If you're reading this, the odds are you've at least heard of the term "Trademark." If you haven't, let me introduce you to this precious piece of Intellectual Property. Trademarks are an essential part of protecting businesses and even personal brands (as long as that brand is in commerce). What is a trademark? In its simplest form, Trademarks act as source identifiers. It lets clients and customers know where they are getting their products and services. A trademark can be anything that identifies the source of the product. Think words, sounds, smells, how certain things look, and even the way certain things feel on rare occasions. Businesses have registered for trademarks on things like their Business name, logos, colors, scents, product designs, and even have trademark protection for the way the inside of their businesses look. But why do companies do this? Let's take a look at a few reasons why.
1.Trademarks Protect Your Reputation
When consumers buy items and engage in services, they expect a certain kind of quality. As business owners, it is part of your job to maintain consistent quality throughout your business. However, what happens if people are being confused by your business and somebody else's? Let's say that the other company doesn't have the same type of quality, or worse, sells a terrible product. Because people are confused by your similar names, they don't know whether that lousy product is coming from you or the other business. Guess what that will stop consumers from buying your products. How does Trademark law come into play? Well, if you have trademark protection, not only will you be able to get that other business to stop selling products under that similar name, but in some instances, you may even be able to recover all the profits they gained from unjustly benefiting from your good reputation. A trademark allows you to establish and protect your business's reputation. You work too hard to let other people rip off your excellent reputation.
2. Trademarks Help Create Nostalgia
The biggest brands in the world don't just sell you products; they also sell you experiences. I'll give you two different examples of this. Have you ever entered a Starbucks? If you have, you'll notice certain characteristics. The lighting is usually dim; there's a ton of wooden furniture, and the baristas are wearing something green, whether their aprons or shirts. If you've been to one Starbucks, you've pretty much been to them all. Starbucks does this on purpose, and it is something they fiercely protect. This is called "Trade Dress" which is protected by Trademark Law. They know customers return for the coffee and for this environment that is supposed to be minimalistic and calming.
Another example of this comes from T-Mobile. If you've ever bought a product from T-Mobile, you will notice that their packaging, their stores, and even the initial displays on their phones include the color Magenta, a color that they have trademarked for their services. By doing this and making sure their competitors can't use the color, they know that when people see the color magenta, their likely going to think of T-Mobile. Even if they don't, at the very least, they won't be thinking of other phone companies. Their trademark protection creates an association between a color and their business, which is extremely powerful and undoubtedly helps the bottom line.
3. Trademarks are Business Assets
Most importantly, the more trademarks your business has, the more valuable your business becomes. Trademarks themselves are bought and sold daily. Countries such as China and some European countries have paid their citizens to obtain American trademarks. The reason for this is that they are highly valuable business assets. Mega companies like Amazon, Target, and Walmart have over 1000 trademarks as part of their business portfolios. It's no coincidence that the more trademarks a company has, the more valuable they typically are. The reason they are so valuable is simple. They control what the consumers see, and if the brand has a good reputation, that mark becomes that much more useful when analyzing future profits.
Trademark protection puts you in control of how consumers interact with your business. Are you ready to take control of your brand? If you are, contact My Brand Esquire at Mybrandesq.com or call us at (855)-781-7705. We offer a free consultation to discuss whether trademark protection is right for you and your business. Take control today.