The Two Elements of Your Business Identity
When launching a startup company, an important consideration that must be taken into account is what the “brand” of the company will be. A brand is the combination of the name and logo of the business, and is the first thing potential consumers will see when encountering your products or services. Accurately branding your company can be the quickest and best way to convey to the consumer what your company offers. Many startups make the mistake of failing to recognize the importance of the name and logo for their business. The brand name is what the world will come to know your business as and the brand logo will be the visual representation of what your company stands for and provides.
When selecting the name for your startup company, one can decide to use a fanciful name, i.e. a made-up name, such as Google or Hulu, or a more descriptive type of name, such as Hotels.com. Each category has pros and cons associated with it. If you choose a fanciful/made-up word to name your business, it may take additional marketing dollars to educate your consumers as to the product or service your company offers. However, if the branding campaign is successful, your company name may become the industry moniker for that type of product or service, such as “Google it.”
If you decide to select a more descriptive name, the product or service that your company offers will become readily identifiable to the consumer. However, you may not be able to obtain trademark protection for the descriptive name of your company and, therefore, you may not be able to stop your competitors from using a similar name. If you cannot stop your competitors from using a confusingly similar name, then you are allowing your competitors to trade on the goodwill your company has established.
IT’S YOUR COMPANY IMAGE
The other component to a startup company’s brand is its logo. When designing a logo, the theme should be “simpler is better.” Before designing an intricate, multi-colored logo that contains detailed images, remember that logos at small sizes lose their detail to the viewer. Your logo will hopefully be included in many different forms of advertising, such as digital and print advertising, as well as business cards.
If the size of the logo needs to be reduced in a certain form of advertising, a complicated and detailed logo may lose its detail to the viewer. A simpler, one or two color “vector” logo that can be scalable to accommodate multiple forms of advertising media and sizes will likely provide greater recognition and is the preferred way to go. Whichever type of logo you ultimately decide upon, you must use it uniformly to create the same message to the consumer.
The name and logo of your startup company should be thought of as the image you hope to convey to the public about your product or services. The ultimate goal when creating a name and logo for a startup company is to have the consumer associate the name and logo with positive thoughts about your product or services.
Above all else, before finally deciding upon a name and logo, it is imperative that a trademark search be performed for the name and logo to ensure that there are no competing uses and/or trademark registrations that would cause you to have to change your name and/or logo after spending thousands of dollars in marketing and advertising that logo.
Mark Warzecha was a co-founder of the Entertainment Sports Law Society of California Western School of Law and focuses his practice on working with businesses and individuals to obtain, maintain and enforce their intellectual property rights, with Widerman Malek PL in Melbourne.