Trade secrets are incredibly important. Your whole business may be built on one product or idea. The fact that you alone have the knowledge of how to create that product is what gives your company its strength. It gives you an edge. It sets you apart from other companies that are trying to enter the same space.
This isn’t to say that advertising and branding don’t matter. They do. But the main reason for your sales numbers is that your product is unique and consumers can’t get it somewhere else. They have to get it from you.
How far would you go to protect something like that?
History tells us that companies take this seriously. For instance, one of the most famous trade secrets is the formula for Coca-Cola. At some points in the company’s history, only two people have known what it is. This is a company that produces millions and millions of bottles of Coke every year, but their thousands of workers don’t actually know how it’s made.
Besides not telling their workforce, Coke even went so far as to deny the government of India in the 1970s. They wanted to start selling Coke there, but the government said they couldn’t do it without telling them the ingredients. Coke refused, essentially giving up one of the world’s largest population groups. They held out. Finally, the government relented, changed the law, and allowed Coca-Cola to start operating without revealing their secrets.
This example shows how important these secrets are. If yours are compromised, or if you’re worried they will be, make sure you know all of the legal options you have.