One key point is missing in the many thousands of articles written on brand development and trade mark registration.
The point is missing usually because those who write the articles do not provide a full or integrated brand development service.
Where that service is provided, the point is often still missing. In their articles authors on branding tend to focus on technical prowess in a niche area for brand development, eg design, marketing or law.
The missing point is that it is better to build intellectual property law protection into a trade mark than to come up with a brand and only then apply a layer of legal protection on top. This point was also discussed as regards shoe design work in – It’s better to design your IP than IP your design.
That missing point needs explanation, a lot of it. We’ll leave the long answer for you to discover in the long trade mark reading list below.
The point is missing in discussions because the market of service providers is split.
- Designers sell graphic design work.
- Marketers sell marketing advice.
- Lawyers and other professionals who register trade marks sell their knowledge of the law.
These experts can help generate great trade marks to register. However very often they or their clients come up with mediocre ideas, poor in terms of either design, marketability or law.
Yet mention a great brand like Yahoo!, Google, Virgin, YouTube, Xerox, Lonely Planet, Qantas, and Yellow Tail, and you can’t escape the fact they they work at a design, marketing and legal level.
The message for generating great trade marks is that it does not help to work with a split brain. Split between the areas that think in terms of design, marketing and law.
What you or your designer or marketer may feel works well as a name or other brand, may be appalling from a legal perspective. The same works visa versa.
Use all of your brain and the brains of those experts in combination so as to do a better job. In our firm we regularly consider design and marketing considerations before we craft, finalise and file a trade mark application for our clients. We also collaborate with clients in brainstorming new names. They include names which will work for as a business, company, domain, and brand name.
We’re comfortable in using all parts of our brains in trade mark work if you call. The first conversation is free-of-charge.
trade mark and branding reading list
Essential reading/viewing – basic theory
- VIDEO: Picking a Trade Mark
- Generate a legally strong brand in three steps
- 42 Hints to Secure a Great Trade Mark Monopoly
- Integrated, differentiated and creative brand strategy
- Learning from Xerox’s trademark makeover
- 7 habits of highly effective IP owners
Novel trade marks – colour and sound
- Trade mark law strategy kept simple for blondes
- Hunter Valley wine brands and branding
- “Thirsty folk want beer, not explanations”
- Starbucks settles coffee trade mark law dispute