Trademarks from a Marketing Perspective
In today’s era, where the drawing-up of physical borders has diluted in terms of fair-trade practices, the relevance and importance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) have fairly risen. The form of intangible property comprising of skillsets, know-how, business ideas, and strategies have helped in the development and generation of the transborder reputation of several brands. The role that trademarks play in the marketing of a brand can help us unwind what commercial players and business houses should consider in the development of their brand marketing strategies to best incentivize their assets for better returns.
Noting the Difference between a Brand and a Trademark
Firstly, let’s put this in the quotes, “All brands are trademarks but not all trademarks are brands.”
Often, the terms ‘brand,’ ‘trade name,’ and ‘trademark’ are interchangeably used in common parlance. However, these terms have varied meanings and implications, which is why it is essential to demarcate the thin line difference between them.
A brand name is usually a name given by the proprietor of a product or service to designate a name to the company with which it is associated. It is used to reveal and establish an identity or image of the company to position the products or services in the minds of the target audience. Whereas a trademark is a form of Intellectual Property (IP), which may take shape in the form of a label, word, letter, cumber, symbol, or a combination thereof that helps in identifying and differentiating the products of one person from that of another. A trademark can be inclusive of the brand name or something completely different as well.
How Does a Trademark Help in the Marketing of a Brand?
Andy Warhol once said that “A Coke is a Coke, and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same, and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.“
If it wasn’t for the trademark utilized by the marketing strategist making optimum use of the brand name, Coca-Cola wouldn’t have been as big a success as today.
The key role of a trademark is to distinguish the products and services of one person from that of another. Therefore, it acts as an identifier of the source, which enables differentiation to ensure there is no confusion as to the source of the products. It helps create a niche audience for the products that associate the products or services of a proprietor to an appreciated and acceptable quality, quantity, and standard. A trademark helps create a brand image by creating a sense of the promise of some specific attributes and values promised in advertisements and marketing schemes. It helps create an indirect form of communication.
Therefore, a trademark may help to market the products and services sold in a better fashion in the following manner:
A) Identifying the Source: A trademark takes the shape of an identifier of the source, which can be easily differentiated from the rest of the brands. For example, it’s a well-known fact that Tiffany & Co. is an American luxury jewelry retailer headquartered in New York and is widely recognized for its shine and glitter-endorsed goodies.
B) Creating a Position in the Spectrum of Similar Retailers: A trademark helps to market the products while creating a place for the said products in the market. It creates an identity, a standard, and a standing in the market amongst the like products while also enabling clear demarcation from others. Therefore, a trademark must stand out to prevent any sort of misrepresentation, which might affect the reputation of the products sold or offered. Securing a trademark, therefore, requires strategists to ensure the activities of the third parties do not infringe upon their trademarks. For example, when we say iPhone, it is understood that the products hail from Apple Inc. The goods have a reputation since the marketing of the brand, appropriate use of the trademark, and quality of product, have left an impact upon the consuming and non-consuming audience.
C) Communicating with the Audience: Trademarks when carefully deployed can help market the products extending beyond traditional borders. The same is especially true since the dawn of the era of digital marketing. Manufacturers and retailers can enable easy communication online with their audience through judicious use of a trademark. The marketing professionals can promote the products more efficaciously since the consumers will identify the products due to the rightful use of the trademark. For instance, once a consumer is directed to Amazon’s website, the marketing professionals can better promote the products they seek to provide via their portal by making individuals signup for a newsletter or sending them new offer mails. Even the reviews and suggestions tab on the website offers better communication, which may, in turn, help in the formation of brand identity if the products live up to the expectations, or it may help the proprietor meet public demands.
D) Bolstering Further Expansion: Once a trademark is registered, the name or the design is safeguarded and proactive protection is offered to the proprietor. The banner once created can ensure further expansion of other sister concerns, which the proprietor may wish to build upon in the later time to come. It gives a long-term competitive advantage since the same reputation and brand value is used to substantiate the brand value for the business, which is comparatively new. Therefore, there is a continuous inflow of growth of the market and advancement of technology. Let’s take the example of Sony, which has sub-brands to its name for the proliferation of music, gaming, etc.
E) Serving as an Inexpensive Mode of Protection: From a marketing point of view, the promotions must be meted out without bearing the extensive cost. Opting for Trademark Protection guarantees prolonged years of extension with an optimum renewal fee to be paid before the termination of the protection period, which is usually ten years from the date of grant of registration. Trademark protection gives rise to legal remedies apart from the common-law remedy of passing-off, which comes in handy to prevent any third-party or competitors from infringing upon the right of the rightful proprietor. For instance, Sony used its brand name to extend protection to products beyond its first marketed product, a rice cooker to cameras, computer hardware devices, etc. The company has used its reputation to prevent many competitors from using its name in many instances.
It can be concluded that when seen from the point of view of a marketer, a trademark and a brand bear proximity, and both are inseparable parts of one another. A trademark substantiates a brand, and likewise, a brand adds essence to the trademark. Therefore, a marketing strategist must utilize trademark protection to better market his products and invest in intangible assets to reap the benefits of registration of such rights. A hefty amount can be saved by taking the trademark route since it safeguards the brand against illicit use and misrepresentations while also serving as proof of the existence and extent of one’s rights. ✅ For more visit: https://www.kashishipr.com/