Protecting Your Brand as a Solopreneur

When it comes to intellectual property rights, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there. Whilst delegation is a wonderful concept, as the solo participant in your small business, navigating this information is essential. Your brand is your identity when working alone, and therefore you’ll need to personally know what to do to keep your brand safe.

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Knowing what your brand assets are

There are so many different types of the same product out there. Because of this fact, we know that brand assets don’t entail the functionality of a product or service, and instead signify what makes it standout. This sounds simple, but identifying what your brand assets are can be a tricky process.

To make it simpler, think of your brand as made up of multiple units. It consists of all the physical elements of your work and the literal branding design that lis prevalent and looks exciting. Its these parts that will bring in customers over the competition. Considering this, working out what the important parts of your brand are is half the process to keeping them under your own rights. Whatever makes your business recognizable, usually the strongest elements of your company design, are the assets you need to protect.

Brand assets can be:

  • Obvious physical elements e.g. characters or colours
  • Audio e.g. a theme tune or jingle
  • Digital e.g. a website or a logo

These are the typically the most unique parts of your brand, and thus what makes you stand out. Using them to full effect in marketing campaigns and packaging makes your brand into more of a household name and makes you recognizable as the face behind the product.

Trademarking a name

Working hard to come up with a brand entirely by yourself and regulating it yourself deserves some recognition. Registering a trademark is the best way to protect your branding and keep you as successful solopreneur by removing the unauthorised competition. This is usually a cheap and easy process, and won’t require a lawyer if you choose not to use one.

If the whole styling around your brand isn’t quite so unique, don’t worry, as common words or phrases can be trademarked depending on your situation. This may sound unlikely, but if you serve in an industry different to a name you plan to operate under, your brand can be trademarked. On the opposite hand, generic names are a subject of hot debate, and clearance research may need to be done to make sure any possible confusion amongst using pre-existing brand names can be avoided.

Assets that fall under copyright law

This is a simple distinction to point out. For assets such as audio or websites, these elements fall under copyright law, and so won’t need trademarking for directly. These are considered creative expressions and permission to use them can be obtained instead of concrete ideas like brand names.

As solopreneurs, acting in the big business world can be made easier through trademarking any service you offer.

Jesse Fin
 

Jesse worked as a journalist for a large tv station in Korea in her past life. She now works full time at home as a blogger and loves to help her friends manage their personal budgets.

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