Rebranding your organization can be both exciting and stressful. Where do you start? Who should be involved? How much time should it take? How will your customers and stakeholders find out about your new name? What will they think about the new brand? These are are all relevant and important questions to ask. Here are the first things you should do to protect your brand from the start.
1. Hire a trademark attorney.
As you're selecting a name for your new brand, you'll want to make sure the name isn't already taken or isn't protected by another company with a similar name. You can search on USPTO.gov for the name, as well as any variations that are similar. If you find that there are other brands within your industry that have a similar name, consider consulting a trademark attorney even before you decide on the name. You may still be able to trademark the brand if it's been in use previously but no longer has an active trademark.
A trademark or patent attorney will help guide you down a path to protect your brand in case of any issues where other companies have used your name or a variation in the past. Filing for a trademark can be a lengthy and complicated process so it's best to hire an expert who is experienced in this type of law.
2. Develop materials to establish the brand
One of the requirements of filing for a trademark is proof of use of the brand. This proof can typically be provided with marketing materials like presentations, business cards, flyers or other printed materials. You'll also need to track where the materials are distributed and who has seen the material- customers, shareholders, etc. Don't overlook this step, as it helps your trademark attorney establish that your company intends to use the new brand name.
3. Purchase the domains
Most marketers first think of their online presence when establishing a brand. Research GoDaddy.com or Domains.com to ensure the domain name for their new brand name is available. This is an important step to protect your new brand. You should also consider purchasing multiple variations of your brand's domain such as: Brand-name.com, Brandname.info, Brand-name.org, brandnameinc.com, GetBrandName.com, etc.
Don't be discouraged if the exact URL is not available now. It may just be parked by another company and available for purchase. There is a negotiation service that GoDaddy offers that is inexpensive at $69. You can then make an offer for what you'd be willing to pay for the domain name. They may be able to also recommend a starting offer so that you're not overpaying for the domain or making a low-ball offer that won't be considered.
These are just the first steps in establishing your new brand. If your company is considering a rebrand, contact us for help through the process including creating a new brand and launching an effective campaign to promote your brand.
About the author
Stacey Harrison is an experienced B2B, B2C, and healthcare marketer. She leads Harrison Creative Group as the lead creative strategist. Partnering with small, medium, and start-up businesses, she operates as an outsourced Chief Marketing Officer to develop and implement growth marketing strategies that include branding, paid search and social, content marketing, direct TV, social media marketing, email marketing, and public relations and strategic communications.
Contact Stacey today for a no-obligation consultation about your content marketing strategy.