Brands can be one of the most important strategic assets of a company. At the same time, building, maintaining and protecting them can be very time-consuming and costly – especially for companies with a global focus. Through the right strategic priorities, you can save valuable resources in the form of time and money, which can be very useful for fast-growing companies.
The following 5 tips will help you build a strong brand with a limited budget.
Build value in a brand
Building awareness of a brand requires both time and money. Companies with a limited budget can make this significantly more efficient by choosing the main brand to build value around. This can then be allowed to permeate such things as product names, company names, domain names, etc.
This strategy is often used in, for example, the automotive industry (consider eg BMW and Toyota). You can also choose how much unique identity you want to give your product names. For example, the BMW 330 gives the product model less identity than the Toyota Avensis. More identity favors clearer differentiation but also gives a slightly greater dilution of the main brand.
Do not over-protect
Ensuring global brand protection can be tricky. While you want to secure the brand as a strategic asset, you want to minimize the risk of being blocked in a particular market as the company grows. By focusing and concentrating the value of a brand, you significantly simplify this as you can focus on protecting your main brand. There may still be risks of not protecting, for example, a product name extension, but the potential consequence of that is only a fraction of the potential consequence of not protecting the main brand.
In some countries and regions, indirect protection can be obtained if the brand is used in the market. It is then important to be able to prove as early as possible the use of the brand in this market in the event of a conflict with another player. Therefore, have the habit of collecting as much local material as possible from markets where your brand is used. For example, there may be copies of marketing material, local products, websites, press releases, etc. This does not replace a trademark registration but can provide increased security until there are resources to implement it.
First application important
The first application is extra important as it can often be a priority. To put this at the right level is therefore of great importance. In general, they want to settle on a level that provides good protection for their main business areas but does not trigger unnecessary objections and negotiations. Namely, these can be both costly and result in disadvantageous holes in the list of goods that are then followed by other markets where the application is used as a basis for priority.
Prioritize high-risk markets and partners
It may be important to protect so-called high-risk markets early where there are players who put in systems to register other people’s brands in order to then be able to pay well for them. Also, be sure to place reservations in all customer and partner agreements that protect your brand. This eliminates the risk of being blocked by, for example, a former distributor, regardless of the market.
The brand is important and sometimes the only intangible value a company has. By thinking through its brand strategy early on, you can save time, money and build company value. We hope that these tips will help you navigate this somewhat complex landscape a little easier in the future.