If you don’t protect your brand, no one else will. When Oscar Wilde quipped that a cynic was ‘a man (sic) who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing’ he probably wasn’t thinking about branding.
Yet knowing the value of your brand is vital in delivering long-term commercial success. Increasingly in all walks of life, customers are looking to associate with brands that have real meaning for them beyond the core business purpose.
Some businesses absolutely get it, others don’t.
If you don’t love your brand, really love it and nurture and protect it – why should your customers?
It might seem a little over the top to ask a business if they love their brand or not. But it is true that some organisations understand the critical importance of brand protection. Driving their business through their brand means their brand messaging is consistent, their brand look and feel is attractive and that their brand equity (logos, typefaces etc.) are legally protected.
Then other companies have – well to be frank – weak or indistinct brands. They do not stand out from the crowd because they’re a mishmash of everything and nothing, generic and or descriptive.
These are the brand haters, who see investment in their brand as a cost and nothing more.
Brand haters have a low emotional connection between themselves and their brands and ultimately with their customers. Ultimately, they fail to protect their brand. Haters have not figured out the true purpose and importance of a good brand in the first place. They think that anything spent on branding is money poured down the proverbial drain.
I had one prospect tell me that he chose the company name so that it would be top of any alphabetical list and had since never given the matter a second thought – or invested in his brand.
Protect your brand
How should you love your brand? I recommend five big-hearted tasks to protect your brand:
- Bold: enforce your trade mark rights (before someone else does it)
- Proud: let everybody know that your trade mark is registered by correctly displaying the ® symbol
- Imaginative: don’t let your trade mark become generic. The brand should not become the common name for the products, or legal protection will be lost. Terms such as Sellotape, Thermos and Escalator all began life as trade marks
- Different: you must not forget to renew your trade mark. A trade mark must be renewed on a ten-yearly cycle
- Faithful: make sure that your registered trade marks reflect the current state of your trade mark usage as your brand develops and evolves. Most companies will refresh their brand from time to time; this means new logos, perhaps new product or service names are brought into play.
So, won’t you join me in my campaign to treat your brand correctly? C’mon say it loud and say it proud. I love my brand!
To get help to protect your brand: