Your company’s brand identity is how you want your business to be perceived by your audience. Protecting your brand, including elements such as the business name, tagline, fonts and logo make up one of the most valuable assets of a company and require careful brand management both online and off.
Why You Need to Protect Your Brand Name and Image
Your company’s brand name and image are part of the customer experience and are associated with the goods or services you provide. Protecting them is necessary because if they are damaged or stolen, the company identity with which you have established your company’s reputation will be compromised.
How to Protect Your Brand Image
There are seven strategies you can use to protect your company’s brand image:
1. Make Sure Your Company Name is Available
If you choose a business name that is the same or too similar to that of a competitor, you may be in violation of trademark law. At the very minimum, you could be compelled to change the name of your business and pay financial compensation to the competitor in question.
2. Trademark Your Brand Name
When protecting your brand name, you should focus on doing it on a global scale rather than just locally. With a trademark, like the name Coco Chanel or the golden arch of McDonalds, your will have exclusive rights to the word, phrase, symbol or design you use to identify or market your service or product.
You will be required file documents at regular intervals to maintain the trademark registration.
3. Choosing a Domain
Your company’s online presence should include at least one domain name that contains the name of your business or another name that is in line with your brand. As with trademarks, it will be necessary periodically renew your domain name.
4. Monitor Your Competitors
You should routinely monitor your market to ensure that competitors are not engaging in brand infringement. This can be accomplished by visiting your competitors’ websites or searching for your company’s tag lines in search engines.
5. Protect Your Web Content
Having your company’s web content used for purposes other than for what you created it for can damage your online reputation and your business. In addition to actively monitoring your online content, you can deter this by displaying copyright notices or using technical barrier to prevent theft.
6. Create Brand Guidelines
Brand guidelines are a set of rules that establishes how your brand works. They are used to make your brand distinct and consistent across multiple media platforms. They should be adhered to by anyone who has the authority to use or reproduce your brand, such as a franchisee.
7. Make Sure Everyone is One the Same Page
You should develop effective methods of communicating with your employees so that they are engaged in the company and understand the brand’s message and the role they have in maintaining a consistent brand image.
This requires employee education and feedback mechanisms, such as rewards for excelling in their roles.
You should consider your brand as a major part of your business. Taking the necessary steps to protect online and offline as you would any tangible asset of your company is a worthwhile investment.