First of all, I'm using the word tagline interchangeably with a slogan or catchphrase. If there is a distinction, it's not relevant with respect to what I'm going to talk about. So let's just jump right into it. If you study the taglines of the world's most successful companies, you will notice that most of them are pretty ordinary. They are often phrases designed to emulate what the company wants its consumers to say about its products or services. And usually, these would be pretty ordinary phrases. I mean, what could be more ordinary than I'm loving it. Or just do it. If you followed me you would know that I always say that there are three things that make a brand valuable. It must be unique, it must be memorable and it must be protected.
If you're wondering, “well Andrei, you just said that the brand needs to be unique but at the same time you've just confirmed that the tagline of a most successful business is pretty ordinary, how come?” Well, I’m glad you asked! Two things. First, when it comes to tag lines, it's usually a phrase that is different from what other companies in the same niche have used. In other words, the phrase may be perfectly ordinary but no other business in the same industry has used it as their tagline. It is the big difference between simply using a phrase and everyday life, and using a phrase as a trademark. For example, people use the words Apple, Windows, Canon, and even Virgin over time. And it's perfectly okay! But try launching another Apple phone, another Windows operating system, another Canon camera, or another Virgin airline and you will experience the power of trademark pretty quickly. So going back to taglines, you can claim right to an ordinary phrase if no one else in your industry has claimed it as their trademark. Mcdonald's got to own ‘I'm loving it’ because no other restaurants used it in their marketing. Nike got to own ‘just do it’ because no other apparel company used it in their marketing, and so on.
And second, while the phrases are ordinary there is usually some little spark, some quirk there, that adds a unique flavor to it. Elevating it from everyday language. It could be as small as the apostrophe and I'm loving it for Mcdonald's, or the ‘just’ in just do it for Nike, or it can be as extensive as absolutely positively in Fedex’s legendary tagline. So as I said, the first requirement of a powerful tagline is that it’s unique. Different is better than good. Unique is better than great. It's not about coming up with a great phrase, it's about coming up with a unique phrase that will become great over time. Now, how do you know if the tagline you came up with is unique? First, you do a simple Google search. Start by running the search with your phrase and quotation marks and see what's out there. Remember, just because somebody sent those exact words does not necessarily mean that the phrase could not be a unique tagline for your product or service. See if any of your competitors are using anything similar. If you don't see any red flags, get a trademark specialist to do a comprehensive trademark search for you. Now, this is the one thing you don't want to do yourself. Even if you know exactly what to search for which is questionable because spoiler alert, it's not just your tagline is this that you want to search for so you also probably won't know how to interpret the results you going to get. So you would be much better off than someone who knows what they're doing to provide you with a well-researched opinion on whether the tagline you came up with is unique enough for you to be able to own it. And by the way, with Trademark Factory, you get a free comprehensive trademark search included in all our packages. Yep, I said free comprehensive trademark search. So, if that's something you're interested in, go to trademarkfactory.com and book your call with our strategy advisors and see where it takes you.
Now, okay, moving on to the second requirement for having a valuable tagline. It needs to be memorable. If nobody can remember your tagline no matter how unique it is, it's pretty worthless. The whole point of coming up with a brand and a tagline specifically is for people to associate it with your products and services. And if people can't even remember what your brand is, this will certainly not create any associations between the brand and your business. They’ll just ignore it. And finally, your tagline needs to be protected. You need to own it. And like I said, there is no reason in the world to spend a minute of your life or dollar out of your pocket building a brand you don't own. And guess what, the only way to protect the tagline is to register it as a trademark. Very simply no other way around it. That's why trademarks for invented. especially when it comes to ordinary phrases. So once you have come up with a unique and memorable tagline and once you see that it accomplishes your marketing goals, it will be the right time to file your trademark application and make sure nobody steals it from you. If you wait too long you will soon discover that you have a brand you can no longer protect or worse yet that someone else already owns it and that you need to give it up and come up with something different because it's a brand that you cannot even use anymore. The actual trademarking process is pretty much the same for tagline as it is for other brand elements like your company name, the names of your products and services, your logos, and so on. At Trademark Factory, we use our proprietary system to get our clients' brand trademark. We call it ™’s into ®’s Brand Protection System. Because ™’s refers to unregistered trademarks. I'm sure you’ve seen a lot of those TM symbols next to other people's brands. It just means that it’s an unregistered trademark. An ® refers to an R in a circle which means a registered trademark. So like I said, we use a system. We call it ™’s into ®’s Brand Protection System. It starts with figuring out what brand elements should be prioritized for trademarking. In this case, it's pretty clear it will be your tagline.
The second step is to find out if the brand is trademarkable. This is where our mandatory comprehensive trademark search happens. When I say mandatory, What I mean is even if you come to us and say, “I’ve checked everything, it looks great, we can do it.”, we're still going to double-check. We will evaluate your taglines’ chances of success and if all looks good we’ll move on to step three. If we spot a problem, then you can either get a full refund or we’ll continue doing more and more and more searches for you until you come up with a brand you love. And we tell you that it's trademarkable. The third step is to file the trademark application. The fourth step is to fight to get it approved and allowed. Thing is, over 68% of all trademark applications filed are initially rejected by the Trademarks Office. A monkey can file an application, which is why there are so many websites out there, they will offer you to trademark your brand for next to nothing. All they do is just file your trademark. The real work starts when we need to work with a Trademarks Office to ensure our client’s applications are accepted. The fifth step is to finalize the registration. After the Trademarks Office allows the application, there are few more formalities until you get your trademark registration certificate. And speaking of certificates, as part of what we do for our clients is we place these certificates in a custom frame and we mail them out. We wanted to be a very special moment for you so we go above and beyond simply sending you a piece of paper or worse yet just a PDF file. Finally, the sixth and last step is to follow up. This means, renewals every 10 years, maintenance filings if they are necessary for the jurisdiction. For example in the US, you need to file a Statement of Use between the 5th and 6th anniversary of your trademark registration. And, fortunately, most self-represented applicants don't know about this and end up losing their trademark for failing to file the necessary paperwork in time. You should also monitor what trademark applications others are filing to make sure they don't encroach on your brand territory.
This is the ™’s into ®’s Brand Protection System that we use to register trademarks for our clients. And the best part about it is that it comes and a single all-inclusive flat fee so you never have to guess how much the whole thing is going to cost at the end of the day. It also comes with a hundred percent money-back guarantee. If we can secure your brand for you, we don't deserve your money. Plain and Simple. Now, if you have a unique and memorable tagline that you need helpt trademarking, go to trademarkfactory.com and book a free call with one of our strategy advisors. They'll be able to help you get started. If you're watching this video just to get some information and learn something usual about trademarks, I hope you found this video helpful.
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.