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Stealing Your Cosmetic Product Idea

We get a number of people who contact us here at Chemists Corner asking for help in advancing their idea for the next amazing cosmetic product.  It seems the biggest concern that people have is that they are worried about someone stealing their idea.  They shouldn’t.  It is highly unlikely that anyone is going to steal your idea.  Here’s why.

1.  Your idea is probably not unique

The reality almost no idea is actually unique.  Apple’s iPhone was not unique nor was it’s iPod.  Lots of other companies came out with products before Apple.  The way Apple executed the idea was what made it innovative, not the idea.  In the cosmetic industry, there are thousands of people employed specifically trying to come up with unique, sellable ideas.  It’s not easy.  I would suggest that there hasn’t been a truly unique product introduced in the cosmetic industry since the early 1980′s.  Everything else has been iterations on something that was already created.

If you have an idea, do a Google search for something that is similar.  I bet you’ll be surprised to find out that someone is already doing the idea.  This is actually not a bad thing.  If someone has already made a product, that means that there is a market for the product.  You just need to execute the idea better than the people who have already done it.

2.  Your idea is not proven

Companies are not actually interested in unique ideas.  They are interested in ideas that are proven to make money.  You may have conceived the most clever idea that a company has seen, but if there are no sales to show, they will take almost no interest.  Some of the greatest sounding ideas in the cosmetic field end up making no sales.  Hundreds of great ideas are launched every year and those products fail to make sales.  The product & idea may be great but if you can’t market it,  if you can’t get anyone to buy it, no one cares.  The proven sales of an idea sell products, not the uniqueness of it.

3.  Not invented here syndrome

Another reason companies will not steal your ideas is because they didn’t think of it.  Many companies have marketing or product development groups who are responsible for coming up with new product ideas.  They do not believe that outsiders have any good ideas.  They believe that the best ideas are the ones that are generated in-house.  For this reason, you do not have to worry about anyone stealing your idea.

4.  No one will be as passionate as you

To make a new cosmetic product idea happen, it will take a lot of work.  You can’t just say “here’s my idea” then watch the money roll in.  You’ve got to get the formulation made, design the packaging, create ad copy, find distributors, do consumer testing, safety testing, claims testing.  Basically, there’s a lot more that needs to be done than just have an idea.  And if there is no one with a fiery passion to make it happen, it won’t.  This is why the biggest ideas come from single inventors or innovators.  They have the passion to move mountains to make their idea happen.  This is what it takes.  Someone may be able to steal your idea but they can never steal your passion.  And it is the passion that ultimately makes an idea happen.

5.  Secrecy reduces the chances that your idea happens

Finally, the biggest reason you shouldn’t worry about someone stealing your cosmetic idea is because if you do it reduces your chances that the idea will ever get turned into a cosmetic product.  How many ideas are stuck in people’s heads just waiting to get turned into a product?  Millions, billions?  Everyone has an idea for something.  Having the idea is not enough.  You need help.  You need to tell other people what your idea is.  You can sign a secrecy agreement if you like but I think they are a waste of time.  They are unnecessary, unhelpful, and won’t really protect you the way you think they will.

So, if you have a great idea for a cosmetic product, tell people about it.  Tell everyone about it.  Talk about it to anyone who will listen.  But don’t just talk…make it happen.  See your idea through to the end.  And if you are interested in that, the best place to start is by reading our free Start a Cosmetic Line ebook.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Sal 01/29/2013, 8:06 pm

    Most likely, no one here is going to come up with a real “unobvious” patent. People that get degrees have the mentality to work for others. The entrepreneur will hire you, keep the money and you will be a worker with a degree.

    • Perry 01/29/2013, 8:10 pm

      There are plenty of people with degrees that are also entrepreneurs.

  • Liliana Todorinova 11/22/2012, 10:49 am

    Hi Perry

    The lady who founded Rodial says there are many good products available, but the secret of success is selling them :-)

    • Perry 11/22/2012, 10:51 am

      So true!!

  • Eliza 11/11/2012, 3:34 am

    I mostly agree, Perry. Just 1 exception: when you plan on protecting your idea through a patent. Then in order to get your patent approved, your idea must not be made public till the patent is published.

    • Perry 11/12/2012, 11:42 am

      Yes, this is an excellent point. If you want to patent an idea you have to keep some level of secrecy about it.

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