Let's Converse

The September issue of Essence reports that six black Greek fraternities and sororites are suing Converse for using their colors and founding dates as a part of the Greekpak sneaker line.  In the suit the fraternities and sororities claim Converse used their trademark without asking and they are calling for a ban on using the designs.  Converse says the colors and numbers aren't trademarked.

Why are these organizations mad?  They are getting publicity, which can only help them, right?  Well, yes and no.  While the Greekpak sneaker line did provide the fraternities and sororities with publicity, it also provided Converse with millions of dollars in revenue.  Why didn't the organizations get any of the money to help further their causes?  Converse should have contacted the organizations and worked with them to develop the line.  They should have given something back to the fraternities and sororities for the use of their colors and founding years.

The lesson.  Involve stakeholders in your decision-making and development processes.  It is important to bring stakeholders to the table when developing a product or working on a project.  Involving them in the decision-making and development processes can increase the marketability of your product and project and provide you with grassroots, community support that can help you overcome opposition.