In today’s competitive marketplace, the importance of building and maintaining a strong brand is arguably more significant than ever. Keeping this in mind, ask yourself the following questions: what does your brand name mean for your business? What do your clients think when they hear the name of your company, see your logo, use your products and services? Do they associate your brand with quality, reliability, great customer service?
Companies, no matter the size, invest a lot of time, effort and significant financial resources into creating a brand, building recognition and reputation. However, they often forget about putting procedures in place that will help them protect it. Damaging a brand on the other hand can be a rather speedy process.
Your brand is your most fundamental intellectual property, your strength, your competitive advantage - instead of leaving it exposed to attacks from competitors and copycats, you should be guarding it.
Therefore, what if someone enters the market with a brand name similar to yours? What if this company is in direct competition? And worse still, what if this new company sells products or services that are damaging to your brand’s reputation?
Thankfully, there are some basic steps can you take to protect your brand name:
- Register the company – invest in formal incorporation to secure the name
- Register an online domain – buying a domain prevents others from registering a website under your company name
- Register a UK trade mark – a way to protect your products and your brand
- Consider similar names – it might be worth registering companies with similar names and keeping the companies dormant (please be aware that legal obligations still apply to dormant companies). It’s a way of protecting yourself against other businesses registering with similar names.
- Monitoring your business name and trademarks – regularly observe the market and remain vigilant for possible trademark infringement or 'passing off'.
The importance of monitoring
So, you’ve registered your company, you’ve got your domain, your products are trademarked and everything looks good. In reality, this is not necessarily the case and your company could still be susceptible to competitor attacks. There is another important component to consider which is where business information tracking comes into play. You should always monitor the market and identify any companies who have registered a name similar to your brand’s name and keep an eye on trade mark applications. By having procedures in place, you’re able to protect your valuable intellectual property against possible trademark infringement or 'passing off'. Luckily, these days, there are business information tools available that allow you to protect your brand name(s) without investing too much resource. These tools are designed to monitor companies’ register and provide you with updates on relevant new company formations, name changes and variations of your company name.
Being equipped with this information, you’ll be able to take immediate actions to stop competitors or copycats from damaging your brand image, reputation and reducing your revenue stream.
Monitoring tools are available from business information providers. One example would be NameGuard, a service provided by Jordans. To find out more about this service click here or get in touch with Jordans business information team on 0117 918 1220.