There’s a lot to consider when starting up your own business – from choosing a unique name and logo to registering a domain name and perfecting your elevator pitch, there are plenty of boxes to tick before you launch your new brand.
With the internet creating a space for endless new brands to enter the scene every day, it’s more important than ever to protect your precious new business’ assets and identity through a trademark.
But aren’t trademarks only for the big businesses? Not exactly. We know how much effort goes into crafting a unique brand and business identity, and we don’t want it to fall into the hands of a competitor.
A trademark is a way of identifying and protecting your unique business, product or service. It is a way to show your audience who you are.
It can be more than just your business name. It might be your corporate logo, a jingle you use in a radio ad, your business name plastered on the top of your building or any signage or packaging you may use.
A trademark can also be a:
- Word or phrase
- Aspect of packaging
- Or even a combination of the above.
So what can a trademark do for your business?
The way we see it, there are three key benefits: differentiation, protection and enhanced brand recognition.
Create secure differentiation
As your business reputation begins to grow and increase in value over time, so does your trademark. For many business owners, a trademark is a highly valuable marketing tool. Registering a trademark can help to protect parts of your business’ brand, like your name and logo. Holding up a trademark to your business name not only gives your business the legal protection it needs, but trademarks are unique to your brand identity and help differentiate between other brands and yours. In a competitive market, the benefit of standing out from the crowd is highly beneficial – so why wouldn’t you want to stand out from the crowd?
Here’s a good example. We have Target here in Australia, and you may have noticed from TV that Target also exists in the United States. You’d think that it’s all the same global business, but you’d be wrong! They’re completely separate entities, but they look the same. U.S. Target was established in Minnesota in 1902. Target Australia was established in Geelong in 1926. At the time, global trademarking was not often considered because international trade was far less common. Since the U.S. Target didn’t trademark its name or logo in Australia, Target Australia simply leveraged it. The same goes for Kmart! Hence, the importance of trademarking – to this day, shoppers end up on the wrong website or in-store asking for products Target Australia doesn’t sell.
The lesson being – trademark to avoid confusion, or worse, identity theft!
A protective blanket
That leads to the second benefit. By registering your trademark, you secure the right to exclusively use the logo or phrase and remove the possibility that your competitors will try to benefit by copying your business. Registration also protects your right to sue another company that uses your trademark to pass off as your business. Particularly with the significant advances in technological threats, it is more important than ever to ensure that your brand and business identity is protected.
So, registering for a trademark should be a top priority, particularly if you’re establishing your business in a saturated market. It is a means of enhancing your brand recognition, differentiating your business and protecting it from any legal matters.
Enhance brand recognition
Finally, by trademarking your business, your services and products become your own intellectual property. Using a trademark can act as an effective, protected and unique ‘shortcut’ communication tool to boost your brand identity. Whatever your trademark may be – from your company packaging to your unique logo – it communicates the intellectual and emotional attributes of your brand. By trademarking an easily recognisable part of your brand, like a logo, you can improve your brand awareness without actually having to spend time on detailed advertising campaigns. Think of some famous logos around Australia – the Woolworths logo and the Qantas kangaroo are some good examples. Simply seeing the green apple tells you ‘Woolworths’. Seeing the white kangaroo in a red triangle tells you ‘Qantas’. All they had to do was put their trademarked logo on a sign, guernsey or product packaging!
If you’d like to discuss trademarking, reach out to Roobix. We’re always happy to chat with new clients or existing Managed Marketing Service (MMS) clients about their needs!