A franchise trademark is a word, name, image, symbol, device or combination that is intimately associated with a franchise. It is a brand name and should be registered to ensure that it is protected by the law. A franchise trademark is tremendously important because it is often the first indicator of a franchise’s identity. It distinguishes one franchise company from another and is used to show that certain goods or services come from a particular seller or provider.
To the average consumer, it comes to represent everything that a given franchise stands for. A good franchise company’s trademark often provokes a sense of comfort in a customer while a bad franchise company’s trademark is often enough to make customers walk away. Thus, it is important for franchise companies to guard the reputations associated with their trademarks by making sure that all their associated franchise units offer their customers top notch products or services.
It is also important for a franchise company to make sure that other business entities are not using its franchise trademark. Trademark ‘theft’ of this kind can easily dilute a brand name. Additionally, it can eat into a franchise company’s customer base by ‘stealing’ away customers and leading them to believe they are being served by an authentic franchise unit. It should not come as a surprise that various franchise companies have gone to court to sue others for the use of their trademarks.
What Makes a Good Franchise Trademark?
Because trademarks are so closely associated with the companies they represent, care should be taken in their design. A good trademark often ends up defining a company for life. So a franchise trademark should be able to tell customers what the business is about all within moments of the first glance. As franchising involves expanding an established business to reach new markets, excellent marketing and promotion are necessary to introduce the franchise to new customers and to ensure that they remember its trademark. In this case, a distinct trademark that is easy for customers to remember is ideal.
Most franchisors have the intention of leaving behind a business legacy that will last decades or longer. Thus, it makes sense for their trademarks to be durable. In other words, they should be as effective fifty years from today as they are at the present moment. Franchise companies that have to rebrand every 10 or so years lose something in the process. Companies that have the same logo 100 years on tend to be more appealing to customers. Their longevity earns their customers’ trust.