GREAT IDEAS PROTECTED™ – Picking the Next Great Brand!

A memorable brand will be essential to the success of any new company, product line or service.  A truly great idea must have its own brand — one that people associate instantly with your top line products, services or approach.   The best products emerge from thousands of failures — the best brands have to land on the first try.  

At BRADFORD, we are constantly called upon to brand our client’s products — a service we truly love to provide.  Here are a few tips on how to pick a brand that will stick — and one that will help drive your company, product or service to the front of the consumer’s mind.

Strong branding drives more value for a company than any other form of intellectual property for the majority of companies.  You should have a strong house brand and you should consider branding every product or service line.  You should place ™ next to every word you view as part of your branding and you should federally register every word that you include in your branding. When it comes time to sell your company, the strength of your trademark portfolio will be just as important, if not more so, as the strength of your patent portfolio.  Frankly, it is the strength of your trademark portfolio that will bring investors to your doorstep.  For your sake — pick a good brand and have fun with it. 

A word of warning — branding is not something you do over a cup of coffee.  You really need to investigate why consumers should want to buy your product, hire your company or, better yet, recommend your products and services to the world.  This takes time and honesty. Enjoy — picking a name is the first step to a broader success.

Find Something Memorable. Simply put, a brand name must be easy to remember.  This may seem counter-intuitive, but do NOT use descriptive or generic terms.  Your principal branding should have no relation to your product or service.  You want the consuming public to associate all of the great aspects of your product with that word.  Think “Uber” or “Google” — these words have meaning today because of the product or service behind them. 

Tip — a top brand should be one or two syllables.  Short and punchy branding is what sticks in the brains of your target audience.   

Find What Makes You Unique. To achieve this, you have to truly understand why people will be compelled to purchase your products, or hire your company.  What sets you apart?  What is the essential feature of the product?  Why is it better than the rest?  Don’t sit in your echo chamber.  Invite others to comment on these questions, and those they raise, as this will provide a more pure insight into how the consumer will view your product, or service. Record all of the attributes (good and bad) and pick those that you truly want people to conjure up when they use your product or service.  Narrow it to a single word that you.  

Tip — use an online thesaurus to find synonyms to your favor attributes. Often, you will see that killer branding idea staring back at you from the screen. You can also use online language translator.  Often, other languages will have a single word to reflect an attribute that you particularly love.  

Also — this process may reveal holes in your product or service.  Use this process to improve them, not just to pick the brand that you will put on them. 

…And Make Sure It is Unique. You don’t want to choose a name that is already trademarked. Even if it is not well-known, some names have been trademarked for decades and you can be in legal trouble for taking them. Verify with an experienced attorney at BRADFORD, LTD whether your name is in the clear and work on getting it trademarked itself.

Don’t Feel It Has to Be Too Specific. Beware a name that might box you in too much in the future. If you make car phone stands, the problem with calling your business “The Car Phone Stand Shop” is that you will have big issues trying to branch out in the future. The magic is in being generic enough to contain multitudes but specific enough so that consumers get what you’re all about from your name.

Test It Out. Try saying your name, mentioning it to other people, and putting it in writing. Try drawing it on posters or scribbling out potential logos. See if it sticks and ask for other people’s opinions. You might be surprised what works for other people and what ends up just totally passing them by.

Ask For Help! You don’t have to go in alone! For help forming your new brand and legally protecting it, contact BRADFORD today. It is our job to know if something is catchy and available to trademark. If you made it, we protect it!

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Aftermarket Law

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