Before you spend all that effort building your brand you should register your company trademark and products so no one else can interfere with your brand. Having a strong trademark can be incredibly influencing in making your company successful. Thus, it is very crucial that your company has a good understanding about both branding and trademarking and how they can impact your business.
Here is a simple checklist on your branding and trademark strategy:
What kind of products or services are you going to use with the brand ?
1. Consider what kinds of products or services you want to offer with your trademark over the next two or three years. It will take some time to complete the trademark registration process. You only have to sell your product or services in the description area of your products or services that you claimed in your application.
2. Where do you want to sell your products/ services?
You have to know what majority of countries have first-to-file trademark priority system, because the trademark rights come up from registration, not by using it. So you must register early before overtaken by others. If you have spare budget consider to propose jurisdictions where you plan to do business
3. Is the trademark that you proposed described a feature or function of your product or services? Or is it an industry term?
If the answer is yes. You must be very creative to in choosing them, make something unique and distinctive for brands or think about making a new term.
4. From trademark you proposed is there any same or something similar from anyone else? Make sure other brands do not have the same trademark that you are using for related product or services. You can ask some help from lawyer or trademark consultant to clear your brands and prepare for plan B. You can also do research from website or use Trademark Office online search tools and see if there are any same or something similar regarding your brand trademark.
5. Have you check the availability of domains or social media for your brand? Register your brand name as a domain name and begin to build your social media page. This can help you to stake your claim in the brand.
6. How to use your trademark symbol?
You can use your trademark symbol anywhere you want whether it is ™ or ® symbols but for ® symbols you can used it once you’ve registered the mark. Normally symbols will be placed at the upper right-hand corner, the lower right-hand corner, or level with the marks themselves.
Trademarks are similar to real estate in that they are a tradable company asset. They can be bought, sold, or licensed. If the brand value is strong enough and it is legally protected, it can even be used as collateral to secure a loan for your businesses.
This article will try to make your life easier by giving you a list of 6 reasons why you should pay attention to trademark protection:
- Trademarks can help communicate better with your customers: You don’t always need words to convey your message to the customers, trademarks can be not just words but also designs so that it can be recognized by anyone regardless of what language they speak. Think of the iconic design of the Coca-Cola bottle or the Intel tune. With this one protected design, you can express your attributes and convey messages about your company’s goals, ambitions, and services to the customer. Remember to put the ® by your brand so people know it is registered!
- Effective use of social media: Whenever a potential customer stumbles upon your company or search for you, the first thing they will come across is your trademark. The trademark will present an image of your company, thus you need to be able to make a fast but lasting impression. The better that impression is, the higher traffic you will be able to generate. Higher traffic on social media or any other website can lead to more customers, better rankings and more recognition for your brand.
- Trademarks can help you stand out in the crowd: The market is swamped with hundreds of other companies trying to promote themselves. You are likely to come across businesses that offer similar services to yours. You need a strong brand in order to stand out from the crowd and this brand needs to be trademarked with the government so no one else can piggyback on your reputation. Customers can recognize a company easily through brands and check their offers and service. They can also make comparisons with other companies and choose the options that suit them the most. This is why it is important that trademarks are distinctive and protected.
- Trademarks can turn into valuable assets: Depending on how your business grows, your trademarks can turn into valuable assets over time. While you start with one core business, you might want to expand into other lines of business over time. For example, if you want to move from being a cement-producing company to be a construction company, having a strong brand can help. Or if someone is interested in buying your business they might pay you good money for your brand but ONLY if you have protected your brand with a trademark registration in the right markets and trademark classes.
- Trademarks don’t cost much: Many business owners overestimate what it costs to register their trademark with the government. The truth is that it is quite affordable, especially compared to future costs of possible legal disputes or perhaps being forced to re-brand because someone else has registered your brand in their name.
- Trademarks have a long life: You will be spending a lot of money and time developing your business reputation and brand. A trademark registration is valid for ten years in most countries and can be extended over and over again. Think of it as a direct cost of brand building.
- Ensure long term stability of your business: Trademarks are a crucial part of making sure that you don’t face any unwanted hurdle in your path to success. Having a trademark ensures that you haven’t infringed someone else’s name for your own company. Infringing someone else’s name/logo can end up costing you a lot of money too apart from the court hassle. Also it gives you the right to hold on to your identity. This means that if any other company tries to use your goodwill to expand their business, you can now sue them in court. Overall, you guarantee a stability in your business which is needed for long term success.
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