Do Founders Contact Brands to Partner With Them?

Serious question, since I honestly don’t know. Do founders who work with brands, banks, fashion items, etc, actually contact the brands to ask if they want to be included on their app or whatever? For example, If you were selling high end dresses from all the top designers, does the founder reach out to the brands, or do they just use the API’s?

    • If your app is dependent on a brand(s) then it would be impossible not to ask, unless there is an api with affiliate possibilities like travel ones.

  • It really depends. If you have something really amazing for a brand, something huge, not a few percent of their revenue, and they can’t make it without you, of course you must contact them !

    A brand will not be interested by something small from their point of view (even if you think it’s huge, from your point of view). If you have nothing big enough, you’d better wait for them to knock at your door.

    Anyway, without something huge, you can always contact a big brand. And you can make money with it. But in this case, you will be a consultant, contractor, vendor, or something like that. Never a strategic partner. You can make a big wage, never a big exit. If you are a consultant, it’s good. If you are a startup founder, it’s a trap.

    • Maybe a better example. All those apartment apps where they list apartments and whats available, they reach out to them to put them on the app, right? Or, like Fab (bad example since they burned through money), when they were doing deals and such? I mean the apt one has to have partners (apartments) or there is no app or website to help others. Just asking. I have heard of multiple ways.

      • When you start out nobody knows who you are, so brands would never use your product.

        To get brands to notice you, you either need to hustle (ie. annoy the shit out of someone at the co), or get a biz dev person with contacts or join an accelerator or be funded by a VC which gives you “credibility”.

        As for apartments and businesses in the app, often its just scraping other directories like craigslist. Once you get traction and investments, you can go the “legit” route. Yes its against their terms of service, but hey, startups are about breaking rules – ask Airbnb and Uber.

        Speaking about Airbnb, they actually went the “spam” craigslist route. They won’t admit it but that’s one of the ways they got big when they were nobody.

  • You can certainly try, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

    For one thing – even if lightning strikes and you do get through the shields, the brand is going to want to control you as much as possible, if for no other reason than to retain competitive advantage.

    If you have a personal connection and feel you can risk the above, that’s a different story, but in general the “facebook found us” meme is much more propaganda than fact.

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