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Steps To Protect Your Brand Name

brand nameYou wake up in the middle of the night…
It comes to you when you are drinking your first cup of coffee…
On the drive to work…
During conversation with a friend…

What they heck am I talking about?

That next idea… That next business plan or invention!

Whatever it is, one thing is certain. You need to protect the idea and your BRAND name!

I know we have all had “BIG” ideas at least in our own minds ;-)… heck I have 20 a day.

If you truly do have a great idea and you have done your due diligence researching it then there are some very important things you need to do!

First thing is of course start searching the idea and the name you are thinking about using. Check out this username search via KnowEm….

Don't cry if the idea or name is taken! Just keep on thinking!

OK you searched & searched and realize you've got a winner on your hands!

Lock Up That Brand!

  • username-search-service-300x250-300x250By locking up I mean you need to secure the following
    • Domain name
      • If you are really serious and building a long term brand you need to make sure you get the .com, the .net, the .info and so on! You don't want anybody grabbing another domain extension. Granted you can most likely get it back from them via Cyber Squatting Laws, but nobody wants to deal with that.
    • Trademark / Copyright
      • For a detailed overview of both click here, but here is my quick description. Trademark = protects a word, phrase, symbol or design (or a combination of these), of your company/brand. Copyright = form of protection for the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other creative works.
        • If you have that great idea, story, or product you will want to Trademark it and/or copyright it.
    • Online Branding
      • Did you set up your Facebook, Twitter, and/or 100's of other social media profiles? NO!! You better get on that. Even if you are not using social media “not sure why you wouldn't!” you need to get these profiles “LOCKED DOWN”. Again I mention KnowEm because it just works and saves you hours of work! You do not want somebody else picking up those profiles with your “BRAND name” and tarnishing it!
        • Why would someone do this? It could be a number of reasons. They could be trying to pull in traffic off your popularity, or they could be trying to promote a similar product and pigging backing off your idea or company. Whatever the reason you need to get those profiles set up first.
      • Once you get that Branding set up check this out… Zac Johnson talks about 7 Ways To Enhance Your Brand With Social Media

If you follow the above you should be covered pretty well with your Brand name, but you always want to look for more ways to secure it and you can also do a few things to make sure you know when your brand name is mentioned positively or negatively.

How can you be everywhere at once to know that?

Ever heard of Google Alerts?

  • No? Google alerts is pretty awesome. Say your brand name or product is called “Whap Clappers” <<< no idea lol.
    • Basically you would go to the alerts page and create a new alert with Whap Clappers in it. Any time there is a mention about “Whap Clappers” you will get an alert to your email from Google letting you know.
      • You can set these to come as it happens, once a day, or once a week.
      • Now you will know if people are talking about you… hopefully in a good way 😉
    • Other Alerts To Set Up?
      • Your Name
      • Customers & Potential Customers
      • Competition
      • Other areas interest related to your business

My brand name got some bad press! What now?

  • You ripped people off?
  • Made the wrong guy angry?
  • Stole milk from a baby?

What is wrong with you!!

  • Truth is no matter what you do, you are most likely to frustrate someone out there. That might lead to a review on Rip Off Report, Consumer Affairs, etc… all those sites that will most likely rank on the search engines when people search your brand and/or name.
    • Never fun when you see that, but more importantly never good when potential customers see that.

So What Do You Do?

  • Listen if you are really, truly, ripping people off then stop! Don't do that. It is not right!
  • What you really need to do is figure out what happen, who created the report and add to the report the best you can to resolve the information.
    • The bad thing about that is people can get so emotional, then just drag it out and spill their guts out on the web! Not fun at all.
    • So even in the end you might resolve the issue and the original “offended person” might be happy, but not you are still showing up on RipOffReport or one of the other sites in the search engines and the simple “TRUTH” is most people will click on it, see the complaint and not read through all the back and forth conversations, so they will most likely not know how it ended and now have a negative feeling about you.

This Is Where “ORM” Comes Into Play – Online Reputation Management

  • Now you have to figure out how to clean up all this negative press out there about you. You know you have a great company, a great product, but a few rotten apples out there have really messed you up!
  • Crazy Egg has a super in-depth post about ORM so check it out! I will just list the bullet points below.
    • Become well respected
    • Be radically transparent
    • Monitor what they are saying about you
    • React quickly and politely
    • Address criticism
    • Treat your Google page 1 as your business card
    • Understand your detractors
    • Attack your illegitimate attackers
    • Learn from your mistakes
    • Ask for help if necessary

Remember all those Social Media profiles we talked about way, way, up top? Well if some of those negative reviews are still showing up on the search engines, promoting and setting up those social media profiles could get them showing up above the “bad” results.

  • You basically need to start building new online profiles or mentions on popular sites so they can push down the “bad” results and hopefully knock them off to page 2 or further if possible.
    • How Do You Do That?
      • It is not easy. Many of the sites that will rank with negative info are very popular and have a lot of other sites pointing to them and Google, Yahoo, and Bing reward them for that.
      • Now you have to figure out a way to get your other online profiles, your domain name, your videos to show up above them.
    • Some Quick Tips?
      • Search your brand and see what online entities you have control of are ranking.
      • So say your Facebook, Twitter, & youtube video are ranking just below that “BAD” result.
      • You need to start there. They are already ranking, so how do you push them up a few notches to get the “bad” result down.
        • Get some links to them with your brand name. Use a service like KnowEm to build more “Branded” profiles to each.
        • If you have other online profiles, that are not really “popular ones” and you don't really go on them try setting up some links from there.
        • Create some new youtube videos about your brand/product and in the description link to the Facebook, Twitter, and other Youtube video.
        • Combinations of all the above will help move them up. You can also try to reach out to people in your niche and see if they can help you out with a mention in a post or even a guest post.
      • Cool your Facebook, Twitter, & YT vid have pushed that “other” site down, but it is still on page 1!
        • Well… do what you did above… see what other sites you have control of are ranking. They might even be on page 2. So you can rinse and repeat some of the steps above.
        • The other thing you can do is look at some of your other Profiles that might not be showing up at all.
          • Have a linkedin profile that doesn't show up. Go and finish setting up that profile and get it showing up.
          • Other popular video sites? Set up a profile on Vimeo
          • Google? Get that Google + page going or if you have a local business get that Google Business page set up! Google wants to rank that for you trust me!
      • Start thinking about all those ways and get creative. This is not a quick fix, so make a road map over the next 45-60 days and focus on one profile at a time.

Well this was supposed to be a quick post on how to secure a brand name, but it turned into a bit more. I hope I have given you some good ideas above or at least got the wheels turning for you.

There is always more to do, but I think if you can cover most of what is above your brand will have a good chance of surviving long term.

I am sure you have some things to add, so leave a comment below, or ask a question and I will do my best to answer it.




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