23/08/2016 12:11 PM IST | Updated 24/08/2016 8:34 AM IST

Why It's Never Too Early To Trademark Your Business

In a dog eats dog world, it's critical to have a unique identity that defines you and your business. It doesn't matter if you are a major brand or just thinking of starting your own business; the only thing that's going to ensure your survival, in the long run, will be your unique identity and your brand's recognition in the market.

This means that you need to do everything in your power to make sure that you preserve that identity and nurture it to realize its potential fully.

One of the primary reasons people fail even if they have the most terrific products to sell is a lack of brand recognition. Trademarking can help you secure your brand and give it that edge over your closest rivals.

Someone else could trademark your brand's name because you haven't and then use that goodwill that you have created in the market to their advantage.

For the uninitiated, Trademark is a just way of referring to your brand (if you are interested, you can read more about trademark basics here) and protects your unique identity by preventing anyone else from using or referring to your brand without your explicit permission. However, if that's not reason enough, let's look at a few points that will explain why exactly you need to act right now if you still haven't.

No Brand is too small for trademarking

You think your brand is still in its infancy, and trademarking can wait? Well, think again. Let's assume you are confident that you make some of the best footwear in the market. Your designs are unique, and the prices are relatively low compared to the other main brands.

Now, what if at one point in time your fame grows exponentially because your products are just that damn good? Now, let's take a step back and consider this scenario: what if someone else starts exploiting your brand's name by creating duplicates and distributing them into the market? While there are legal remedies for that sort of thing, matters can slip out of your control. For example, someone else could trademark your brand's name because you haven't and then use that goodwill that you have created in the market to their advantage. All your hard work could be lost just because you thought that your brand was still in its infancy and trademarking could wait. Don't let that happen to your business.

Like I said, no business is too small for trademarking, because in today's dynamically changing world, you never know when your brand starts taking giant leaps rather than small baby steps. Therefore, it pays to be prepared beforehand!

It's your identity and helps grow your customer base

A trademark helps your business gain identity; without it, your business is just another name among the hordes of other companies in your chosen niche. In short, it's the one thing that your customers are going to recognize.

The moment someone lays their eyes on your product, they need to know it as the brand they love and trust, and that's only possible if there is something to differentiate between what you create vs. the others.

You need to start thinking about trademarking from the very moment you started thinking about setting up something of your own.

Just look around yourself and you will find a ton of products manufactured by hundreds, even thousands of companies; yet there are some we recognize just by looking at their logos. This is the power of trademarking, and you need to be there, right at the top of the food chain to stand out and make an impression that's going to last in the minds of your customers even days or months after they have purchased your product.

This is because every time they look at your trademark -- be it in the newspapers or on hoardings -- they are going to remember your brand and the terrific products it's associated with. And that's something you want, as it's the only thing that's going to help differentiate you from your competitors.

It's an asset and you need to look at it that way

A trademark is a valuable asset that can grow exponentially as your business gains traction. Moreover, it will help you diversify your business should you ever decide to venture into unexplored territory.

Think about any brand that rings a bell in your mind -- Kellogg's, Ray Ban, whatever. What is it about these brands that make you remember them? It's their brand value.

As these businesses gained traction and their trademark began getting recognized more and more, the value of their brand appreciated over time, resulting in exponential growth for these companies. It doesn't stop there. Trademarks can get your business acquired, they can be sold or bought and even help you secure bank loans to further your business interests.

In short, it's an asset you can't afford to overlook if you are indeed serious about carving a niche for yourself in this highly competitive global market.

Trademarking is one of the basics when it comes to business. Not doing so is opening it up to being exploited. You risk impersonation or a dented reputation as a direct result of malpractices by your competitors.

As I mentioned, there is no appropriate time for trademarking your business; you need to start thinking about it from the very moment you started thinking about setting up something of your own. Hope the points here have helped you understand the nuances of trademarks and why they are important. If you think I missed out something, or there is anything else that you would like to know about, leave a comment below.

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