Why having control of your own brand is important.
To answer that story, first you need to read a sad but common story..
Imagine you trade from a gift shop in a small market town, and build up a good trade in (for example) dinner candles.. a nice range of colours and accessories and you have amazing candle gift packs and your display is super attractive.. you put a lot of work in and over the years sales creep up nicely. Then the shop at the other end of town see's your success and basically copies everything.. and a tiny bit cheaper. Sales drop off the cliff.. That's so annoying, what can you do? Well it's annoying but normal.. the good way to respond is to do the job better, go upmarket, stock better colours and designs, be more friendly. Or just look for other products to develop.. The bad way is to send your cousin Vinny to threaten to smash in this guy's windows if he doesn't stop selling them.. But you cannot do this.. because this is clearly against the law. More sneaky but still not nice or moral would be to bad mouth your competitor, lobby the council/landlord/supplier to change the rules somehow.. or I maybe get a dodgy lawyer to send him a fake scary legal letter.. but this just leads to bad blood, and worse.. bad karma.
But could it be even worse than this..? oh yes...
So now imagine how annoying it would be if that competitor had access to all your customers details, and all your different products sales performances. They could really take full advantage of all your hard work.
Yikes!! That would be bad.. but this dear reader is happening already, right now, right under your nose in broad daylight.. if you trade on any of the major retail trading platforms (you already know the worst offender I'm sure). This is exactly what happens.
If you find a great niche market on Am*z*n (for example), don't be surprised if the competitor who steals your trade, undercuts you and has better visibility is... actually this same company.. a few years back they made a huge effort to buy directly from AW.. We said; But we don't do retailing because that would compete with our own customers. Their argument was.. But in this case it would be Amazon buying just like any other retailer. But even so it didn't feel good. In the end we stopped the project, before it really got going.
So what is the answer?
There is an answer you will be pleased to know.. of course it involves a little hard work and investment.. but the upside can be huge and almost limitless.. It's called Branding.. Own your own Brand and you have a lot more control over the market. If you can develop trust and goodwill in your brand, if your brand has some unique properties, if your brand is pretty cool or quirky.. maybe you can even charge a premium.
As long as you control the Brand that you develop then you have control.. and who knows.. if it is very successful the brand will have a value of it's own - you can possibly sell your brand in the future to a big brand owning company.
So the question is are you CREATIVE? This is the question? Everything else can be outsourced.. design (to a degree), manufacturing / importing, distribution even marketing and sales. Many famous brands you might be familiar with are basically all out sourced. Somebody somewhere had a creative idea and the drive to turn it into a living breathing brand..
But the creative spark is what creates something new, and that ultimately is what creates (good, honest and ethical) wealth.
Say you were that market town gift shop owner, and from day one had branded your candles.. "Market Town Candles" they burn cleaner. And over the years your customers came to love and rely on them, then when you faced competition across town.. they didn't have your brand recognition and your customers wouldn't be so confused. It's human nature to trust a brand, it's less risky than change, it's a marker that helps you not to think or worry when making decisions.
So when you have a great idea and want to develop your brand, we'd love to work with you..