Difference Between Brand Name and Trademark

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023

       

Difference Between Brand Name and Trademark

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Introduction

Building a business is not an easy process and can prove to be pretty enduring. One needs to constantly multitask, even while working with an industrious team. One of the important areas  that cannot be taken lightly while creating a business is to build recognition and help establish the company in the market. Brand name and trademarks are two such features that help identify a company amongst thousands of other such competitors.

Brand name vs. Trademark

The main difference between a Brand name and a Trademark lies in the legal protection they have to offer the company. A brand name is an identity given to the line of products that the company manufactures and is not accompanied by any legal protection whereas a trademark is a name or logo given by a legal entity that provides legal protection to the products and companies registered under it. Thus, all trademarks are brand names but not all brand names are trademarks.

Difference between Brand Name and Trademark in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Brand Name Trademark
Definition It is usually a name or a phrase. It can be a brand name, slogan, logo, sign, color, or even a sound.
Fundamental concept The brand name is given to a company and the line of services they have to offer to help customers identify them easily. Trademark provides legal protection to the companies registered under it in order to avoid any defamation or misuse.
Imposer Brand name is created and given to the company by the manufacturer or the company owner. Trademark is usually imposed by legal entities such as trademark offices upon companies.
Availability of Legal protection A brand name isn’t accompanied by any legal protection for the company against any misuse Trademarks hold legal weights while representing the brand, allowing the company to have a unique representation and sue anyone who tries to misuse it.
Time Limitations No limitations for the length of use until your brand name is registered at a local level. Each registration lasts for 10 years and can be renewed between the fifth and sixth years or in the one year before the 10-year term ends.
Scope All brand names cannot be considered trademarks All trademarks can be considered as brand names.

What is a Brand name?

A Brand name can be described as a domain name or a business name that is given to companies by the owners or the manufacturers of that company. This provides identification of the company and its line of products and services by helping any potential customers recognize the brand immediately. While most brand names that existed in the earlier eras of the marketing industry were created by a combination of the creators’ surnames, such as Godrej, Mahindra, Tata, Bajaj, and many others, the majority of the new generation brands have started to style their brand name uniquely. Creativity knows no bounds and the present marketing industry is thriving on it. Let us look at a few elements that make a brand unique and creative-

What Are The Elements That Make A Quality Brand Name?

  • Innovative and individuality: The brand name must be able to portray the creativity and the uniqueness of the company. Thus creating clever brand names can help attract customers and establish the distinguishment of the company, allowing it to stand out from other companies.
  • Concise: a brand name is better when kept concise as it helps memorize and identify the brand easily in the market.
  • Easy pronunciation: In the pursuit of being creative, one cannot compromise on the clarity of the brand name as this might lead the customers to lose interest in their business.
  • Easy to translate: The name must be easy to translate into other languages when the business needs to expand to other countries or regions with other native languages.
  • Zero innuendos: The brand name must not imply anything inappropriate. It shouldn’t mean anything bad or something that defames the reputation of the company.
  • Suggestive of the services provided: A brand name that helps customers identify the line of products and services they provide, functions faster and easier as they provide higher clarity to the market.
  • Flexible: The name must be capable of any extensions that the company might plan on. Thus any name chosen must be extendable.
  • Registration and legal protection: A name must be capable of registration and legal protection to be approved.

What Are The Purposes And Benefits Of Brand Names?

  • Personification: A brand name helps add a personalized touch to the company and its products. This can be coordinated with the domain site and allow higher visual pleasantness.
  • Credibility: A clear brand name portrays professionalism. It increases a customer’s trust in the company and eventually leads to increased business.
  • Recognition: A brand name allows the company to build an identity of its own in the business niche that’s being targeted.
  • Easy to extend business: A company that has an established brand name has a higher amount of convenience to introduce new products or lines of services with ease.
  • Higher confidence: A company that creates a unique brand name will allow the owners to have a clear strategy in mind. This allows the owner to share their business achievements easily, eventually allowing higher confidence for all the creators and employers.

What are the Types of Brand Names?

  • Founders’ names: Old and established companies mostly consist of their founders’ names, either their first names, surnames, or abbreviations of the same.

Eg:- Armani- Giorgio Armani, Bentley- W.O. Bentley, Cadbury- John Cadbury, Ferrari- Enzo Ferrari

  • Abbreviation/ acronyms: These brand names are usually shortened to keep them crisp and concise, allowing more room for uniqueness.

Eg:- BMW- Bavarian Motor Works, H&M - Hennes and Mauritz, M&M - Mars & Murrie’s

  • Conjoined services: The most popular and trendy way of attracting new customers is to conjoin two services the company will provide to create a new name.

Eg:-Accenture- Accent and Future, Instagram- Instant camera & Telegram

  • Alphanumeric: Introducing numbers in brand names can help increase the recognition of a company, helping it stand out among other companies of the same nice or product line.

Eg:- Forever 21, 7 up

  • Purpose: Some brands like to cut to the chase and allow the customers to have a clear idea as to what the product serves to the customers.

Eg:- MakeMyTrip, Redbus

  • Metaphors: These names are the cleverest as they involve good wordplay.

Eg:- Pandora- the first mortal, Greek woman, Hydra- A creature with many heads

  • Funky names: Some companies do not indicate their purpose or their line of operations. They only help sound creative and stylish. This can include bicapitalized names.

Eg:- Pixie Prime, Melo Melon, eBay

  • Miscellaneous: A majority of the rest of the names are symbolic. They might/might not have any relation to the company or its operations but might just be symbolic.

Eg:- Windows, Apple, shell

What is Trademark?

A trademark can be described as a name, logo, design, color, or even a smell that when registered, helps in the legal representation of the company. According to the Indian Trademarks Act,1999, A trademark is a mark that is capable of being represented graphically and can help distinguish the company’s services and products in the company. A trademark holds legal weight and can be described as a type of intellectual property. Most of the time when a company becomes valuable over the years, people start identifying the business by the trademark rather than the name given to the company, allowing the trademark to become synonymous with the brand name.

Trademark registration can prove to be a valuable addition to the company, allowing it certain legal rights and protection in the market industry. Let's take a closer look at all the benefits-

What are the Purposes and Benefits of a Trademark?

  • Increased customer trust: Registering for a trademark portrays to the market that the company aims to be consistent, building goodwill amongst the customers.
  • Asset creation: A company when registering for a trademark, automatically creates an intangible asset that can be sold or franchised.
  • Recognition of quality: When a company owns a trademark, it is equivalent to the company achieving a major milestone. It is similar to a stamp of quality assurance on a product. This helps attract higher a customer base and increase their business.
  • Protection against false claims: When a brand name has trademark registration, it allows the name to be protected from any false complaints that claim that the company and its name were knocked off another company.
  • Establishment: The use of a trademark allows the company to establish its place in the market of the target niche with much ease. Higher popularity means higher business, thus proving to be a huge advantage.
  • Legal rights: when a company owns a registered trademark, the company gets to enjoy a few exclusive rights over the trademark that grants them legal protection against any misuse of the name. This allows the company to sue other organizations or individuals that try to steal the name through deceptive means or substantial similarities.

Although the owner of a trademark has exclusive legal rights over any unauthorized users who try and copy or steal it, it is important to note that the owner does not have any particular ownership over that word or phrase but only over how the word is used when related to their products and services.

What are the types of Trademarks?

  • Wordmarks: The owner has the right to only the word, numbers, or the letters and not to any other representation.
  • Product marks: A type of trademark that helps mark products supplied by a company specifically and not the services.
  • Service marks: They only mark the services offered by the company and not the products or the goods.
  • Device marks: These types of trademarks help mark the representation of the word, alphabet, or the numerical and not the words or numbers themselves.
  • Collective marks: A group of companies that use a word collectively can employ the registration of a collective mark. This allows the whole group to enjoy legal rights and other exclusive benefits.
  • Certification mark: This type of trademark helps lift a company’s standard in the market as a certification trademark helps mark the quality and the standard of the company through the products’ origin, material, and quality.
  • Miscellaneous: These are usually unconventional trademarks such as color, sound, smell, and shape. They are pretty self-explicable and while they may sound pretty strange, it lets the company own extra protection against any unconventional lawsuits.

Main Differences Between Brand name and Trademark In Points

  • A brand name is usually just a business name or a domain name whereas a trademark has more freedom. It can be a logo, design, brand name, pattern, color, or even a smell.
  • The brand name is usually given to a company and the line of services and products that  they have to offer to help customers identify them easily. On the other hand, a trademark helps provide legal protection to the companies registered under it to sue any companies or businesses that would try to use deception to copy or use a name that has substantial similarities.
  • A brand name is granted to the company by the owner/ creator/ manufacturer or a board that sits to approve the same objective. A trademark is granted to the company by some legal entities such as the trademark offices.
  • A brand name does not allow any legal protection to the name but only serves to identify the company whereas a trademark is accompanied by legal protection that helps the company sue other companies that would try and misuse and cause any defamation to the registered company. This also means that the company will be protected against any false claims of stealing.
  • A brand name does not have any time limitations in the context of the length of usage. However, this only protects the brand name at that particular state when it is registered at a state level. A trademark lasts for 10 years and must be renewed in the 5th or the 6th year or within the one year before the 10 year term ends.
  • All trademarks are considered brand names but not all brand names are considered trademarks.

Conclusion

When one initiates a business, there are several elements to each domain that must be overseen with utmost importance. While misconceptions, as mentioned above, can occur, it is always recommended that one conduct intensive research to safeguard his business as much as he can and assure growth in the right way.

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"Difference Between Brand Name and Trademark." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 19 Jul. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-brand-name-and-trademark-158>.



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