You can often hear people say "protect your brand."
But what are you actually protecting when you trademark your brand?
Watch this video and discover what is called the "Three Y's" of protecting your brand:
So when you trademark your brand, there are really three things you're protecting. And I sum them up with what I call three whys. The first credibility. And it has two sides to it. It's credibility in your own eyes. It's when you realize that what you're running is a real business. It's not a hobby anymore. It's not a job anymore. You stop looking at yourself as and you realize it's a real dear, you're an entrepreneur, you're a business owner.
When you hold that trademark registration certificate in your own hands, something magical happens. So let me tell you a story about this. We've trademarked 1,000 trademarks for our clients. And we've trademarked a bunch of trademarks for ourselves, for Trademark Factory. We got our name trademarked in a lot of countries, we've got our taglines trademarked in a bunch of countries. And I have those certificates in my drawer and some of them are just PDFs on my computer.
And a couple of months ago, I decided that they shouldn't be there. And I built a wall with all of those trademark registration certificates. Put them in a frame, hung them on a wall. That was a magical moment. I never thought I'd feel that way but when I look at that wall, I know exactly what we're doing. I know why we're doing it and I know this is a perfect confirmation that this is for real.
The second side of this is credibility in the eyes of others, your customers, your investors, your banks, even your competitors. They know that if you bother to trademark your brand, you're in this for a long time. Trademarking takes a long time, and if you don't plan to be around for a long time, there's no point in getting one. So when you go through the process, you telegraph the world, I'm in this for a long time. I am for real.
The second why is legacy. And I'm not talking just about non-profits. Although in their case, it's even more obvious. With legacy, what you really care about is all the people that you help. You want to make sure that they can find you under this brand, that they're not being ripped off by somebody who copies you, and that when you're gone, the legacy of your brand lives on.
So here's a quote from Stephen Hawking said, "To trademark my name is a personal matter. It's not a university issue. But to take measures to protect my name and the success it has brought. And in order to prevent people from using my name inappropriately in a product." See, he wasn't trying to sell his own products under his name. He just wanted to make sure that others did not abuse his name to sell theirs. It's all about protecting the legacy.
And the other side of that is we need a lot of business owners. And some of them are putting all their heart and soul into building a business. They're spending 12, 14, 16 hours a day working in a business that's not really generating a lot of cash. They probably are making more money if they were working for a job. But there's something that drives them. So why are they putting all this effort? Because they know they got something valuable to share with the world. But part of that is the legacy of their brand, that's what you're protecting.
And the third why is money. It's money. It's your competitive advantage. It's making sure that the brand that you've built is not being ripped off by your competitors. It's to make sure that some unscrupulous jerks are not knocking off your products. They're not knocking off your services, that you can take full advantage of the goodwill that you've built for your business, that you've built for your brand, that you've built for your products, your services.
Jack Welch, the former CEO of general electric as once famously said, "If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete." By the way, I always add to that, "If you don't protect your competitive advantage, you don't have a competitive advantage." Jeff Bezos, Amazon said, "A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn a reputation by trying to do hard things well. When you brand yourself properly, the competition becomes irrelevant."
That's why I always say that trademarking is the easiest and the cheapest way to build and maintain your competitive advantage. Here's what Daymond John said about trademarks. FUBU had 50 patents. They cost me by the time I was done $700,000. I never made a dime off of them because people can alter them. But I trademarked the word FUBU and you can't use it anywhere in the world. A universal trademark cost me $50,000 but I started off in the U.S. with just 2,500.
And that's really the three things, the three why's you're protecting when you trademark your brand. You protect your credibility, you protect your legacy, and you protect your money. And interestingly, we've dealt with hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of business owners. It's always a different combination for each of them.
For some of them, it's mostly about credibility. They say, well, you know what, I've been in this business long enough. I think it's time to make sure that I actually own this stuff and do it right. For some of them, it's I want to make sure this thing lives on after I'm gone or I want to make sure that my kids can benefit from it or my franchises can benefit from it. And for some, it's just about the money. They're in this for business, they're trying to build something that matters and they go for that. And usually, it's a combination of the three in just different proportions.
So leave your comments below. Actually, I'm interested to see how about you. What drives you in your desire to protect your brand?
Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.