Every Monday starting today, I will be posting one of the cartoons about trademarks that we have been publishing as part of the Trademark Factory®.
Today is the first episode.
Ever wondered why every successful brand is trademarked? Watch this cartoon and discover 7 benefits of trademark registration!
How you treat your business’s intellectual property speaks volumes about you and your business. The more business owners I meet, the more parallels I see between their approach to trademarking and to doing business in general. Indeed, as T. Harv Eker put it, “how you do anything is how you do everything.”
I have written books and countless articles, as well as given many lectures and presentations about various technical aspects of trademarking. This post is different, because it’s not really about trademarks. It’s about you and your business.
We are taught to emulate successful people. This is why books like Think and Grow Rich and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People are so popular. Well, guess what, all successful businesses protect their intellectual assets. This is not a coincidence.
Robert Kiyosaki is a great example. After his Velcro wallets company went bust because he hadn’t bothered to protect the IP, he chose not to repeat his mistake and securely protected several brands around his Rich Dad Poor Dad series and the Cashflow game before they were fully validated by the market.
Think of a hundred successful brands. I’d be surprised if you can find one that is not trademarked.
When I see an entrepreneur who runs a business under a great brand but refuses to get it trademarked, I know that whatever the excuse is, the real reason is always the same. They don’t believe in their ability to build a great business. Their dream is to build an OK business. Their #1 task is not to make a costly mistake. Their motivation is to avoid looking silly because they’ve invested too much in a business that failed. Will their friends laugh at them because they trademarked the brand for a business that went broke? What will their loved one say?
The real problem is that they don’t truly believe that they deserve to be recognized for something amazing.
If you ever learned or taught someone else to ride a bike, you will know that it is impossible to get anywhere if you’re only looking at your feet turning the pedals. You must look up in the direction you’re going.
Running a business is like riding a bike. Granted, you must deal with operations and day-to-day challenges (turning the pedals), but you won’t get very far unless you know exactly what you’re building (where you’re going). At best, you’ll be going in circles. At worst, you’ll get a vertigo and fall.
Never make decisions about trademarking based on where your business is today. These decisions must be made based on where your business may be if you’re really successful.
The Coca-Cola Company trademarked its brand (which is now valued at 80 Billion dollars) long before it became a transnational corporate giant. Filing the trademark application was one of the first things the company did in 1892. Why? The owners believed that they could build a business that one day might become a transnational corporate giant. Could this investment have been a waste of their money? Of course. But compare the risk of wasting a few hundred or even thousand dollars (in today’s money) to the risk of failing to protect what will be worth tens of Billions of dollars one day!
Let’s say that, for one reason or another, you choose not to protect the brand you developed for your business. Remember, when you’re out there networking and spreading your business cards with colourful logos and catchy taglines, you are sending a very clear message to your customers, business partners and competitors. The message is, “I am not sure if my brand or even my business will still be around in 2 years!”
Will every business be a tremendous success? Of course not. But why would you play a lose-lose game? Why not give your business a chance to grow into something huge?
I want to make one thing clear. As much as my firm is interested in new business, I’d rather you file your trademark applications yourself or through someone else than see you squander your brand! Why? Because to me, protecting your ideas and covering your assets® is not just a way to make a living, it’s both my passion and my mission!
So if you are running a business that is mildly successful or that you hope might be successful one day, here’s what you should do. It’s a simple, 3-step action plan:
1) Figure out if your brand is trademarkable. Head out to http://freeTMsearch.com right now and order your free registrability report. Yes, we offer this service completely free of charge, with no strings attached.
2) Figure out if you should trademark your brand. Not only will we send you the trademark search report, we’ll be happy to talk to you on the phone and help you build your brand protection strategy, so that you have complete clarity what needs to be done now, what can wait, and what can be safely ignored. This consultation is also free.
3) Finally, if in the back of your mind you know that you have something trademarkable that should be trademarked, stop procrastinating. Just do it!
Entrepreneurs who have built multiple successful businesses have automated the “come up with an idea—come up with a brand—trademark the brand” process the same way most of us have automated “wake up—wash face—brush teeth” process. Trademarking is truly a habit of highly successful business owners
Are you going to be one of them?
I’ve just published a new free report about 5 most common ways you can get ripped off in the trademarking process.
Check it out and let me know what you think!
Fresh entrepreneurs very quickly realize that the most important part of their business is getting enough people to buy from them. You may be amazing at what you do but if nobody buys from you, you’ll be broke. Whether you are reaching out to your prospects through social media, website, cold calls, newspaper ads, or face-to-face networking, you need a compelling marketing message.
2 INGREDIENTS OF A COMPELLING MARKETING MESSAGE
Your marketing message may only succeed if it does two things:
- it must clearly explain how you’re different from everyone else who does the same thing (your USP, or unique selling proposition); and
- allow people to remember who you are (your branding).
If even one of these two pieces is missing, you have a problem. What’s the point of remembering who you are if you are no different from everyone else? If your message is, “My name is John Smith, I’m with Evil Clowns Accounting Ltd., and I do accounting,” don’t expect thousands of clients to reach for their wallets just because you have chosen a silly name for your business.
On the other hand, even if you have the best offer on the market but no one can remember who you are, how are people supposed to find you? Imagine your potential clients chatting: “Do you remember the name of this guy who came up with this amazing way to do your corporate accounting in 20 minutes a month or less, guaranteed, for free?—Nope.—OK, who else is there?”
Having a compelling USP is a given. It’s what makes you money. But the more competitive your industry, the more you need to develop branding that would stand out and be remembered.
Again, people buy from you not because you’re a great plumber, an amazing accountant, a brilliant carpet cleaner, or an outstanding chef. They buy from you because you managed to create a compelling message that your customers like, understand, and remember. You came up with a remarkable brand.
HOW TO SECURE YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE?
OK, let’s say you figured out what your USP is and came up with branding that sets you apart from your competition. You realize that this powerful combination of your brand and your USP is your strongest competitive advantage.
Now you need to protect it. Just as you wouldn’t leave a suitcase full of cash unattended in the middle of Times Square, you shouldn’t leave your business assets unprotected.
This has nothing to do with lawyers’ fear mongering. This is just common sense. If you have something valuable, you do what it takes to maximize its value. If you make money as a photographer, you’d take care of your camera. If you make money fixing screens for the new iPhone, you would protect your supply chain for replacement parts. If you make money as a copywriter, you would treasure your collection of templates. Right?
If you’re a business owner who makes money because you have a remarkable brand, you owe it to yourself and to your business to protect it.
How? You trademark it!
You can trademark the names of your products and services, logos, and taglines. Depending on the type of your business, some types of trademarks would be more valuable than others.
With a registered trademark, you can legally prevent your competitors from using identical or similar names, logos, or taglines anywhere in the U.S., Canada, or any other country where your trademark is registered. Nobody will be able to register identical or similar marks. You will save tens of thousands of dollars if you ever need to defend your rights in court. Finally, with an ® next to your brand, you will be taken more seriously if you decide to franchise, license out or sell your business.
FREE TRADEMARK SEARCH
The first step in your trademarking journey will be getting clear as to whether your brand is trademarkable. Not all brands are created equal. Not all trademarks can be registered. While trademark registries are open to the public, it takes more than finding (or not finding) your brand in the list to decide whether it’s registrable. You should have trademark professionals do a proper search for you. Yes, most firms will charge you somewhere between $200 and $300 for the search, but the good news is that now you can order your trademark search, FOR FREE, through Trademark Factory®. And it\\\'s not just an automated database search. You get real human trademark professionals do the search for you and walk you through the trademarkability report over the phone.
To get started, just go to http://freeTMsearch.com, fill out the form, and in a couple of days, you will receive a professional opinion if your brand is registrable. That easy!
And no, you are under no obligation to buy any services if you order the search.
So if you have an unprotected brand, what are you waiting for? Find out if your brand is trademarkable and protect it!
Don’t squander your brand! Don’t let your competition eat your lunch! Don’t settle for survival mode, dare to believe that you can build a great business, not just something that pays the bills.
This is becoming an annual tradition.
This year’s Christmas song:
To those of you who haven’t seen it, last year, I recorded quite a different song:
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Tags:Small BusinessNew Copyright ActFair DealingCollectivismPhilosophy