Defending the Brand
If you don’t think branding (and its defense) is a big deal, take a look at the brand integrity efforts of some big companies. These powerhouse brands don’t generate billions in revenue by accident.
The Velcro Corporation has tackled branding with a considerable budget and a great sense of humor in this fun video from their legal team defending the name from copycat hook-and-loop manufacturers.
The company’s quest for brand justice is explained further in this informative website. The bottom line here is, this company was built on a trademarked product that others copied. While imitation can be considered a form of flattery, it can also cut into profits as customers get diverted to buying other imitation products.
Other brands that have also been copied to the point of becoming a household name are: Kleenex (tissue), Bandaid (small wound bandages), Windex (glass cleaner), and Zamboni (ice resurfacer), just to name a few.
Sometimes it seems the brand defenders can get a little overzealous, like Levi’s suing another denim company who uses little tabs on the back pockets of their jean design. Or remember the National Football League suing (and winning) a complaint against churches who used the words “Superbowl” in their party planning? They won.
Even Cheerios tried to brand the color yellow. They didn’t win.
And finally, one of the most defiled brands out there is that of the American Flag. The flag, as a brand is protected by a law that is not enforced (by taxpayer dollars) but is nonetheless violated by almost every American. Did you know it is a violation of flag code to use a likeness of a flag on a nonmilitary uniform? Or use the flag for anything other than a flag, hung in a very specific way? Yup. We’re all guilty. And we should probably knock it off! Looking at you, American Eagle.
When branding your business, remember no one does what you do like you do. So stick to being an original. Build your brand out of that. And be consistent. Your customers will too.