How your trade mark adds value to your business
Owning a registered trade mark is like having another key member of your team – constantly working to bring you success.
You may be surprised to know just how many positive benefits a registered trade mark brings to your business, as HGF's Rigel Moss McGrath explains.
What has your trade mark ever done for you? Well…quite a lot, actually!
A trade mark’s most important role
Firstly and crucially, your trade mark leads consumers to your products (goods or services) and encourages them to buy yours, rather than a product offered by your competitors.
If a consumer has tried your product, liked it, and wants to purchase it again, they rely on your trade mark to identify your product and return to it.
In an increasingly competitive and changing marketplace, this is the most important role or function that your trade mark has to fulfil. In fact, in order to be registered as a trade mark, your sign, word, logo, sound, etc. must be capable of fulfilling this function.
This is why your Chartered Trade Mark Attorney emphasises the importance of your trade mark being “distinctive”. Your trade mark needs to be distinctive to enable it to stand out in the marketplace, allowing consumers to quickly and confidently identify your product.
Advertising and a guarantee of quality
Denoting origin is another key role of your trade mark. However this achieves much more than simply identifying where your products originate. Used properly, a trade mark is a powerful instrument of commercial strategy.
Your trade mark enables you to advertise your product and inform consumers, so that you can persuade them to buy your product rather than a competitor’s.
Your trade mark also acts as a guarantee of quality. It is a guarantee made by the trade mark owner to the consumer that you will ensure product quality is maintained. This lets consumers know they can purchase your product with confidence. In this way, your trade mark boosts confidence and stimulates further purchases.
Alternative sources of revenue?
In addition to stimulating sales, there are other ways in which your trade mark can create revenue for your business. For some, this may be by way of licensing deals, allowing others to use your trade mark for a fee, or by way of franchise agreements. For others, the value of the trade mark will be realised when they sell part or all of their business.
A trade mark must always be recognised as a valuable asset. This can be seen by looking at the changes happening on Britain’s high streets. Recently Topshop and Miss Selfridge have been bought by ASOS. More specifically, the brands have been bought.
The deal, reportedly valued at £330m, saw the transfer of the trade marks and approximately 300 staff, but not the business, the stores or the warehouses. The value lay in the trade marks and this demonstrates the fact that a trade mark is the only form of registrable intellectual property that can continue to increase with value throughout its life, and that value is not necessarily dependent upon the success of the business using it.
The more your trade mark is used, the more exposure it receives, the more goodwill it will generate, and that goodwill increases the value of the trade mark.
Communicating your message
Consumer culture is changing and consumers are asking far more of trade marks and brands than ever before, whilst enjoying unprecedented access to them. A trade mark represents and communicates to the consumer everything about your business:
- The quality of your product
- The price-point
- How easy your business is to deal with
- Your ethos
- Your mission statement
- How quickly you can deliver
- The charities or campaigns you support
- Your history
Consumers continue to value perceptions of honesty and decency in business as much as price and convenience. Although you may think that your business does not have a particular “message”, this is a function of your trade mark which will only become more important as your brand develops.
Just like any other member of staff, each of the roles that your trade mark fulfils interacts and overlaps with the others. Think of your trade mark as another key member of the team - quietly, diligently working away to constantly support your business.
Speak to a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney about your IP and find out more about the value a registered trade mark can add to your business.
Chartered Trade Mark Attorney, HGF Limited