made food products, Apple made cameras and Heinz made purple ketchup. Why? Because of poor branding strategy, they could not make it to the consumers’ cart.
You may also like: Thinking of brands
The point of discussion is not about protecting valuable ideas but to brand those ideas from the beginning so that they can grow stronger – strong enough to take a bullet and save the entrepreneur from failing. Replication of an idea is as dangerous as ignoring one. Today, branding as a discipline grew beyond names and logos. It emerged as a long-term solution to several problems. Leverage its power.
Because only branded ideas are bulletproof.
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