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How To Turn Your Brand Into A Commodity

May 20, 2011

“Aspirin and Cellophane were once trademarks that weren’t adequately defended. Now they’re generic.” – Alan C. Drewsen, Executive Director of the International Trademark Association


What is your brand? Is it an idea, a feeling, a trend, or something more? Is it something that has the potential to become an icon of your industry? If the answer is yes, perhaps it’s time to consider trademarks. While not often talked about, claiming intellectual property and rights over your brand can be a genius marketing move, protecting your business and business brand for many years to come, and establishing your brand as an industry icon.


Consumer Recognition

In the infancy of your brand, most consumers won’t instantly correlate your brand image with the business, but it is a superb objective to have in terms of creating your brand. For example, when you see a baby blue box you instantly see Tiffany & Co. and jewelry. When you see the golden arches you think McDonald’s and french fries. Perhaps the blue Ford decal reminds you of American toughness. Brand recognition is every business owner’s and advertising firm’s main objective when developing the ultimate brand. Why?


Brand Equity

Brand recognition translates into brand equity - the positive effect of the brand oveer the difference between the prices that the consumer accepts to pay when the brand known compared to the value of the benefit received. Translated, if a consumer recognizes your brand, has grown to understand what you brand represents, they will be more willing to pay a higher price.


When a husband buys a piece of jewelry from Tiffany, even though he could get something incredibly similar from a more affordable jewelry store, he walks out of that store with the baby blue box feeling like a million bucks because the Tiffany brand is so highly associated with class, exclusivity, luxury and quality. And, of course, expensive taste. The Tiffany brand is a feeling of wealth, something that every man wants, and luxury, something that every woman wants.


Another great branding example is how Christian Louboutin, makers of women’s shoes, uses the sole of their shoes to create a very high level of brand recognition. A highly successful business woman explains the attraction to extremely expensive Louboutin shoes and their iconic red soles. “Of course that red sole matters. It signals to the world that I wear Louboutins – a top-of-the-line shoe. It [says] I’m a successful woman, and I bought these myself, that I’m powerful – and still feminine.” This is the epitome of brand equity. Louboutin has even gone so far to have their lawyers trademark the red-lacquer sole with the World Intellectual Property Organization.


What Does Your Brand Represent?

When developing your brand, use the expertise of an advertising firm and marketing agency. Think big, we mean really big. Consider all of the quantitative ideas such as the exact message you want to convey and how you’ll convey it, but consider the qualitative aspects such as how will your brand make people feel. What will they associate with your brand? Will it be luxury or affordability? How can you make your brand a commodity, unparalleled and innovative?


At Quaintise, we can help with develop a brand name that people will remember. With an effective branding strategy and a team to execute your strategy well, a great brand name can one day become a generic household name.