Using Trademarks to brand your business strategically

In recent years, we've witnessed an upsurge in brands with a mission, and trademarks that communicate why a buyer would want to buy anything other than quality, usefulness, or price. As your business grows, it's more important than ever to build a distinct and unique brand that people will recognise as a mark of quality.

However, rivals may infringe on this form of the brand in order to profit from the good connotations it creates with customers. 

A successful trademark strategy should thus include not just developing a brand that connects with customers and is simple to promote and distribute, but also ensuring that the trademark is protected from infringement.

In this article, we'll explain trademarks, explore how to safeguard them, and, most importantly, highlight some of the most significant branding techniques you can implement.

What are trademarks?
They're one of the four primary categories of intellectual property rights, and they're the most important for brands. 

They have legislation that protects brand names and identifiers like slogans, logos, typefaces, music, forms, or colours that identify a company as the source or origin of products and services. 

The most essential and potentially lucrative IP asset that most businesses will possess is their name. 

Because everything a business does includes building name recognition so customers will select it over rivals, it's critical to ensure ownership of the name you're using or want to use in your business by registering it as a trademark. 

Protecting your trademark
Making sure that your company is the only one that benefits from the goodwill you've built is an important part of building a successful trademark strategy. 

To prevent people from infringing on your trademark, you should notify them of your rights in most, if not all, cases of trademark usage. 

If your trademark is registered in that jurisdiction, you can use a circled "R," i.e. ®, as an example. If it isn't yet registered, you can use the trademark symbol "TM," which is normally written in superscript, i.e. TM, to show that you're utilising the word, words, design, or phrase as a trademark.

How to use trademarks strategically
By increasing customer familiarity and goodwill, the correct trademark strategy may elevate your brand from excellent to exceptional. To affect the customer image of your business and brands, careful study and implementation of your trademark strategy are required. 

The following are important factors to consider while developing your trademark strategy:

  • Make your most valuable trademarks a top priority
You might be tempted to seek trademark protection for every term, logo, and slogan in your marketing portfolio, given the value that trademarks can provide to a company. 

It's worth noting that trademarks can be registered before, during, or after the introduction of a product. As a result, trademark protection can be obtained after a mark has been shown to be economically effective.

Obtaining and enforcing trademarks, on the other hand, may be costly. As a result, it is uncommon for businesses (particularly those in the early stages) to apply to register each and every trademark in their portfolio.

  • Keep in mind your long-term company objectives 
Your trademark strategy should take into account the fact that your brand will grow and evolve over time. 

When submitting a trademark application, keep in mind not only the items or services that your company presently provides but also those that you may reasonably expect to supply in the future. 

Remember that a trademark application must include a list of the specific goods or services for which protection is sought.

  • Determine the most important markets 
Trademark rights are limited to a single nation. An application for the registration of a trademark in one jurisdiction does not confer you rights in another. 

To assure trademark availability, you should seek protection not just in countries where you already sell products or services, but also in countries where you want to expand in the future. 

Otherwise, your trademark may become unavailable in crucial areas, requiring your business to begin under a new brand name and resulting in the loss of any significant pre-existing goodwill.

  • Search and secure other essential assets
A successful trademark strategy should assess whether comparable important assets, such as domain names and social media handles, are available in addition to trademark availability searches. 

Not only would securing corresponding domain names and social media handles to enhance your brand protection approach, but it will also prevent possible infringers and squatters from obtaining them first.

A well-thought-out trademark strategy provides value to your brand and protects it from being misappropriated by others. Considering these factors when you develop your trademark strategy can help you create a compelling brand that matches your present and future business objectives. 

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