“Do I Need a Trademark*?” 10 Things You Need to Know
Without further preamble: here are 10 reasons if you’re in business, you need (or will need) a trademark.
“Do I Need A Trademark”? 10 Things You Need to Know
1. Brand POWER
Trademarks protect brands. Whether: logo, brand name or slogan; registering marks stop others pretending to be you. It also creates an identity for your customers which is recognisable.
2. The “promise”
Brand identity functions as a promise. It promises to customers that they can expect goods or services of a certain standard. This “standard” is something you and your business have established over the years.
3. A name that sells itself
Consider about two identical computers with identical prices. One has Apple’s branding, and the other that’s blank. Which would you buy? As Apple’s trademarks promise a certain level of quality – you would choose it over the other one. (You might even choose Apple over a superior, unbranded computer!)
4. Protecting your distinctiveness
It’s important to stop other people pretending to be you. Counterfeiting or infringement usually takes place through people copying logos and brand names. I could set up a shop and call it “Ralph Lauren” and sold polo shirts. But, it would be unfair to make money of a reputation that isn’t mine.
5. Avoid damage from 3rd parties and competitors
If I am not as good at making shirts as Ralph Lauren (likely) – I’m also damaging their reputation by using their name. If someone used your brand and delivered bad goods you’d incur real damage to your business.
6. Some products rely massively on their brands
Can you imagine what it would be like for Coca-Cola to not use any of its trademarks? We did! Without its distinct: bottle, logo, name, and can design; Coca-Cola would have a much harder time! Another good example is bottled water. If it wasn’t for their (trademarked!) bottles and logos would you be able to tell the difference? A lot of the time, customers buy for the brand before the product itself.
7. More than your main product
Typically, you register your trademark in the classification your business is known for. So, “Ferrari” is registered in Class 12: for “Vehicles and Vehicle Components”. But you might also want to sell clothes with Ferrari on them, aftershave, shoes, and much more! By registering other classes, you can expand your brand to much more than your core offer.
8. Go worldwide!
With the benefits of world-wide acclaim comes exposure to more damaging activities. It’s a good problem to have! By registering trademarks around the world you protect yourself from losing out abroad.
9. Licensing and franchising
Did you know that your local McDonalds is not owned by McDonalds? Once a brand is established, you can license or franchise those trademarks to others. Each McDonalds’ restaurant is a franchise that pays to use McDonalds’ brand and setup.
Equally, your favourite football club doesn’t make all the clothes and toys it sells in its online shop. It licenses its logos and colours to makers for a fee! For brands, licensing and franchising can generate big money without the heavy lifting. This is impossible without registering a trademark.
10. It’s you!
“Do I Need a Trademark” – Conclusion (and a warning!)
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