Three proven ways to create Intellectual Property and build value for your business
Three proven ways to create Intellectual Property and build value for your business
Take a second to consider what you’ve created that makes your business unique.
In our media-driven digital work, intellectual property (IP) is everywhere, and while we might imagine that it only pertains to entertainment brands and recognisable characters, the truth is that it’s any original asset or concept that’s worth keeping a record of. It’s an integral part of any business – or, at least, it should be. Intellectual property helps distinguish your business from the competition, adding a unique, vital asset to your offering.
Establishing, nurturing, and maintaining original intellectual property in your business – according to Cloud9 Insight’s founder and CEO Carlene Jackson, it’s vital in distinguishing yourself, and capitalising on these findings. So, what is intellectual property? Assets, authorship, branding, design, and invention are all examples, and they can directly benefit you.
In this conversation, Carlene breaks down the finer points of IP – both in relation to Cloud9 and in a wider business context – and three proven ways to harness your individual winning traits. You might be overlooking a unique offering that helps your business stand out from the crowd, be the best public version of itself, and ultimately succeed.
Here are Carlene and Cloud9 Insight’s proven ways to establish and harness intellectual property elements that can boost your business:
#1: Doing things by the book – your book.
What’s in your playbook? It’s a vital tool for keeping every member of the team up to date and on the right track; if a member of your team leaves or a new employee joins your staff, this set of guidelines – your process – lays out every aspect of how you get things done.
“There are a few different levels I would talk about. One is in terms of processes and how you do things. Very often, people don’t realise that the immense value they offer is how they do it in the business. How does someone sell within the business? How do they generate a lead?
How you execute on a process is actually IP.” Thoroughly recording your process and how you achieve your goals is a vital source of intellectual property, and to Carlene’s point, what makes your workflow unique to you is what makes it stand out from the crowd. Your team is made up of individuals, yes, but the playbook outlines your group tactics – group successes. Your systems can be sellable.
“A playbook means that when one person leaves your business and they’re the only one who did their job… if you’ve embedded the process into your business, then you protect your IP in that way.”
“A playbook means that when one person leaves your business and they’re the only one who did their job – if you’ve embedded the process into your business, then you protect your IP and your process in that way.” For Cloud9 Insight, that’s helping us promote our CRM tools as they benefit and streamline the inevitable steps of any business process, but it also shines a light on how we do things differently.
If I was talking to my younger self, it would be about this sort of industry verticalisation. Take your insight about a particular business problem or an industry and create a solution to that problem, or for that industry. There are many organisations that have built a system for themselves, simply because there was a lack of system set up in the marketplace.”
#2: Make something marvellous. Solve somebody’s problem
Carlene is quick to point out that whether you’re striving to reach your own goals or are working towards a successful acquisition, the add-ons you and your staff have created along the way can often become so much more than that – a vital element of another company’s workflow.
“If somebody was buying your company, what you’ve created as a product – it could be a widget or a software solution – can you scale it, as you would if someone was actually buying your business? They would value the investment; they might be buying you for that innovation. That can create long-term value.”
Here at Cloud9 Insight, we’re always trying to innovate, and if it improves Microsoft Dynamics 365 services in any way, it’s an important step forward for the community as a whole. That’s why we’re proud to provide the brand-new project management tool, Project Lite. Original software specifically crafted by Cloud9’s resident developers, it maximises efficiency and extends the sales process to provide both project management and tracking in a streamlined new product.
Project Lite perfectly aligns with Carlene’s insights and ambition regarding intellectual property as an integral element of business development. The software singularly innovates all without the need for integration – from both desktop and mobile. It’s Cloud9 Insight’s way of taking the complex and making it concise.
Here it is in action.
#3: Building a brand, then building it higher
It’s not just technology that innovation in intellectual property can benefit. On establishing a brand identity, Carlene starts, “if you’ve got restaurants like Bill’s or The Ivy, for example, there’s something distinct about their brand and business model. It’s repeatable; they can scale that success; their brand is their IP.”
So, how do you define your brand in business?
When it comes to themes of product and brand relating to Cloud9 Insight, our P2P partner programme provides our partners with a comprehensive and fully featured assets pack to help boost their brand cohesion and identity, and enlightening resources. Simply put, it’s a Campaign in a Box that puts out partners at the forefront of our business, all the while honing theirs. Our mission is to create tangible benefits for our partners; it organically spreads the word for the business and provides beneficial guides and literature to the companies we support every day.
It doesn’t just stop with continued support and content.
Carlene Jackson, Cloud9 Insight’s founder and CEO
When it comes to boosting your business, good branding isn’t just good for a professional public showing; it benefits your team internally, too. For Cloud9 Insight, a trusted Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold Partner, earning the title not only boosted the company’s profile, but it helped to further hone the company’s mission statement. Likewise, operating as a MemberWise Recognised Supplier and joining the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners further cements the company’s credentials.
To Carlene, it’s vital for distinguishing Cloud9 Insight from the competition, thus bolstering our brand. “Microsoft only have a small number of partners that they work with: Managed Partners. It’s all about being known for something – you can’t be a Jack of all Trade – we are known as a SMB partner. Microsoft can assuredly support our business growth; it’s simply for the reason that we have, well, we have a brand, and that brand is trusted.”
Brand is, of course, based on trust. If a product or a service doesn’t live up to its promise, then your reputation could be at stake. It’s also about being clear what you want to be known for. Identifying that can solidify a company’s mission statement internally, just as much as its perception from fellow industry players.
Carlene is also aware of the positive effects of personal branding in business development; it needn’t be a calculated ploy. “I do a lot of work at a personal brand level – being the representative of a business – it creates a focal point. One piece of advice I was given by an investment manager was to establish a ‘guru brand’. I would encourage business leaders to establish themselves as this distinguished brand – as an authority in the industry – value that stems from experience and authority – it’s free publicity when a news outlet invites me to reflect on a development in the industry, or I’m invited to speak at a conference.
That’s all about brand, and there are some steps to consider as part of that. I think a lot of marketing strategies overlook the importance of brand to look at the tactical side of things.”
Much of the value of what a CRM provider has to offer is operational, rather than a physical product, and it’s worth considering that what’s important is to create value for the future. “Creating IP, for me, is about creating future value. A lot of business owners might be concerned that they’re very short term-minded; but if you were to sell your business tomorrow, they’d be quick to find that it’s actually all of the original aspects of the business – the unique selling points you have developed that are your Unique Selling Point.
In closing, Carlene provides a simple metaphor: “It’s almost like a building – a skyscraper. All of the furniture that you put in your house makes it look nice. The actual IP is like the foundations and walls of your building; if those are solid and you build an extension using your IP, then that’s going to create future value for you.
“Process, product, and brand will be the key things that come to mind that your business needs to spend time investing in. If you haven’t spent any time investing in those things, you need to because they create further value for your business; if you were ever to sell it, it actually adds value.”
We hope this article has inspired you consider the intellectual property intrinsic to your business that differentiates it from the competition. Of course, Cloud9 Insight is always on hand, with our comprehensive suite of CRM tools too; if you need help of any kind, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Thanks for reading! Now that you’ve considered the innovative intellectual property that makes your business special, it’s time to harness it… or even better, create something brand new!