Sales Strategy · B2B sales

Protecting Your Content in Sales?

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

September 24th, 2015

We've been meeting with a lot of high profile fashion houses. This is good. Though, in Fashion, it is normal to take and alter ideas even with NDA's. Most fashion houses won't even see you without signing one. We have an NDA, but we know the way it works and everyone knows that an NDA doesn't really mean squat.

Now, we show them these beautiful sales pitch decks that showcase their products with our tech and some are even nicely animated. We let them know it has taken over 10 years for this type of tech to be developed and is only coming to the market in the past few years, we are great, better then competition, and blah blah ... sales pitch.

After meeting they are inspired and want the PDF and images.

We want it to be easy, but not get ripped off by the big brands. What is the best way to share and protect the information w/out having to sign complex NDA legal documents?

Rob G

September 24th, 2015

i won't even pretend to understand the nuances of the fashion industry, but you are speaking strictly about you slide deck and images then i'd talk to some photographers and find out how they do it.  They must deal with this issue all the time. some random ideas:

1. rather than offer to send them a deck in a file, turn the deck into a web presentation they can only access from your domain via password.  At the very least if you are going to share a file do so via drobox or Box and add a password and expiration.
2. mark each item/screen/page/image as confidential (to dovetail with your NDA)
3. put some teeth in the NDA such as injunction and damages for each violation - again, this is mostly to let them know you are serious.
4. watermark the images
5. i've not used it before, but i know some photographers use what is essentially an invisible watermark that 'injects' a unique electronic ID into each image and/or page that is then searchable such that you can find each instance of it online  - if someone uses or shares your image online you can locate it.  what you do in response is another matter. 

Lucas E Wall

September 24th, 2015

Nice problem.

Just wondering. Would it be possible to pre-empt their actions? Can you take credit for the work done for them before they use it? Maybe during those conversations mention the fact that you would like to publish the presentation you are doing for them? In case they use your work or leverage your ideas, you can say "great to know we inspire you!", and eventually attract others who become truly paying customers? 

Jerome Pineau Digital Transformation Consultant

September 24th, 2015

what is so proprietary about your technology though?

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

September 24th, 2015

Our technology is protected. Our ideas and how to incorporate it into their brand isn't. If you put something together to inspire, sometimes people in the media and fashion take it. This happens in other areas of design as well. Our goal is to protect ourselves, inspire them, AND get the job. We don't want to just come in... inspire them to pieces and then they wonder off with the ideas. One thing we've done to combat this is adding a "consulting" service as part of our offerings. This is for those companies who just want to talk and learn about making wearable tech. So, now if you want to be inspired and know what's out there and how to incorporate it into your brand - we can help direct you and educate.

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

September 24th, 2015

This I know and teach non unique idea repeatedly to many people and former students. I was asking for practical things like:

1. using google docs to track their viewing and usage or
2. using a web portal so they have to sign in or
3. having some technical way to control or monitor their viewing


Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

September 24th, 2015

https://www.saydoc.com/

There are a ton of services that allow you to publish docs to individuals and track their access history, withdraw access, etc.

You can OCD out as much as you like.

Randy Corke CEO and Co-Founder NowLocal, Executive Advisor

September 25th, 2015

Another approach - since "borrowing" ideas is commonplace in the industry, how about acknowledging it up front by saying when you send it to them (in PDF format or something else that makes it a bit harder to cut and paste) "Here's the presentation materials you requested, please keep it internal, or if you would like to share outside of your firm, we just ask you attribute us." They may still borrow, but at least you asked for the attribution.

Frederic Moreau Agile Business Transformer

September 24th, 2015

This would certainly require further analysis of your context Alison.

To but it simply, what I always do in such case is to communicate and leave materials about the "why" (working with us) and the "what" (is the visible part of the solution).
I always keep to ourselves the "how" (we do it), which is basically our secret sauce.

You may want to dig further on your "how". What are the "real pains" to design or execute on your solution? 
Keep your answers in a secured place and apply relevant protection schemes to put your competition and your clients away from it.

Protecting ideas is much more difficult than protecting the way you execute on your ideas as you certainly know. You're the Chef in your kitchen and you don't want your clients and your competitors to step into it. 

Jerome Pineau Digital Transformation Consultant

September 24th, 2015

okay but never assume that your idea is unique such that no one else in the world has ever done it! Your value should lie in execution, not some piece of technology - you can't steal or borrow execution - that's people. anyone can duplicate technology or process.