Branding is what defines your company. It's a message sent to customers, your visual representation, and everything that your company uses to say, “this is us,” and “this is ours". Since its use is so important to a company, your brand needs to be protected.
This article is for those who own a business and want to get a little bit of insight into how to keep its branding safe and sound. In the end, as an example, you’ll get a look at LiveChat’s branding and its protection.
Remember that when you own a brand, you’re the one who defines how it can or cannot be used. In other words, it’s your perspective that matters. You may want to have an open brand that your customers’ can use and play with, or you may be very strict and protect it with every legal means you have available.
Branding protection and the expected use of branding: What’s the difference?
When we talk about branding protection, we mean the legal avenues available that help you to limit the usage of your brand identity by others. For example, you may protect your logo with a trademark or apply for a design patent to protect the look and feel of your webpage. Both uses are registered by the patent office and you have legal protection for them.
If you decide to go in this direction, most likely, you’ll need some legal help to apply for the protection of your assets. The expected use of branding is more related to the brand identity kit and how you deal with your customers or partners when it comes to the use of graphics to represent your business. For example, you can define what type of background your logo will be located on, if you allow anything to be included on it, or if the colors can be changed.
What is the best way to explain how a brand can be used?
The most important thing is to keep it simple. If you run a business and you want others to use your branding elements with, for example, logotypes, try not to overdo the documentation. Remember, rules that are easy to understand, will last longer.
Start by defining which elements of your brand are important. For example:
- Do you always use specific colors to build your brand?
- Do you have any specific fonts or typography that you use?
- What logo/logos do you use?
- Do you share any other types of materials like infographics or screenshots that you’re particularly attached to?
Try to answer the above questions to define what’s in the scope of your brand and what you need to protect. Once you have that, write it down, and make sure that it is clear and precise. If you want to have more control over how your logotype is used, you’ll want to prepare it in different colors and on various backgrounds. Remember to have an easy and accessible download section so that your partners and customers can download your brand identity kit.
Make your protection legal
If you feel like there is a special case to have legal protection on your branding elements, you can always use trademarks and design patents to have protection granted. Remember that in both cases, you protect only the look and feel of your brand, and the way it looks is the way you have it protected.
The best tip is to apply for protection only when you’re sure that you’ll use this sign or logo for an extended period of time. Also, think about your main market. You may protect it in your country of origin, in a jurisdiction where you have a big group of customers or partners, or even where your competitors are. It’s a business decision, so before you start the registration process, think about what matters the most to your business.
LiveChat: How we protect our branding
At LiveChat, we care about our customers and business partners. That’s why we’ve prepared branding assets that will help people use what represents us. We’ve prepared a set of samples, logotypes, colors, and everything else that can potentially be used to show that you use our product or that you have a relationship with us. Want to see how it looks? Check the links below!
Side note, please be aware that our marks are protected legally. If you have any doubts about whether or not you can use them, just drop us a line, and we’ll be more than happy to explain everything.
Show your brand with our LiveChat
We know that showing your brand is important, and that’s why we’ve prepared a feature that will let you customize your chat. You can find out more about it here.