As a business owner, nothing is as important as protecting your identity. In a world where competition can be fierce, you can’t afford to let your guard down. Businesses spend a lot of time and money on developing their brand that they’re willing to fight tooth and nail when they see their branding being used without their consent.
Like any business asset, your brand is something that needs protecting, too. Here are the reasons why it’s important for you to protect your brand:
Increases Your Value
A brand that’s treated with importance will reflect in its value. If you fail to protect your brand, it loses its value, and any entrepreneur knows that a brand with a low value is perceived to be cheap and unreliable. For example, when another business uses your brand identity such as your logo on a subpar product, customers will eventually associate that product to you. If you didn’t secure your brand such as trademarking your logo, you could potentially lose your business because you don’t have any legal standing over that logo.
Here’s how you can protect your brand and its value:
- Trademarking – One of the best ways to protect your intellectual property assets is by trademarking them. You can trademark your logo, slogan, designs, and even words associated with your brand as this will give you legal backing. It will also enable you to use the trademark symbol “®” in your assets.
- File a patent for your products – If you’re in the US, you can file for a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The application will take a few months and will be examined by a lawyer for compliance. Before submitting your documents, be sure to check the USPTO database if you have similarities with other applicants. Different countries have different copyright laws; register where your company is located. If you’re operating internationally, prioritize which territory you want to register in.
- Include an intellectual property clause on your website agreement – This clause is essential if your business operates mainly on the web or if you have a mobile application. A provision on your Terms and Condition Agreement (T&C) protects your brand from users who are looking to copy your brand or use your content elsewhere. Always remember to add a copyright notice and use the copyright symbol too.
Increases Brand Awareness
With millions of companies vying for consumers’ attention, your brand needs to stand out. Advertisements are everywhere from search engines and social media and even while playing games. Consumers are bombarded with promotions on a daily basis, which is why it’s crucial for your business to stand out. However, when you don’t take care of your brand, how can you expect other people to care about it?
Here is how you increase awareness while still protecting your brand:
- When partnering with influencers or other businesses, make sure they have a stellar reputation. Someone with a bad reputation will tarnish your brand, and it may be difficult for you to recover.
- Be vigilant on where your branding materials are being used by using intellectual property management software.
- If you can afford it, hire intellectual property lawyers who can effectively draft contracts and policies for you.
- Know when to walk away when an existing partner no longer shares the same brand principles as yours as this can lower awareness in the long run.
- Be sure to put your branding in every piece of content or product you produce.
Sets You Apart
More than having increased brand recognition, protecting your brand can help set you apart from competitors. Moreover, it will help consumers attach a specific feeling or experience with your brand. In essence, your brand is the personality of your business.
Take, for example, luxury brands. These brands intentionally make their slogans and promotional materials seem exclusive because that’s how they want people to see them. They are always careful with how they present their brand and they offer a distinct experience. The mere possession of these luxury brands can let people know the product owner’s social status. This is the reason why the knockoff business is a billion-dollar industry.
If you protect your brand, people will intentionally associate a certain level of distinction with your business. Although, in some cases, the association can be unintentional, such as the case of online customer reviews on blogs and other websites. However, if you’re always on top of your branding and you treat your brand as a valuable asset, you can remedy any negative association with it.
Your brand is your image to your customers, and establishing a recognizable brand is a road that’s long and full of challenges. The best way to ensure your business succeeds is by protecting your brand from infringement and thieves looking to capitalize on your reputation. Legal battles should always be your last option as these things can drag on for years. Being proactive in protecting your brand and understanding its importance to your business is the best way to secure your success.