How to Add Value To Your Business Using the Right Brand and IP Strategy

Uncategorized Apr 27, 2020

It is generally accepted that what makes an asset valuable, whether it is a digital or physical one, or any type of intellectual property such as a patent, trade secret, trademark, copyright or design, is based on answers to questions such as

  • How much income is it generating?
  • What is the pattern of income production?
  • How long can that continue?
  • What is the risk it will not materialise as predicted due to obsolescence, dilution, or market changes?

While there is information out there on valuation of intellectual property and business, the aim I have here is to consider how to add value to your business when you are embarking on business branding or new marketing campaigns. What does it take to create a strong IP that is more likely to endure long term?


Separating Branding and IP Protection

It’s important to take on board that using a silo approach does not give you the best outcome for your projects.  Getting the best return on your investment involves treating...

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How to Design Your Brand

brand Apr 20, 2020

The silo approach to branding whereby creatives produce brand designs and names without any reference to Intellectual Property lawyers, while IP lawyers protect IP that they’ve had part in advising upon, does not give business the best outcome either from a branding perspective or from an IP one.

The separation between the worlds of branding and IP protection is a hangover from the 20th century and has no place in the fast-paced digital world we now live in, and into which we have been catapulted more completely by the Coronavirus.

A 21st century approach to branding needs to emulate the likes of Google who understand that achieving a strong brand requires an inter-disciplinary approach. They break down the silos in their organisations to enable powerful brand creation.

The small business end of the market is not even aware of the problem that the silo approach entails. The upshot is that founders of businesses undergoing branding get poor value for money.


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How to Develop a Brand Strategy in the Face of this Corona Virus

Uncategorized Apr 13, 2020

Business has changed radically since Milton Freidman wrote in Capitalism and Freedom (1962) that there is “one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits”

The changes in our digital environment - increased globalisation, new technologies, and radical socio-political shifts - mean the world of business looks nothing like it did back in the 1960s. And now the Corona Virus epidemic will undoubtedly further impact the forces that drive business.

These shifts cement the trend away from pure profit-focused business towards purpose-led organisations.

Stakeholders at all levels in businesses want to set a purpose beyond the balance sheet – one that contributes a positive impact in the wider world.

Business for Good

Businesses today are finding that doing good can also mean doing well. Apparently, companies with an established sense of purpose – one that’s...

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Personality Images And IP

intellectual property Nov 17, 2019

In the lead up to the Christmas and new year season, most of us are accustomed to seeing television advertisements featuring well-known actors and personalities endorsing a range of luxury products such as perfumes and watches. While it is obvious that a personality like Sean Connery will have been handsomely rewarded for endorsing a famous brand of watch, such endorsements raise the interesting question as to what extent a person, famous or otherwise, can control the use of his or her image or likeness in the sale of products or services. Can, for example, Sean Connery stop me from selling 2020 calendars bearing his image on the front cover?

At least in the UK there is as yet no recognised legal right of publicity or personality. This means that a person has no specific legal right in the UK to control the unauthorised use of their image or appearance.



That said, that does not mean that persons such as celebrities are not without some legal remedies. It is...

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How to Create Your Brand

brand Nov 10, 2019

Every single business, charity or entity has a ‘brand’ in the sense that they all have an identity rather like you or I have an identity as people.  To work out the details so that what you say, how you operate and what you promise to reflect the way you want to be known as a business and brand takes time to think through. 


Values and beliefs 

It involves working out which values of the founder are to be paramount in establishing what the brand of the business or charity represents. What its personality is, and what it wants to stand for – it needs to be something that resonates with its customers or those they serve. 

Working out what you want to uniquely provide to the market, and your marketing messages to evoke a desired response in the minds of your customers through your brand promise is the first step involved to brand your business. Until your business can consistently deliver that, you will not have a brand

Wally Olins, a thought...

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Changing Habits – The Way To Succeed at Anything

changing habits Oct 21, 2019

Whatever endeavour you’re hoping to succeed in, the way to go is to identify the habits you need to change. Then once you’ve decided what new habits will get you to your destination, create space in your life for them and stick to doing them long term and consistently, day by day, week by week, year by year, and you will see a shift in your fortunes.

Change rarely happens overnight. Provided the new habits are appropriate to reach the end goal you have in mind, you will undoubtedly achieve results.  It may happen slowly, but it’s essential that it happens one decision at a time, which is what this blog post is all about.

Let me give you an example of what that looks like when you’re trying to do something like give up smoking.


Stopping Smoking

Anyone who has been addicted to smoking will understand how tough it can be to stop. I used to be a heavy smoker and desperately wanted to give up smoking.  I knew smoking wasn’t doing my health...

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Brand Strategy – Why Every Business Needs One

brand strategy Oct 13, 2019

Brand is the most misunderstood word.  It’s among the words such as intellectual property, trade mark, business design and branding which impact important business issues that I deal with. Yet because the terminology is confused and confusing it’s difficult to communicate clear messages.

 Perhaps the huge failure rate of businesses has something to do with the fact that these words and their importance to business success are obscured by so much misinformation and so many myths.

These words carry connotations for people, that are often quite wrong. Therefore, their use has the potential to alter one’s message.

It’s bad enough that the word ‘branding’ for many people signifies logos and visual designs, but the fact that brand strategy also gets confused with visual identity and designs means that the whole discussion around brand and intangibles gets obscured.


Avoiding Use Of Certain Words

I’m thinking I’ll have to...

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Why Is A Good Name Important to a Company?

names Oct 06, 2019

Names are one of the most important assets of a business because they are a container of its value as it grows – its brand equity.

Take the time to learn more about what’s involved when you’re creating an identity for your business because names play a central role to your business protection too. 

The first element of your brand identity to focus on is the name. While a logo is also an important component of your brand identity, you should separate the two steps. That’s because the help you need when you’re picking a name is quite different to the help you need when you’re having a logo designed for your business. For example, checking that you may lay claim to a name is something a trade mark lawyer who ‘gets’ branding is most suited to helping with.

Then once you have a good name and have worked out what you’re aiming to achieve with your business, you’ll be ready to get a designer to help you to create a fantastic...

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Do Unlimited Holiday Policies Really Work?

Uncategorized Sep 29, 2019

When Richard Branson first started talking about giving his employees at Virgin unlimited vacation days this caused a ripple of uncertainty across the businesses that were striving to provide the best employee benefits package in their respective industries.

HR directors who had previously been attracting the top talent by offering flexi days and generous holiday entitlement to employees wondered what this would lead to. Previously satisfied employees who heard about the benefits at Virgin suddenly found themselves in envy.

Branson wasn’t the first company to introduce unlimited holidays but his reputation drew attention to the fact that companies were offering these kinds of perks. However, as more companies have explored the idea of providing unlimited vacation policies, it has become apparent that it doesn’t work for every company.


The problems encountered by introducing unlimited holidays

Netflix and Virgin continue to provide these policies to help attract...

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How To Succeed in Business

Uncategorized Sep 22, 2019

How you design your business is key to your success or failure so be sure to pay attention to what matters.

Believe it or not, intellectual property has to be your first consideration when you’re creating your business and brand. Why? Because IP is the key to creating a unique identity for yourself and for your products and services. That then enables you to stand out.

If you don’t have a legally protectable identity for your brand or key offerings you will struggle to get lift off in your business.


What Happens When IP Is Ignored?

When IP is ignored or left till later there is either an immediate dramatic consequences such as receiving a cease and desist letter to stop using your name, or more likely in practice, an IP issue will lurk in the background like a silent killer waiting to explode possibly years later when you’ve become reliant on the income from your business.  

Most commonly ignoring IP holds a business back without any dramatic...

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