Applying for trademark registration is a great way to not just protect your intellectual property as well as protect your brand, but also to increase its value over time. This increase is not just because of the trademark itself, but also because of the consumers’ change in perception of the brand.
After applying to register trademark for your brand name, you may then notice that you have “equity” associated with your brand. Chances are that if you’ve been in the business long enough, you may have encountered this term a few times in the business world and in marketing. But what exactly is it? How does it work, and how can it impact your business?
What is Brand Equity?
Brand equity is a set of assets and liabilities linked to the symbol. There are two different aspects linked with the brand: tangible and intangible. On the one hand, the former refers to the actual physical value of the brand in terms of the company’s assets, income, equipment, etc.
In contrast, the latter refers to the consumers’ perspective, based on their attitudes and emotions towards the positive attributes and the favorable consequences of using the said brand. How consumers feel about the product is crucial to the brand’s overall value. That is why it pays a lot to be smart with the brand name you want to register with brand mark in Singapore so you won’t be wasting money on a poorly thought name.
When put together, both tangible and intangible aspects of value can positively or negatively impact a business, its services, and even its bottom-line derived from consumers’ knowledge and experience with the brand.
Equity is what you should be looking out for, whether it comes to buying into or starting your own franchise or starting your own business in general to make it marketable to a larger consumer audience.
How Brand Equity Works
Brand equity is made up of three components, which are customer perception, effects (either negative or positive), and the resulting value.
The most important factor that determines the equity of a particular brand is customer perception, which includes both their knowledge and experience in their encounter with the brand and its products and services.
You can see the negative effect at play whenever you see consumers choosing generic products over the branded ones. Other instances when you see this effect happening is when companies have major product recalls due to health concerns or manufacturing defects, or when their practices cause significant environmental disasters featured on major news outlets.
For the positive effect, look into when brands decide to expand their product line by adding new products or services. Brands with a positive equity will generally want to keep new products within the existing line rather than create a new brand entirely as a safe option in order to boost sales.
Building Brand Equity
Increasing your brand equity is almost assured with trademark registration. However, before applying to register trademark for your brand, you need to start building up your brand by focusing on the consumers’ experience and the quality of the products and services themselves.
The process of building brand equity usually comes in five parts:
• Awareness – The first step is accomplished by advertising the product to its target audience in a way that potential consumers will notice it.
• Recognition – Consumers that see the product in advertisements will recognize it when they see it sold in a store.
• Trial – Once consumers see the product, the brand, and what it stands for, they will be inclined to try it.
• Preference – If the consumers like the product endorsed by the brand, they will be likely to buy it again, sometimes more than once.
• Loyalty – The last step to building brand equity is with an established following of loyal consumers that have formed an emotional connection to the brand and see it positively.
Trademarking to Brand Equity
Trademark registration in Singapore is now easier than ever, which is all the more incentive for you to register TM for your brand. The process essentially boils down to these steps:
1. Application – To register, application must include your name and address, a clear representation of your registered mark, a complete list of goods and services in relation to the product and/or service you wish to trademark, and a declaration of your intent to use the trademark.
2. Examination – Your application will then be examined to check if the mark is registrable. If it is acceptable, it will be published. If your application is deemed objectionable, you will receive a report containing the grounds for refusal from the organization where you filed your application, like brandmark.sg from Singapore so you will be informed accordingly.
During this time, owners of prior existing intellectual properties can file for an objection. In the event of an objection for your application to register trademark, you will be notified.
3. Publication – If application is approved, it will be published in the Trade Marks Journal for scrutiny. During this time, competitors or owners of prior existing intellectual properties can file for an objection. In the event that there is an objection for your wanting to register trademark, for your brand, you will be notified.
4. Issuance of Certificate – If you don’t receive an objection two months after your application is published in the journal, you will be issued a certificate by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, giving you exclusive rights to use and exploit the brand name.
The protection offered by your registered mark lasts for ten years from the date of the application, but can be renewed indefinitely as long as you use it.
The road to developing positive equity for your brand doesn’t stop here. Infringement doesn’t automatically go away even after your trademark has been added to the existing database, as there will always be companies that will infringe on others’ – yours included – brand and trademark.
A well- recognized and respected brand is an asset every company wants to keep. As a business owner yourself, protecting your brand should include setting clear standards for how the brand is and should used and communicated, both from within and without.