Brand vs Trademark
It is commonly seen that people remain confused between brand and trademark of a company. The two concepts, despite many similarities have different purposes and nature that people either overlook, or are not aware of. Using them interchangeably as if the two were synonyms is a big mistake that many people commit, but this is perhaps because of the fact that all trademarks are brands, whereas not all brands are trademarks. In this article, differences between the two concepts will be highlighted for the benefit of those who fumble between them.
Did you know, the word brand comes from brandr meaning to burn? It actually, comes from an ancient practice of applying hot iron stamp on the body of sheep to differentiate them from other sheep. This branding ensured the owner could know instantly if the sheep was indeed his or not. In fact, branding sheep became so common place that when certain rancher called Samuel Maverick decided to leave his sheep unbranded as all others in his area were branded and he did not need any branding, the word maverick got associated with unbranded cattle.
It was after industrial revolution that factories could produce goods at a mass scale, and this necessitated their sale in wider areas. Factories wanted their goods to be known and remembered in larger areas, and this led to the development of brands that allowed people to know about a particular product just hearing the name. Do you need anything more after you hear names like IBM, Apple, Coca-Cola, KFC, Wal-Mart, and so on? This is what is known as brand power. When a brand is registered with the Patent and Trademarks office, it becomes a trade mark. Thus, there is not much of a difference between a brand and a trademark. Trademark is a legal device that protect unlawful use of the brand name by any one else, and grants the owner of the trademark exclusive rights over the use of the brand name.
Brand names are like signals that convey a meaning in the minds of consumers, and creates a favorable image of a product in their minds to attract them to the products or services of the company. Brand name has a commercial purpose and recollection value in the minds of the customers. Mostly brand names are visual identifiers of a business there are cases where a sound has become a brand name as in the case of MGM (the roar of a lion ) and Nokia (the original Nokia ring tone). Trade mark is in itself just a protector of a brand, and it gives the owner right to sue any unauthorized use of the trademark.
A brand is an image, a set of promises made by a company about its product, high quality, durability, and ease of use of a product as the case may be. It is this brand image that produces consumer loyalty, something that holds much greater value to a company than 100’s of one time customers.
What is the difference between Brand and Trademark?
• A brand is developed over a course of time with consistent quality that is appreciated by customers.
• A trademark is granted by trademark and patent office, and is a legal device that protects the owner in case of unlawful use of the trademark.
• Brand helps in identification of the product and the company, while trademark helps in preventing others from copying.
• If a brand has not been registered, anyone can copy it, and there is no provision of any penalty, while in case of trademark violation, there is severe penalty.