WAIT?! What?!! When there are so many people telling you your logo is not your brand, how can this possibly be true?
While you absolutely can build a brand without a logo, your logo’s job is to create instant connection and recognition of everything your brand stands for in one simple mark.
Therefore your logo is your brand in its simplest form.
And if you ever want to trademark your brand then you’re going to want to pay close attention to this little logo thing.
And you really should want to trademark your brand, and any product names you’re launching for that matter, sooner rather than later, or you can end up like me a few months back…
If you’ve been around here a while, you’ll be no stranger to the free even I’ve run over the years, called; The Unforgettable Brand Event. “Unforgettable Brand” being a name I’ve used for a few years, it first came to life as an ebook back in the days of ebooks, still got that somewhere if you’d like a copy let me know!
I own the URL, I’ve been using it as a ‘thing’ for a few years and finally this summer I thought I’d make us trademark official.
So off I went, did a quick TM search, always the best place to start when you’re naming your stuff, and BOOM like a punch in the gut, I find someone else registered Unforgettable Brand as a trademark, and only just this year.
How dare they… so off I went with my knickers well and truly in a twist to my IP lawyer to see where I stand, you know, based on first use, heck, I OWN the domain!
And while, yes, I could pursue this. In reality, it’s a process that could waste a lot of time and cash for no reward, so instead of hounding the new owner down and demanding he gives it back! I decided to see it as an opportunity to find a better name and get that trademarked straight out the door! Watch out for that coming soon!
Lesson no.1: just because you used it first doesn’t mean you own it. If you want to own your brand name get it registered. NOW!
Lesson no. 2 comes in the form of a great conversation with the IPO over what helps you register your brand and what flags as a potential NO in the eyes of the IPO.
And that, my lovelies, is where your logo is the star of the show.
Lesson no.2: A distinctive logo mark is one of the main things the IPO looks for when granting TM registration.
Now, I am not an IP lawyer so this is by no means trademark official advice but what I know from my own TM applications and from working with clients on getting their brands registered is that having a distinctive logo mark is a huge win on your side when it comes to passing the IPO checks.
Of course it is. Your logo’s job is to sum up everything about your brand in a simple mark that people can instantly recognise and distinguish as your brand above all others.
The only real job of your logo is to represent everything about your brand. It’s a pretty big job for one little asset!
So the next time someone tries to get all clever and tell you your logo isn’t your brand, you can look them smugly in the face and tell them… of course not, but having a distinctive logo mark is indispensable if you really want to own your brand.
Do you own your brand identity? Have you been through the TM process for your brand? If you’ve got any great conversations with the IPO you’d love to share, I’d love to hear.
And if you’d like me to whip together a checklist for what makes a brand mark distinctive, comment below and I’ll put something together for you.
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