Every business needs to know how the law of brands affects its use of names – a common trap for the unwary. Even if a business thinks it is too small to be a brand, there are many aspects of brand law to be aware of, such as copyright and internet laws relating to websites, and social media. Digital word of mouth is a common by-product of social media, so that management of business reputation involves some understanding of brand law, even for a business that is not online. There is a serious gap in the market for books that discuss brand law in an accessible way for small business owners.
The book explains that a brand essentially involves having a reputation for delivering on a certain promise. For a small business it could mean being the ‘go to’ source for something that the business uniquely provides. We live in increasingly competitive times, and achieving brand status is often the only way to attract enough business.
With Legally Branded I hope to give every business the information they need to know to avoid the all too common problems that entrepreneurs and small businesses make, which causes problems such as having to rebrand for infringing on the rights of others, or having non distinct names that are inadequate to serve the ambitions of the business.
Brands are not just about names and logos, though these can be important ways to promote and support the business. This book is aimed not only at alerting you to crucial issues you need to address both early on, and as your business develops, but also offers practical, realistic advice on how you can take action to ensure your business is built on solid foundations.
The knowledge economy, globalisation, social media and countless other developments have blindsided the legal profession. Because the law relating to intangibles – intellectual property law – has traditionally been regarded as an esoteric, specialist subject. This has resulted in deep rooted divisions between the responsibilities of trade mark attorneys and law firms. The upshot of rapid change in society means that a gulf now exists between the legal and marketing and internet industries. Small businesses consequently tend not to be aware that there are legal implications to many of their actions.
Armed with the information in this book I hope entrepreneurs and small business owners will be better placed to understand the risks and opportunities, in order to set their businesses up on solid foundations, ready for success.