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5 Crucial Points About Trademarks Everyone Should Consider

trademark Mar 15, 2019

There are 5 crucial points to know about trademarks that might change your entire approach to branding and trademark registration. I’ll start by answering the question what is a trademark.

 

What is a Trademark?

Trademarks are signs used in business to identify products and services in the market place.

Customers can find you by recognising your unique sign identifiers and avoid confusing other providers for you.  You might have a variety of identifiers – your name, logo, and tagline being the typical ones.

The single most common one people would recognise you by though, especially if they look for you online, is your name.

So, if you have delivered a good and effective service, and customers want to buy from you again or refer their friends and family to you, the unique identifier they would use to do so will be your name – often not your own personal name, but your business or brand name.

A trademark is a device or tool created by the law...

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3 Facts About Copyright Everyone Should Know

copyright Mar 08, 2019

Whether you’re starting out in business, or creating new products and services for your existing business, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing things right, that your actions will set you up for success. 

Unless you’re purely testing the market in a way where none of what you create needs to endure or be relied upon longer term, it pays to be mindful of the longer term implications of your early actions when implementing new ideas.  If you’re thinking big and aiming to create a business to one day sell, you definitely need to pay attention to what I’m highlighting here.

Setting yourself up for success involves being aware of how assets are created under the legal system, and the pitfalls to avoid. You should aim to implement your ideas in the right way because it’s the very early decisions and actions you take before you would even consult a lawyer, that have the greatest risk from a business perspective.

Copyright is essential...

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Is a Brand Intellectual Property? Definition of Brand and Intellectual Property

People often ask the question, what is a brand, or what is intellectual property, and is a brand intellectual property. Before I answer that question let’s look at what the terms mean.

A good starting point to understanding what brand and branding mean is to note the word’s origins. It started as a term to describe the identifying mark that was burned on livestock with a branding iron. That was how people could tell who owned the cattle.

Although the concept of branding has its roots in this visual imagery it’s important to appreciate that branding has moved on considerably since those times. While the visual identity matters, of course, branding is nowadays about so much more than a logo, or visual designs.  The visual identity is the final stage of branding not the first.

 

The Design of Your Business is Key

Branding nowadays is much more about the way you design your business than the designs you get for your business to use. 

Even small...

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Zumba: Anatomy Of A Successful Brand

Uncategorized Feb 25, 2019

 Zumba is a dance fitness program that has taken the world by storm.

It has become many people’s favoured way of getting fit with as many as 14 million taking weekly Zumba classes, meaning that it has become one of the biggest branded fitness programs in the world.

However, Zumba does not stop at classes.  It runs instructor training courses, sells its own apparel, soundtracks, and merchandise, has its own Z-life magazine, and has even become a video game so that people can take part in its classes from the comfort of their own home (and without fear of judgemental eyes watching all those wrong moves!)

Zumba is much more than simply a fitness program- it has become a brand and a successful one at that.

The fascination with Zumba has become almost like a cult.  In a previous piece, I mentioned how desirable it is for a brand to attain cult status.

A lot of people get fanatical about it. For people who are looking for something in their lives, it offers a...

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When Nothing Works Anymore – How Do You Get Cut Through?  

Uncategorized Feb 18, 2019

In a world where there is more and more noise, it can be difficult to be heard. Many of us feel that despite producing awesome content, we’re just not getting through to anyone.

To capture anyone’s attention requires more than good content.

This is a topic I’ve decided to research and study closely so in future posts I’ll be sharing my findings and ideas for distributing our content so as to reach more people. Watch this space.

You’re Not Alone If You Feel That Your Marketing Isn’t Working

You’re in good company if you find that your marketing isn’t working any more.

Mark Schaefer, in his new book, Marketing Rebellion, observes that his Chief Marketing Officer friends who represent some of the biggest names in the business, without exception all feel they are falling behind… on everything

They say things are just not working like they used to.

These are some of the biggest marketing stars at the most famous brands.

...

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The Business Case For Remote Working

Uncategorized Feb 11, 2019

The decision to change the Azrights business model and just retain a meeting room wasn’t one I took lightly.

With distant memories of Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer putting an end to remote working at the company back in 2013 I was unsure what the latest thinking on remote working was when I took the plunge in 2017 to move the business to remote working for all.

I did some quick Google research which seemed to validate my decision that it would be a good idea to follow the trend among law firms and move to a remote working business model.

If you want to increase your team’s productivity then remote working does the trick it seems.

I found some views to the effect that if you need to increase your team’s creativity, then it’s better to bring them together to collaborate in a physical environment. Given that the only business I was operating at the time was a law firm I reckoned that having fewer distractions of an office environment would probably...

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Licensing And Franchising – Why the Difference Between The Two Matters

Uncategorized Feb 04, 2019

People often assume that the difference between these two terms matters little, yet if you get it wrong you could be exposing your business to hefty fines in some jurisdictions. Before explaining this let’s just briefly consider what the two terms mean.

 

Franchising

Franchising is a way to scale a business once it is successful and proven.

A  well-known example of a business that has grown through franchising is McDonald's. (By contrast, Starbucks has grown by opening its own branches).

Franchising involves finding people who want to operate a business using your successful formula. To become franchisees they need to have the basic skills and experience to operate branches of your business. The franchisor provides training in how to operate the business using its proven systems and processes.

You can franchise almost any type of business. With a franchise, the franchisor (owner) is in control of the brand and training. It licenses (that is, grants permissions to)...

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Logo Design Protection Using Trademark, Design and Copyright

Uncategorized Jan 28, 2019

Using Trademark, Design and Copyright are all ways to protect logos.

The subject isn’t well understood, yet it’s worth paying attention to this to protect your business.

To understand the available legal protections for logos let’s first look at examples of the different types of a logo that you may want to protect. 

There are 3 variations:

 

1. A combined mark – that is a word and an image, looks like this:

The words incorporated within such a logo should be checked for trademark purposes before using the logo to ensure it is not already trademarked by a competitor. 

This is necessary even if you have already registered the company or domain name. 

As a separate matter also have a trademark search to check that the image element is not too similar to a competitor’s trademark.

 

2. A stylised mark – that means a word on its own like this:

The words incorporated within such a logo should be...

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Branding Basics – What We Can Learn From Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

Uncategorized Jan 21, 2019

The literature classics have become classics because although they were written many years ago, they impart a timeless wisdom that remains relevant even in today’s society. 

So there are lessons we can take away from them. Let’s look at Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ for some branding lessons.

 

First Impressions

Wilde has this to say about first impressions:

‘Something tells me that we are going to be great friends. I like you already more than I can say. My first impressions of people are never wrong’ First impressions still carry a lot of weight in our modern day society. 

For example, when we first meet someone, that person’s handshake, their demeanour, clothes, and the way they speak all create an initial opinion about them. It can be very difficult to change these first impressions too.

Similarly, our initial impressions are often the reason we form a certain impression about a business. 

One...

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Differentiating a Service Business – Part 2

Uncategorized Jan 14, 2019

Differentiating a Service Business – Part 2

 

Challenges of Law Firm Differentiation

The objective of the differentiating proposition is to communicate to consumers that buying from you will give them a specific benefit. This benefit must be unique to you and be powerful enough to move the buyer to choose you. Where there is insufficient differentiation between businesses the buyer’s choice is more likely to come down to price.

The aim is to have such an effective positioning, and strong USP (unique selling proposition), that buyers believe there is simply no substitute for your service.  For example, if you are willing to do things differently to everyone else and meet clients on Saturday and Sunday when other law firms are closed, then your target market who values the possibility of meeting at the weekend would be hard pressed to find a substitute for your service.

It is not easy to differentiate a law practice in these desirable ways. For example,...

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