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The Power of Trademarks in Branding

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]

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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.

Exuding Professionalism

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.

Generating Value

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.

23-slide PowerPoint presentation
Crafting the Brand Positioning (Marketing Strategy) Lecture Outline 1. Brand Building 2. The STP Process 2. Marketing Segmentation 3. Marketing Targeting 4. Marketing Positioning 5. Choosing a Positioning Strategy 6. Associations PODs & POPs 7. Consumer Desirability Criteria for [read more]

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About Shane Avron

Shane 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.

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