Harnessing the power of perspective by thinking Beyond IP

Small medium enterprise

The email notification pinged at about 10:30 AM.

Inside the message was a large purchase order from a giant multinational. The order was the biggest the SME had ever received, and it made the owners think: why did they pick us?

The request didn’t come out of the blue. The sales team had engaged with the multinational for a few months before the order finally arrived. But seeing that PO was a sobering moment for the owners who, correctly, realised there was something special about their small firm – something intangible.

The big fish understood the value, but the SME owners hadn’t thought about it at that level before.

EverEdge has sat across from many clients who describe similar flashes of clarity. They’ve implemented a great idea, worked hard and generated decent (but not legendary) market success.

Yet for them it was always hard to tell apart “normal business operations” from having something truly special. Sooner or later, they need to hear what their company looks like from the outside.

Beyond IP was set up to help answer these questions. As a branch of the New Zealand Crown entity Callaghan Innovation, Beyond IP helps New Zealand-based companies of all sizes develop and implement their intangible asset strategy.

Those intangible assets are the hidden secret sauce companies suspect they have but struggle to put into words.

Adam El-Agez, chief executive of virtual fitness app The Conqueror, was steered in the direction of engaging with Beyond IP as the company pushed into global markets.

El-Agez wanted to know more about what was driving the underlying value of the company while also gaining a wider perspective on what potential moves it could make with the intangible assets it already had.

“Like any ambitious business, we had huge plans but didn’t know too much about IP (intellectual property) or the broader concept of intangible assets. In fact, most of us thought intangible assets were just IP.

“But we were pleasantly surprised to discover how much value we had created that went far deeper.

“I distinctly remember one ‘holy cow’ moment when EverEdge described the incredible insights our collected customer data and software really showed. If intangible assets are a neglected area of your business, the Beyond IP programme will help uncover some real hidden gems,” El-Agez said.

For Heilala Vanilla chief executive Jennifer Boggiss who was hoping to make the best possible foray into the global market with a new product and category, the epiphany was realising that the famous Kiwi “No.8 wire” mindset of ingenuity and resourcefulness may not be enough rocket fuel to achieve their goals.

“We needed to know all the pieces of a global commercialisation process. Also, as a team, we knew only the bare basics of how patent law corresponds in new jurisdictions and we wanted to be as protected as possible.

“The programme gave us incredible insight into the real value of our IP, which was our unique brand story and relationships. In some intuitive way, we understood this value, but the major boost was learning to think about these assets holistically and understanding the strength we created when we got these assets working together,” Boggiss said.

These types of realisations are common within the companies that pass through the Beyond IP programme and dig beneath the numbers on the balance sheet, to reveal their intangible assets.

According to Callaghan Innovation programme manager Ayshen Koyu, the goal of Beyond IP is to show companies how these assets can create value when managed correctly – or, on the flipside, how value may be eroded if they are mismanaged.

“The Beyond IP programme compels businesses to identify their unique value, shows how to mitigate intangible asset risk and offers tailored commercial pathways to generate the best ROI.

“We want businesses to understand the worth of their assets, and how to leverage that gold. We love it when Kiwi companies better understand how they can better defend their most precious assets before they take them to market and it’s too late,” Koyu said.

Koyu added that the examples of both Heilala and The Conqueror highlight the importance of companies being strategic about where they want to go, especially when entering countries in which intellectual property laws are weak or rarely enforced.

“It’s a whole other ball game when entering a new market. A lot of time, money and effort goes into building and promoting a product,” Koyu said.

“And if a company hasn’t protected its own IP or ends up inadvertently violating someone else’s IP rights as it enters a new market. All that hard work can effectively go down the drain.”

 

About Beyond IP

Beyond IP is a grant designed to help businesses maximise their intangible asset. It provides funding (up to a maximum of $10,000) for access to seasoned knowledge asset experts and advice.

This funding can be put towards various programmes, including the EverEdge Foundation™ Programme, used by both The Conqueror and Heilala Vanilla.

Foundation™ helps companies leverage the power of intangible assets to increase value, drive growth, reduce risk and lower cost. It is designed for senior management teams and directors and provides the knowledge and tools to transform a company’s intangible assets into commercial success and understand the risks in this critical business area.

To find out more about the Beyond IP programme and your eligibility to access a grant, click here.

For more information about the EverEdge Foundation™ programme, click here.

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