The following is an edited transcript of my video 25 Branding Tips.

As we celebrate our 25th year, I am excited to share 25 branding tips with you:

  1. Choose a creative name – it’s the foundation you begin with to build a bold brand.
  2. Begin with a clearance search to make sure that any new name is available.
  3. Register your trademark.
  4. Be sure to file early to help build more protection.
  5. Work with an attorney to improve your odds of success.
  6. Use the proper trademark symbol with your brand (TM, SM, or ®).
  7. Distinguish your brand when you use it in text with bold, italics, or a different color to make it stand out.
  8. Use your brand everywhere (website, business cards, letterhead, gifts, uniforms, delivery vehicles, etc).
  9. Once you have a trademark registration, be sure to docket the renewal deadlines.
  10. Monitor for potential conflicts and infringements.
  11. Take action early if there’s an infringement situation.
  12. Develop a style guide for employees, contractors, vendors, etc, so that your use of the brand is consistent.
  13. Train your employees about the importance of the brand and how to properly use it.
  14. Put intellectual property protection provisions in contracts (employment contracts, contracts with partners, vendors, and others).
  15. Put intellectual property notices on your website.
  16. Don’t use your brand name as a verb. Use it as an adjective or a noun.
  17. Register your trademark with US Customs and Border patrol. If your trademark is for use in connection with products, you’re likely eligible.
  18. Choose a great slogan to convey more messaging about your brand and what sets you apart from your competitors.
  19. Choose a distinctive and memorable logo.
  20. Consider non-traditional trademarks (sounds, colors, packaging designs). Trademark protection can extend to almost anything that helps to identify the source of your products or services.
  21. Show off your registration certificate. Frame it and display it.
  22. Consider international protection, especially if you are manufacturing overseas or making sales overseas.
  23. Consider state protection, especially if you cannot get federal protection for your trademark.
  24. Know about the Amazon Brand Registry if you’re selling on Amazon.
  25. Know about the trademark application process. It takes a long time, so you want to start it as early as possible.

Learn more about brand protection in our Trademarkive®.

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