Most business owners know it is important to register a trademark to uniquely identify their products and services in a crowded marketplace. A protected trademark sets you apart from the competition, helps drive traffic and sales, keeps customers loyal to a brand, and can influence consumer purchasing decisions. But wait – there’s more! (sound familiar?) Those are not the only reasons to trademark. Read on for 10 more reasons.
1. Trademarks are Valuable
Create a trademark and you create immediate value. You already know that physical assets owned by your business such as property, have value, but registered trademarks are quite valuable as well. The process of using a trademark in advertising, on your packaging and product, and in your interactions with customers creates a positive association with your product – good will. The good will your trademark generates will appreciate in value with time; the better your business, the better your efforts at “branding,” the better your reputation, the more valuable your trademark becomes and so on in a self-reinforcing cycle.
2. Trademarks are Forever (as Long as You Use Them)
Second, when you trademark, you create something to withstand the test of time. As such, the time you spend creating a trademark is worthwhile because it is something that is legally permanent. Something to pass down through the generations if you are a small family-run business for example. Like “Mercedes” – which has been a registered trademark for over 100 years.
3. Trademarks can Make You Money
To make money you need to create value, and to make more money that value needs to persist over time. Registering a trademark is the most obvious method of creating a valuable asset that can persist over time. And franchising and trademark licensing agreements are the most obvious methods of monetizing your trademark(s). Then when it comes to sell your asset you will likely find that the sales price of your business is significantly enhanced when a famous trademark or logo is part of the deal. There are even times when the acquiring business will view your trademark as more significant than any physical asset.
4. Trademarks Help Your Business Grow
When you have a legal trademark, you are prepared for the growth and expansion of your business. A federal trademark in one market is easily migrated into an adjacent, upstream or downstream market. “Market,” of course, here means both physical markets — Illinois to Wisconsin — and also service markets — tax preparation to auditing services to legal forms. Entering a new market with an established brand gives you a significant competitive advantage. In this sense, trademarking helps you grow beyond your core market AND beyond your core product and your core service.
5. Trademarks Communicate
With a legal trademark, a business communicates its brand to the marketplace. A successful business though, makes an effort to communicate a brand message and engage in new markets. Because current customers may be loyal now, but someday they won’t need what you are selling.
Therefore, every brand needs a strategy to continuously attract new customers while also being careful that their efforts do not alienate their core supporters. A well-crafted and honed trademark does this, as long as you stay loyal to it. Take the automobile brand Oldsmobile for example, which tried to rebrand as “younger” at the end of the 20th Century. In an effort to improve sales a new ad-line was introduced: “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile” along with a new “international” redesigned logo. However, in their attempt to break from the past, the new logo that Oldsmobile worked so hard on to modernize was left off their cars. The brand identity they were trying to communicate was missing and after a century in existence Oldsmobile was over as a brand.
6. Trademarks Translate
When you register a trademark, you create a symbol that translates to other nations and languages. In this increasingly small world connected by e-commerce, your trademark communicates an emotional message without speaking a language. A good example is the Nike “Swoosh”. A logo you can probably easily picture in your mind. The Nike ‘Swoosh” logo is familiar on every continent and in every language. Additionally, this applies to “textual” trademarks like “Coca-Cola” as well. The way the letters are written, connected, and even their color becomes a “symbol”. And this symbol does not depend on the native language to communicate what the product is and the commercial source.
7. Trademarks are Fast
Of the five senses, the human brain gives the most attention to visual perception. Your trademark is visual communication and it is the fastest way to impart emotions and information to a consumer. And in the smartphone age, images at arms length must quickly deliver a message. This is why you need a trademark – to get straight to the brain’s image processing center. Like how a restaurant’s logo can convey a complex message in four symbols – your trademarked logo, an arrow, the word HERE and a street map. Indeed, you could probably skip the word HERE. Your customers will see and understand the message instantly. Trademarks are speed; speed is distance over time; time is money.
8. Trademarks are Scalable
Scalability is the capacity for a logo to change size without changing appearance and is more important that it sounds. Like your favorite sports team – their logo must be easily recognized from hundreds of feet away on a scoreboard, in person on a jersey, or as an icon on a smartphone. Each scale has purpose and use; massive is imposing, the next engaging and the latter is accessible and informative. Communicating via words and text does not scale in this manner since words/text are only readable within a certain range of size limited by our ability to see small detail and our ability to take in a large format. Logos convey instant meaning whatever the size or scale. It takes much work and a creative artist to design a logo that is scalable, be sure that to protect that investment with a registered trademark.
9. Trademarks Create Community
One of the more underrated reasons for trademarking is to create an identity to belong to for a community of both customers and employees. When your brand creates positive feelings and inspires good will today, your brand can pay forward that good will from existing customers and employees to future members of the group. A logo consolidates that identity. And the longer your logo maintains this good will in the community then the more likely it will continue according the Lindy Effect (in that the longer a logo has been around the more likely it is to stay around).
You want to create a brand community for the long term, don’t you?
You must have an outstanding product or service and pay and treat your employees well. Do this plus have a community that is willing to purchase items with your logo on them? Then brand prestige, symbolized by a trademarked brand ID, is strong enough that talented workers will actually seek employment in the community they most identify with. All else equal, would you prefer to work at Geek Squad or an Apple Store? Do you want to work at “a store,” or do you want to work at “Apple”?
10. Trademarks are Easy to Register
The act of filing a federal trademark is easy and relatively inexpensive with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. America’s economy thrives partly due to there being no significant barriers to obtaining a legally protected and enforced trademark. However, it is wise to seek the assistance of experienced trademark attorneys to perform background research to ensure your trademark is legally unique and can be registered. Also, when you need legal representation for the challenging task of enforcement, you’ll be glad to have familiar trademark attorneys on your team.
Trademark Lawyers: Contact Revision Legal
For more information on trademarks, contact the lawyers at Revision Legal. Revision Legal has expertise with evaluations, audits, applications, renewals, monitoring, enforcement, warning letters, and all other aspects of protecting your trademarks and your other valuable Intellectual Property. We can be reached by email or by calling us at 855-473-8474.
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