Most business owners realize that the marketing slogans, logos, and other trademarks and service marks used by their company are extremely valuable commodities. The amount of time, effort, and dollars that go into establishing these things can add up quickly and pay off huge with a brand that reaches large amounts of valuable customers.
But just like any other asset, these things need to be actively protected in order to keep that money from going to waste.
What Is a Trademark?
First, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re protecting.
Rescuing a dead brand and nurturing it back to life is a special kind of business art that requires enterprise, vision and a bit of psychological savvy. Building a brand from scratch is easier, but it lacks the historic richness and recognition of a long established brand. Brands with history are already embedded in the public consciousness; whether memories are bad or good, the presence of any memory can be a marketing boon.
The burden of a brand revivalist is to rewrite the memories and reputation, erasing negative connotations and associations by reinforcing good brand qualities and rolling out new, impressive features. Following are typical strategies to reviving any brand.
As we make our way closer to the end of the alphabet of our ABC’s of small business, we’re tackling trademarks, which can be a name, design, or logo that distinguish a company and emphasize its uniqueness. Trademarks, as defined by businessdictionary.com, are distinctive instead of descriptive, affixed to the item sold, and registered with the appropriate authority to obtain legal ownership and protection rights. By federally registering your business name or company logo, you’ll receive notice to the public of your claim of ownership on that mark with an additional nationwide legal presumption of ownership, and the exclusive right to use that mark on or in connection with goods or services set in registration. And now that we’ve briefly covered the basics on what a trademark is and how federal registration of the mark works to protect your business and brand, we’re going to briefly cover the additional steps involved in trademarking – conducting a trademark search, registering the mark, and filing for a trademark watch.
Don’t let your marketing dollars get stuck in the vending machine.
It happens to everyone. It’s like a rite of passage. You go to the vending machine to get your chocolate fix and buy a bag of Raisinets. You put your money in the machine but your candy gets stuck on its way out.
You’re bummed out. You weren’t expecting this to happen. You’re faced with the decision of putting more money in the machine to get what you want – or calling some number to complain, (do they ever answer?) knowing you will never get your money back.
Doesn’t it stink when you spend money and you don’t get what you pay for? Or you have to pony up more money when you thought you wouldn’t have to? Especially if it’s for your business!
First off, when you spend money in your business, think of it as an investment. Don’t just think of it as an expense. That way you will be in the mindset of getting a return on your money, which is really what you are paying for. Continue reading
It is not uncommon for businesses to feel overwhelmed when trying to create an effective brand. There are so many factors that play a role in your brand’s growth that it might seem like there are too many little things to worry about in the process before you get to the more important areas. But never fear – focusing on these five things will help you stay on track when it comes to your brand.
1. Get a Logo Design
Having a logo design created is one of the first and most important tasks you should focus on when developing your brand. The logo will be the face of your business and will either stick in consumers’ minds or be easily forgotten. Work with a professional designer to come up with a design that will speak to your target audience and represent your brand well. Continue reading
The holidays are here and hopefully you’ve used this time to reconnect with your customers! One way many businesses are standing out during the holiday season is by holidizing.
If you’re unfamiliar, holidizing is when you add a bit of the holiday season into your brand’s designs. Add a holiday touch it on your logo, company emails, website and more. Holidizing your brand’s designs is a great way to distinguish your business and in turn, increase revenue. Continue reading
Last month, we conducted our first ever MyCorp 2012 Survey for Small Business with five quick questions on the state of small businesses in 2012 and beyond with questions that focused on consumer spending, business spending, predicted growth of the business in 2013, the social media outlet you’re looking to establish for your brand, and quite literally the state of your small business – where you’re putting your business out on the map and which states are the most popular to form a small business in!
We tallied up the votes on Constant Contact, conducted the random drawing for our lucky $50 Starbucks gift card winner (congrats to Elizabeth Sneed!), and the results are in from our voters! Continue reading
For the second installment of our ABC’s of Business here at the MyCorp Blog. B gave us a bit of trouble – we knew we couldn’t lapse into the overtly lazy choice and just use “Business” as our B word, but we soon realized that most of the B’s we could use involve Business in some way. Business financing, Business to Business Sales, Bring Your Own Business (the new BYOB) … and while we love busy businesses, we just couldn’t be seen using the tell-tale B word for this installment. In what must have been one of the weakest eureka moments in the history of blogging, we figured out an important B that DIDN’T involve the word Business – Branding. So, for this week at least, B is for Branding. Continue reading
Today we’re featuring a special guest post from guest blogger Rachel Walker at FastUpFront which provides business cash advances for small businesses. Social media buzz is pivotal to the success of businesses both big and small but how does the marketing work for it and once you have an engaged customer, how do you get them to stay engaged with your brand?
I remember when social media was still in its infancy, with Facebook and Twitter leaping to become overnight social network sensations. Today there are a whole slew of social media sites which allow people to share their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on anything and everything- and businesses are working hard to keep up with the tweeting Joneses.
Savvy consumers use these platforms to share their opinions of businesses with one another, while said businesses scurry to leverage their social media reputations to attract more customers. In the blink of an eye, social media has now become one of the most important marketing platforms worldwide. Now that we’re there, how does social media marketing work and how exactly does one keep a customer engaged with their fan page to keep that buzz going? Continue reading
A few weeks ago, we wrote on why you should outsource your PR to another firm. But even if you find a great firm with excellent contacts, you cannot expect them to do all the heavy lifting for your company’s PR! Our current firm is wonderful, staffed with some of the nicest and hardest-working people we’ve ever met, but if we want to get the most for our PR dollar we have to step up our game as well. A good PR firm can get you great coverage, but you can spread the word even further if you take a few steps right from your office.
Make sure all the pieces of your PR campaign fit together
1. Use Social Media!
We know, we know – we’re starting to sound like a broken record. We probably tell our readers to use social media in some form in nearly every blog post we write, but there is a good reason for that – it works. In a survey by BRANDFog, 77% of respondents were more likely to buy a product or service from a company that uses social media.
If you got an article published thanks to your PR people, or were featured in a story, don’t just expect viewers to find it. Tweet it out, post it on Facebook – spread awareness! Taking a few minutes to plug a link that makes you look good is a no brainer, so remember to try and push viewers to whatever your PR firm is working on. Continue reading