Fear and Trademarks. Believe in your Customer. By James Michael Faier, M.P.P., M.B.A., J.D. Registered Patent Attorney (USPTO #56731)
I am reading a book called Small Data. The author makes clear you need to focus small aspects of local life. The author, a Dane by birth, commented that the USA is ruled by fear. He says we try to make a big thing about being about freedom. I have been thinking about that and branding.
Branding is the corner of the economy where I spend my life. I am all about addressing the desires of consumers.
So what does this have to do with trademarks? The answer is goodwill and trust. They are two sides of the same coin. A trademark is a promise about the experience you will have with a product. When you have the promised experience, you develop a sense of trust in the brand: The brand will provide the benefit it promised.
Too many of us brand people choose descriptive and non-distinctive trademarks because we do not trust the consumer to figure out the benefit to be provided by the products we market. That strikes me as a mistake. To me, a trademark is like a cup that holds the most valuable goodwill.
To choose a descriptive trademark is to choose a cup with a hole that leaks goodwill! Remember, you cannot stop a competitor from using a descriptive term. Therefore, your competitor can use part of the mark you are trying to build.
Your customer will likely at least partially associate you with the competitor. You don’t want that. You want to stand independent from all competitors. The dictionary is a big book full of lots of trademarks. Go choose one that is distinct and non-descriptive. Good Fortune!