The most important reason that you want to take ownership of your brand elements like your brand name, logos, and slogans/taglines is so that they become more than just a “cool” way for people to identify your brand. Note: You can also get trademarks for your distinctive packaging, color schemes and sounds but those are less common so I am not speaking about them specifically in this post.
It’s because owning the trademark for your brand assets transforms them from potential liabilities in your business (I explain this concept here) to assets, that will add value to your business’ bottomline.
Your trademarks will make your business money, if you let them.
This isn’t the first time that you’ve heard me say that your trademarks are assets. But, I wanted to make that statement more real for you. I want to explain exactly how your trademarks are assets, and how you can make money from them.
But first, let’s look at some aspects of your business that you can associate with a trademark, that you’re probably overlooking.
- Branded processes, systems or methodologies
- Hashtags associated with your products or services
- Conferences or other signature events that you may host
- The names of masterclasses or workshops that you facilitate
- A signature line of crafted products
- The names of communities or groups that you’ve formed (i.e. Lady Gaga’s LittleMonsters)
Each of these trademark-able (yes, I made that up but you get the point) aspects of your business will build in financial value over time. Once protected with a trademark, they become individual assets of your business that can be sold or leased, just like real estate.
As you build, think of each aspect of your business as a micro-business that you’ll one day be able to be monetize on it’s own.
Here are three key ways that your trademarks will make you money:
Brand recognition in the market. Starting out, your trademarks are how potential clients and customers recognize you in the market. There can be a million other people who do what you do, but your trademarks will gain recognition, loyalty and the exclusive right to use them.
Expansion ability. Your trademarks allow you to expand your presence in the market without having to be everywhere. You can license the rights to your trademarks for their use. Maybe you want to enter a new geographic market? This is the perfect way to do it.
Funding Opportunities. As you evolve in business, you may decide that you want to let certain parts of your business go. Trademarks are separate assets that will build in value over time. Instead of just letting the business wither, you can sell off certain trademarks to companies who do similar work, and use the funding from the asset sale to support the new direction of your business.
Taking care of your trademarks is about playing the long game and creating more opportunities for yourself in the future. You say you wanted to be an entrepreneur because you wanted freedom, right? This is one way to get it. Set yourself up so that your trademarks will make your business money and give you the freedom to create the life that you want.