What is the meaning behind the message your product and/or service represents?
Coaching: Try writing the history of why you are starting this venture and what is the deeper meaning behind why you are doing this and what you hope the legacy of the new venture will be in the market place. Review the history and pull out any information that seems relevant toward the meaning. Then write up some draft messages you hope to communicate when marketing the product or service.
What is the brand essence of your new product or service?
Coaching: The brand essence of your venture is the “heart and soul” behind the product and service you plan to develop; the core DNA of your product or service. The brand essence is the foundation of your brands true identity and the brand essence typically stays the same over time. An example of brand essence is the medical corporation International Patient Assistance Centre headquartered in Singapore. A review of the corporation’s website 1 leads one to believe the brand essence for the medical company is “dedicated and experienced patient care teams”. If you are not able to come up with the brand essence for your venture try reverse engineering the process by asking yourself what would you like the brand essence of your venture to be and then make a list of action items you would have to do to achieve creating a company with this type of brand essence.
What is the brand advantage?
Coaching: What sets our brand apart from that of the competition?
Try answering the following:
“What is distinctive about the brand?
What differentiates this brand from the competitor’s?
How do customers perceive the brand?
What emotion does the brand evoke?
Who appreciates the brand? Why?
What do customers get from the brand?
Where do customers go to find the brand?
What do customers see in the brand that the founders didn’t?” 2
What can you do from the start to make sure that others cannot use the mark or brand name?
Coaching: Investigate what the trade-marking regulations are for protecting your brand. What are the governmental processes for securing a trademark for your brand? “Trade marking” is the process one goes through to register with a government entity the text and or visual depiction of your business name and, if applicable, the business mark that accompanies the venture. A “logo” is the word utilized typically to describe the visual depiction of the business name.
If you plan to trademark your logo or the text version of your business name for protection you can find out the necessary details of this process at the World Intellectual Property Organization at:
As of October 27, 2008, countries’ statuses are listed regarding the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks. View this information at:
Looking for inspiration?
You can find many examples of logos in the process of being trademarked in the United States through the United States Trademark and Patent Office website that posts online “The Trademark Gazette”. Here is an example of one issue of The Trademark Gazette: http://www.uspto.gov/web/trademarks/tmog/20081230_OG.pdf. 6
Once you have secured the trademark for your business name, you then process a legal standing to protect against other businesses using your company name in the category you are doing business in. Trademarks are considered assets to a business and have a monetary value if and when you want to sell or merge your venture.