The goal for every business is to build a strong identity. However, achieving this requires more than just selling the best products. Brand name is vital as it will determine your clients’ perception.
The most effective way to protect your business is by building a strong brand name through a trademark. After all, all successful organizations that have solid and well-recognized brand names have a trademark to distinguish them from their competition. After successful issue of a trademark, you should obtain a trademark statement of use, an official form the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) uses to confirm you are indeed using a trademark.
But before getting to this point, first check out a trademark statement of use example. Also consider the seven tips below for trademarking your brand name.
1. Assess Your Competition
Before coming up with your brand name and other elements, you must first make sure that the market isn’t flooded with similar designs and that your brand name and design won’t infringe on the rights of others. Also remember that a unique brand name in the market is easier to trademark.
It would be best if you kept in mind your current competitive landscape within the target market. Depending on your goal, the competitor can be global, national, or local. Ensure that no competitor uses a design or a name similar to yours. You should note that just because you haven’t seen a brand using a similar trademark locally doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
This might not be an issue when starting your business; however, as you grow and expand, you’re likely to encounter some issues. At this point, you wouldn’t want to be forced to rebrand your company. Therefore, you should consider investigating before making a final decision.
2. Choose A Strong And Unique Name
One of the first things you also need to do when trademarking your brand name is to choose the most suitable for your business. When creating a brand name, you should consider your logo, emblems, and slogans, as these are key elements of your business, before filing your own trademark.
When choosing a brand name, you should consider one that best describes the services you offer or the products you sell. Using a name with a clever relation will also help create a great brand name. Avoid using names that don’t relate to your products or services.
Additionally, consider working with a trademark you can protect easily. This is a vital point to note, as not all trademarked names or words can be protected. Here are the different levels of protection for trademarks:
- Descriptive. This is a trademark that describes the services or goods offered by a business as opposed to stating what they do. A descriptive trademark is protected once it acquires secondary meaning or recognition in the market.
- Generic. Unlike descriptive, generic is not subject to any trademark protection.
- Fanciful. This is a trademark name that consists of made-up words, and it offers the highest scope of trademark protection.
- Suggestive. This is slightly better than descriptive; however, it identifies services or goods sold in its name. This form of a trademark name is offered protection.
Apart from fanciful, all trademark categories will depend on the services or goods you sell. Furthermore, the more similar a trademark is to a different trademark, the less its identifying strength. Therefore, always choose a trademark that is unique to your business.
3. Work With An Attorney
Working with an experienced and registered trademark attorney is vital. It might seem like an easy and straightforward process at first, but it is more complex when it comes to applying various rules that can trip up individuals who need help understanding the whole process. Furthermore, once you submit your application, certain mistakes cannot be corrected, and if it happens, filing fees cannot be refunded.
It is this reason that makes it vital to work with an experienced trademark attorney. Such an attorney will easily take you through the whole process, ensuring you’ve understood everything. Additionally, they’ll help you understand the goals and direction of your business for future use and develop a strategy that’ll help you become more successful and get the broadest trademark protection possible.
4. Constantly Use Your Trademark
In most countries, such as the United States, your right to a trademark starts when you begin selling services or goods using it, and it continues as long as you use your trademark. This means that you should use your trademark more often not only to help enhance its recognition but also to enjoy the right of protection.
The same applies to designs or logos. However, you should note that any substantial modification to your trademark can lead to a loss of rights. Using your trademark consistently is vital, and putting effort and time into building the name will pay out in the future.
5. Register Your Marks
You should consider getting federal registration if you’ve any valuable marks in your trademark. This is vital since most individuals assume that registering their brand name with their state is sufficient to offer trademark protection. However, this is not the case, as registering your trade name only allows you to run your business.
Since a trademark has a significant value in growing and establishing a business entity, you should consider registering your trademark with federal registration irrespective of your business size. This is vital if you’re considering growing your business beyond your state.
6. Monitor Sales and Marketing Channels
Creating a strong, unique trademark, registering it, and using it more often is just the start. You won’t be doing much good by just having top-notch protection for your trademark—you’ll need to take a step further and enforce it whenever necessary. Once your trademark is registered and running, you should monitor and enforce your rights.
You can go about that through various methods such as creating Google alerts, conducting a regular search online, going through e-commerce sites, hiring a third party, or investing in sophisticated monitoring software. This is vital to help curb the use of unauthorized trademarks, bring down copycats, and stop counterfeits.
7. Utilize Social Media
Irrespective of the nature of your business, creating a social media handle is vital for establishing your trademark. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are some of the best social media platforms to help your business grow while establishing a great trademark.
As you take advantage of these social media platforms, ensure you use your brand name correctly. Since domain names are affordable and registering for social media is free, there’s no reason not to have both, as they are vital in marketing and branding a business in modern times.
Obtaining a trademark is vital; however, it can be tricky if the right process is not followed. If your goal is to create and establish a great brand name, consider adhering to the tips discussed in this article. Implementing and following these key principles will make establishing a well-known business easier.