A brand serves to strengthen your own company. Through a brand you can give the company a face. A face that connects the customer with the company and that attracts him again and again to it. This also means a strengthening of market power over the competitor. An astonishing number of online retailers simply leave this potential on the way, content themselves with a (insignificant) company name and have to compete for new customers with every new product and start from scratch.
But even those who have already realized the value of a private label are still amazingly haphazard. Typical first dialog with clients:
A client’s sentence: “I would like to register a brand”.
Question: For what?
Answer: “Everything in the area [here you can enter any term you like, very popular: ‘household goods’]”.
Question: Okay, what purpose should the brand serve?
Answer: “I want my competitors to stop attaching themselves to my product at Amazon”.
Question: And what should the brand stand for? What does your company stand for?
Answer: “Quality and customer service”.
Question: And the others advertise with scrap and unfriendliness?
I. First thoughts on branding
What is the purpose of a brand? A brand should create trust in a certain company and link products with it. The customer should associate certain characteristics with the company/products. These can be very different characteristics, such as high quality or particularly low priced, stable, easy to assemble, perfect performance (e.g. cleanliness, adhesive strength), durability, design and many more. In other words: What can your own product do better than the others? What can you do to differentiate your own brand from other competitors? What is the unique selling point? With which terms should the customer perceive and associate the products? The following applies: It should not be more than 2-3 keywords. Quality and customer service are not options, because this has to be a matter of course for everyone! Every entrepreneur should always ask himself these preliminary considerations in order to stand out from his competitors. But this applies all the more to branding. Only a beautiful Logo is simply not enough.
II. formation of product groups
Once these basic ideas have been formulated, one’s own products must be put under the microscope: Do all products fit under the considered definitions? It is not particularly beneficial, for example, if you want to brand high-quality tools, but on the other hand want to sell pencils. This massively dilutes the brand, because what should the customer associate the brand with? Another example to illustrate this: Eagle owl stands for high adhesive power. But who would buy shampoo from Eagle Owl? Anyone who already has several established pillars here should consider establishing several brands. But if you only have one main pillar and are merely experimenting with other products, you should first focus on your main product. Consideration should be above all else: Can I still include this under the umbrella of the brand?
III. brand development
Now the next hurdle comes after the products and definitions have been determined: The right brand! There are plenty of specialists here who can help with the creation. But since most of them take it into their own hands, a few hints: For example, if I want to launch a powerful drill, it is generally not very clever to use a mouse as logo or pink as basic color. The normal consumer does not necessarily associate strength with this. It also doesn’t necessarily make sense to call the drilling machine Bohri. The brand itself should already be able to convey what you have thought of as a definition. There begins with the colors: Colors unconsciously arouse feelings and are thus a very simple means of “manipulating” customers. There are whole sciences about this. This can certainly be used when creating colored marks.
But even word marks are subject to laws: As a matter of principle, pure descriptions are not to be registered: They must be kept free. But also simple word marks (Bohri, Täschle) are very popular, but basically not very strong as a trademark, because they are not very distinctive (if not merely descriptive anyway). Very popular are also abbreviations of the word or the exchange of single letters, but who should still be able to pronounce them? Blstft – as a trademark for pencils? Or also Bl3!st!ft? Written, it sometimes even looks quite good and distinctive, but how should the customer tell his neighbor from whom he bought the great pencils?
Very popular, simple and usually also brand-technically good are probably abbreviations, such as Metabo (METAllBOhrdreher). Here the customer can easily remember the brand (he gets the mnemonic right away), he quickly connects the corresponding company with it, one has no problem with descriptive elements and less often the problem of colliding with other brands.
IV. The way to registration
Once the preliminary considerations are complete, you should definitely do a trademark search. You can either do this yourself (https://www.tmdn.org/tmview/welcome.html?lang=de) or have a lawyer do it for you. There are also different service providers. However, a warning must be given loud and clear: What the layman perceives as “completely different” and how lawyers judge this, are often two very different pairs of shoes. Very often, committed new trademark applicants affirm that they have not found anything similar in advance, and as a lawyer you should only confirm this again. And very often the client had to be advised to think of a different brand name in order not to collide with others.
Once the concerns of the lawyers have been allayed, all that remains to be done is to consider which countries (in times of the European single market, the Community trademark should definitely be recommended) and which classes of goods/services are to be considered? The following applies: The trademark must (after a grace period of 5 years) also be used for the registered products, otherwise it can be cancelled. But in any case, you should also have your expansion plans in mind and take these into account when applying for registration.
To develop a brand and to think about a brand strategy are manageable and solvable tasks that every entrepreneur should take on in order to be able to stand out from his competitors in the long run. Here many entrepreneurs leave still large potential lying around unused.
Of course I am also happy to offer my help. Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org