You know that you need to protect your brand and your marketing materials, you’re just not sure how.
Understanding proper copyright or trademark use protects your brand and your business.
Which to Use: Copyright or Trademark?
Your brand and all the marketing materials that build your brand are intellectual property.
Copyright and trademark provide legal protection of different types of intellectual property.
Why Should I Use a Trademark or Copyright?
Simply put, to protect your intellectual property. Use of copyright and trademark symbols may discourage others from either inadvertent or intentional use of your property potentially saving you frustration, time and money.
If you have a registered trademark, use of the mark aids your case when pursuing your rights because courts have traditionally ruled that if a trademark owner properly uses the registration symbol, others may not claim ignorance of the trademark therefore protecting your rights.
How Should a Copyright Be Used?
The copyright symbol may be placed on any original piece of work and that work does not have to be registered in order to use the copyright symbol.
Best practice is to include the year of first publication and the name of the copyright holder beside the copyright symbol and place prominently in either the front or back of the publication however, there are no specific legal requirements regarding this.
For websites and other digital property that is continually updated, it is best practice to include the year of most recent publication and name of copyright holder beside the copyright symbol and place prominently in the footer of the home page or contact page.
How Should a Trademark Symbol be Used?
Ensure that the proper mark is prominently displayed once on your website, advertisement, brochure, press release, article or other published materials.
Best practice is to use the proper symbol once with either the first instance of the mark appearing or, the most prominent mark placement.
Do not make the mistake of jamming a trademark symbol every time a mark is used. Overuse makes for poor design and visual clutter that undermines your marketing efforts.
Interestingly, symbol placement is not stipulated by law however, the proper symbol is traditionally placed in the upper right-hand or lower right-hand corner of a mark.
Three are commonly used and recognized in the United States. Which one should be used depends on your situation. If you are trying to safeguard something that is not registered through the U.S Patent and Trademark Office, you should use either the TM or SM symbol: TM for trademarks that represent goods, SM for service marks that represent services. TM is typically recommended for marks covering products and services.
The circle R (®) is a federal registration symbol used for goods and/or services registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. State registrations do not qualify.
We hope this helps you make smarter decisions about your marketing. Note that this article is not legal advice and provided only to arm you with a general understanding of copyright and trademark use.
Prepared by Chris Lowers, January 17th, 2018
It’s no secret that personal referrals are the lifeblood of service businesses. Whether you are an accountant or plumber, chiropractor or mechanic, most of your business is built by word of mouth.
So, what are the 5 psychological drivers that strong brands employ to generate more referrals?
Businesses that stand apart from the competition have invested the time to identify specific customer pain points and then promote their remedy. By specializing in narrowly-focused service areas these businesses are more referable:
People love to share something they feel they have just discovered. Give them that reason by promoting specialty services.
We are all social by nature – even the curmudgeons. We share, compare, discuss, complain and complement each other. We ask for trusted friends’ opinions before we buy. In other words, consumers place trust in social circles to shape and reinforce buying habits.
If what you do isn’t so loveable, find something about your company that is. Promote personal achievements. You might publicly acknowledge client growth or project success. Perhaps celebrate a staff-member finishing a marathon. Whatever you chose, make it personal and stand out.
Offering products or services which are available in a limited quantity create buzz that fuels referrals. It plays right into the psychology of persuasion. Scarcity is one of the key persuasive ingredients which compels shoppers to act, as people will desire something more if it is seen as less available.
If your brand doesn’t produce limited edition goods or services, you can still tap into the influence of scarcity. Simply develop a referral reward program which must be redeemed in a short timeframe, thus driving the need for urgency. Be sure to reward both the person referring, and the person referred.
Be Tech Savvy
Early adopters love to be ahead of the curve and strive to be among the first to experience the “latest” service or product, particularly when new technology.
Offering new, tech savvy, goods or services, you’ll tap into the power of ego. How? Why? Because the only thing early adopters are love more than something new is sharing that they were first to try it.
It sounds obvious; friends want to share fun experiences with each other. Mundane activities tend to be ignored.
Not surprisingly, people are much more likely to share a product or service that is seen as entertaining. Indeed, research shows that experiences such as travel, entertainment and leisure are some of the most likely categories to be referred.
That doesn’t mean that referral isn’t successful in other categories. The key is to make the messaging surrounding the offer fun or entertaining.
Even if your brand doesn’t exhibit one of these 5 elements, the key to referral marketing success is to tap into the underlying psychology that drives consumers to become your advocate and take action. Develop referral strategies built on engagement, fun, uniqueness, savvy or exclusivity.
Most of all, create buzz that’s worth talking about.