Consistency in the use of a trademark is extremely important to building a strong brand in commerce. It helps consumers immediately identify your business, products, and services. It creates the impression of a professional, well-organized, trustworthy company. In short, it is absolutely something you want to do.
But how exactly do you do it?
Consistency Starts with the Creation and Registration of the Trademark Itself
When you develop a trademark – either on your own or with a branding or marketing specialist – think about the message you want to convey to consumers about your product or services.
Starting out with one version of the logo and word(s) is fine. Take a single version of the logo and word(s) and get it registered as a trademark in your state Department of Corporations and/or with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Make sure it is registered in the main class of products or services you will be providing to consumers.
These things matter, because you want consumers to immediately associate your trademark with what you do.
Once You Have Your Trademark, Use It
This sounds incredibly obvious, but far too many companies somehow get it wrong.
Quite simply, once you have created a strong trademark and registered it in the right class, the next step is to use it — and use it exactly.
What does that mean?
In the early stages of building your company and brand, there is no need to use different variations of the logo and word(s). Consistently use the same version of the logo and word(s) in marketing your products and/or services.
This means doing the following:
- Always use the same capitalization, font, and colors
- Never use the plural or possessive form of a mark
- Use the same generic term to describe our product – for example, do not refer to YoYo® brand baked goods in one spot and YoYo® brand desserts elsewhere. Decide whether you are selling baked goods or desserts and keep the message consistent.
- Place the same trademark on all marketing materials, ads, product packaging, websites, and manuals.
Make Sure All Employees Understand How Important Trademark Consistency Is Too
Consistency in how the trademark is to be used by the employees should be stated in the Brand Guidelines that are developed by your company. Make sure all employees know these Brand Guidelines and follow them.
Over time, consistency in use of your trademark will help build a reputation with consumers, and if you are providing excellent services and products, the trademark will grow stronger as your company grows.