Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Strategic Branding (25-slide PowerPoint presentation). What is your brand important? Brands is a major driver of consumer behavior. A strong brand leads to higher market share and higher profit margins. It serves as a significant competitive advantage. In this presentation, we understand what "brand" is dig deeper into why it's important. [read more]
The Power of Trademarks in Branding
* * * *
Establishing a memorable and appealing brand for your business is crucial, and one aspect of this involves the effective use of trademarks to benefit your fledgling entrepreneurial efforts.
Unless you are a seasoned brand-builder, you might not know what role trademarks play in giving businesses the momentum they need to succeed, so here is a quick overview of what they are and how they can empower organizations of all sizes.
Standing Out from the Crowd
The primary purpose of trademarks is to ensure that the elements which identify a brand as distinct from its competitors are protected from unapproved copying or other forms of exploitation by third parties.
You can trademark a word, name or symbol which is unequivocally unique, such as your company logo and any slogan you create to promote your brand and products.
Without a trademark, others could use the branding you have worked so hard to create for their own benefit, piggybacking on the reputation you have built without having to do any of the hard work themselves, so registering early is not just about standing out but also about staving off unscrupulous competitors.
Getting Straightforward Protection
The good news is that you can register your trademarks to secure your branding from manipulation with relative ease.
The first step is to search the official database to see whether your intended trademark has already been taken. You might be surprised by what is registered, and this can help you avoid potential conflicts with established brands.
You can then apply online, although there is a lot of paperwork involved and hoops to jump through, so it may be worth outsourcing this to experts like Nominus trademark registration, especially if you have never gone through this process before. If your application is accepted, you’ll go through a 30 day period of trademark opposition. That means that other interested parties can oppose your trademark and if they have legal ground could stop you from getting it.
Enticing Prospective Talent
Trademarks are not just useful for appealing to customers and setting yourself apart from your rivals in a competitive marketplace. They can also be invaluable if you are hoping to elevate your brand recognition so that you can bag the best employees for roles in your organization as it grows.
This comes down to the idea that a business’ brand reputation is tied inextricably to its trademarks, and if people know and trust your company name and logo, then it will hook them if they see it in a job listing.
Another powerful function of a trademark is to demonstrate to everyone that you are serious about presenting your brand in a professional way, and also that you have the confidence in your products and services which you are willing to fight to protect.
Without trademarks, it might seem that you are either unsure about the future viability of your brand, or are simply an inexperienced operation and thus a weak target for others to prey upon.
Trademarks are innately valuable, and can further enhance the value that an entire brand is able to demonstrate and command on the open market.
This might not be relevant right now, but if at some point in the future you decide to either license your brand for use by others or even sell your business to a larger company, then trademarks will be a seriously saleable asset.
Looking to the Long Term
Ultimately, trademarks signify that your brand is not just a flash in the pan or a fragile project without a future, but rather one which has solid foundations and ambitions to gain traction going forward.
It is easy to see why trademarks are so widely used, and hopefully why you might consider adopting them for your own firm right now.
Do You Want to Implement Business Best Practices?
You can download in-depth presentations on Brand Strategy and 100s of management topics from the FlevyPro Library. FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.
For even more best practices available on Flevy, have a look at our top 100 lists:
- Top 100 in Strategy & Transformation
- Top 100 in Digital Transformation
- Top 100 in Operational Excellence
- Top 100 in Organization & Change
- Top 100 Management Consulting Frameworks
These best practices are of the same as those leveraged by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, and Accenture. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by utilizing these best practice frameworks, templates, and tools. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with over 20+ years of experience.
Readers of This Article Are Interested in These Resources
59-slide PowerPoint presentation
About Shane AvronShane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.
Top 10 Recommended Documents on Brand Strategy