What will I receive from brand management?
Brand management incorporates a number of individual services to assist you to build and maintain a comprehensive brand which protects the goodwill and reputation in your business and its brands, but also ensures it is responsive and flexible to the needs of your business as it evolves.
Is brand management appropriate for all businesses?
The short answer is yes, every venture and business has a brand or name and possibly logo under which it trades. Brands apply to all commercial activity, not just businesses, and are created for performing artists and sports stars. If you think about it, it is not possible to buy anything without at least one name on it.
What is involved in brand management?
The first step my team would undertake is to work with you to identify the brands you have and which of those are of value to you. If your business has any brands that are no longer used, then these could be sold off or spun out into subsidiary businesses.
Brands can be found in many different forms. Sometimes it is a word or logo which most people would recognise as a brand, but a brand can also be a colour, nickname, caricature, smell or, as we are finding increasingly commonly in certain markets, distinctive tattoos.
As part of this initial review or audit we also undertake IP clearance searches to ensure that there are no third parties with rights which are the same as or similar to your brand. The last thing you may want is to spend time, effort and money building a brand only for someone else to stop you using it and force you to rebrand.
This audit work sounds quite involved, is it?
It can be, depending on the size of the business and number of brands used.
The good news is that Shulmans is authorised to undertake this work under the Intellectual Property Office’s IP Audit Plus service, which means we might be able to help you secure funding for all or part of this work.
What happens after I have identified my brands?
Once the brands are identified, we would then look at if and how they are registered in the markets that are of interest to you.
We will make sure that the brands are registered for the goods and services that are most relevant to your business. There is no point building a brand and not covering your activities. For example, if your business manufactures food processing equipment, you may also need to cover additional services that you provide, such as consultancy, repair, maintenance and training services.
Registrations are territorial and typically last up to 10 years. We will manage the registration processes for you through our international network of tried and trusted associates. You will be very hard pushed to find a country in which we have not managed a trade mark registration for a client! We will also manage the renewal process so none of your marks lapse.
Is there anything else?
Once you have the protection secured, we will advise on exploiting your brand. There are many ways of exploiting a brand and the most common is by licensing. This means that you give a third party permission to work with or use your brand. This can include franchisees, manufacturers, distributors, resellers, agents and retailers. Many times you will give a licence without even realising and this can lead to the licensee having rights you did not intend to give. Extra care should be taken when giving rights to third parties overseas.
We will ensure that each licence agreement with a third party protects your business and your brand and that these contracts are retained. We find it is helpful to our clients to provide an updated summary of the licences in place so that important clauses such as renewal dates, royalty rates and territories are easily identifiable.