If you think about it, not having your company’s name or logo trademarked is similar to not protecting yourself from identity theft. Both can bring financial burden upon you and could tarnish your reputation.
Internet marketing is becoming a must these days, and with more and more companies utilizing Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns your company needs to take similar precautions to stay safe. You don’t want to have to enroll in a debt management program because you got caught without trademark protection. Trademark infringement laws are now being changed to cater to the world of Internet marketing.
The biggest step to protecting your company’s identity is to trademark your tagline and/or logo. The first step in trademarking is to decide what category your company fits in. There are three different categories for trademarks.
- Fanciful: This means your logo, name or tagline has no logical relationship to your product. An example of this is Apple. Apple does not sell apples, but iPods and other electronics and software, even though their logo is an apple.
- Descriptive: These types of trademarks do just that, describe. Take for instance All Bran. It’s all in the name. The cereal is made completely of bran.
- Suggestive: Suggestive trademarks suggest to the consumer what their product is, but doesn’t necessarily describe their product. An example of this is Coopertone. A consumer can realize Coopertone is a suntan lotion, but it doesn’t actually describe exactly what the product is.
Trademark violations are now the second largest concern for PPC campaigns. Another thing to consider is about 20% of online searches are for trademarks. So think of it this way. 20% of people are typing in “Apple” to look for software and other electronics. So if there is a company that sells mp3 players, and Apple wasn’t trademarked, that company could use Apple in their PPC campaigns. This way when someone typed in Apple that company could get the traffic to their website not Apple’s.
Just remember to take the proper precautions when it comes to your company’s brand and/or logo. Just like you would protect yourself from any credit card processing infractions, do the same for your company””especially when it comes to your PPC campaign.
Shannon Suetos is a writer based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for Resource Nation, an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs.