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Protecting Your Brand
Just 3 months ago, Google’s brand was valued at a cool $111.5 billion. But what is fascinating about the Google brand, is that its typography changes almost daily and is indeed recognisable without any lettering – remember the outstanding tribute Google made to Les Paul?
Your brand should become your customer’s belief in what you stand for as a company. A strong brand enables you to charge a little bit more, be sold through more channels and be the product / service of choice because of its quality, reliability and reputation. This ‘little bit more’ spread across a wider customer base, who have a higher loyalty translates into incremental future cash flow i.e. building brand equity. And this is one of the best ways to create long-term value for shareholders.
What to protect
A picture paints a thousand words and your logo offers an immediate link to your organisation, with all of the positive emotions associated with it. So you need to think about how to protect your brand – the name, logo, design features, strapline to prevent it being copied or misused by another organisation.
In terms of visual identity, you can think of the brand as composing these different elements, all of which need protecting;
- The brand name. Made up names (e.g. Google) are more protectable than everyday names (e.g. Apple, Orange, Blackberry). But you will need to check that the name hasn’t been previously registered, and indeed that it makes sense and conveys the right messages to your customers.
- Strapline. An important way to summarise the key buying proposition and can be incorporated in the brand / logo design.
- Logo. This may or may not use the brand name and is an icon which is consistently used wherever the product / service or company name is depicted.
- Styling. Colours, fonts and layout all add to your visual identity. It is better to use a Brand Manual to avoid the inevitable desire of staff to edit these elements as they see fit.
How to protect
Here at Preview, we have teamed up with Future Copyright to help make it easier for you to protect your visual identity. The more supporting proof of your brand, logo, and its use that you can evidence the better.
Historically, the only way was to formally lodge or register your brand with a professional agent / safe-keeper such as a bank, document archive or 'copyright offices'. As copyright, by definition, comes into being automatically, you are not required to register your material at all but in doing so, you now have more solid formal proof that can be legally evidenced if required.
Registering your copyright by the ways suggested above, although effective, can be archaic, laborious, and expensive. Although you get a certificate of your registration, your material remains locked away in a dead end, black box filing system – to the point that you may not exactly remember what the material was you filed in the first place! What’s more you may be charged to obtain a copy of your materials and some file services will periodically re-charge you a subscription cost you to keep your files on record.
Future Copyright offers a far more efficient versatile solution that puts powerful authentication and management of your copyrighted works completely under your full retention and control with direct interfacing for licensing and publishing – all at a fraction of the price of standard services. From £1.25 per file it is also cheaper than sending your work you yourself in an envelope!
If you’d like to give Future Copyright a try we can offer you a special promo code that will give you 5 free credits, just contact Liz@preview.co.uk or 01273 834434 to find out more about how we can help you copyright your brand.