I do agree that smaller company,s shouldn't involve branding in there initial marketing, but as it has a foothold in its market, yes it should start brand marketing in order to help the company grow as a whole. There are many different approaches to brand marketing though, and people should be more aware of them. I initially had no clue how I was going to grow my brand, I needed help. I ask a few of my friends, who are also entrepreneurs, and they came back with the same answer, "marketing". Yes that's how you do it but there is so much more. I got some advice from brand marketing company, Starmen USA as i had a friend work there, and got some great advice which has successfully helped me to start growing my brand.
When I started my company a couple of years ago, I found that I didn't have enough time, or the correct staff to deal with customer service as my company grew much, much faster than I had anticipated. Therefore I had no customer service employees, and it would have cost to much time and effort to employee the numbers, train them etc. I felt that I had to outsource for the short term, or else I would have lost a lot of business, and loyal customers. I outsourced initially for the short term to a company called Capita Customer Management, and after 6 months I was planning to have my own customer service division internally. However, I was so impress with this company that I have stayed with them since, and have now had them dealing with my customer services for just over a year now. Top class service.
I can gather your worried that this company will steel your idea. If they are as big as you say they are, will they have enough time, resources to conduct this idea. Does your idea rely on this opportunity with this big company?
If you really think about it, what can you provide thats unique to your target market. If that is sufficient enough, then start from there, and whatever else you will need look at other people you know are trustworthy and see if they fit your criteria. If that doesn't work as people above have said linkedin can be a good resource, but not your only option. Maybe start yourself, and after networking a little bit in your area, you will find that unique person that stands out, who could invest in your company and be even better than your original partner.