Why branding is important in franchising

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The defining factor that has kept businesses growing is the strength and reputation of the brand. Richard Branson founder of Virgin Records and the Virgin brand acknowledged this. He went on to state that the “way a company brands itself is everything – it will ultimately decide whether or not a business survives”. It sounds drastic and most people would think, it’s my product or service that would dictate whether the business survives or not! However, there is merit to Bransons’ foresight, ultimately it’s the brand that people will emotionally connect to and whether you are buying an Apple or Samsung smartphone, it is the relationship that each of these brands have developed with their customers that has created this loyalty to the product.

In the early 1940’s we had brands like Lucky Strike tobacco, IBM Computers and VW automobiles that projected the future of how products and services would be showcased. It was an era that would set the tone for how we perceive and engage with brands today.

Many small businesses engage our offices to establish a new business or product without very much consideration to the brand. In many respects the brand is an after-thought following the human emotional trap that the product or service is what counts the most. It definitely has a role to play, but the significance of the brand associated with that product or service should not be underestimated. Therefore, we are strong advocates of ensuring our clients have a well thought out strategy for their brand, particularly when it comes to trade mark registration.

A word of caution, don’t always adopt a name that is descriptive or generic because it may seem easy to convert sales. In fact, it’s these generic names that tend to invest heavily in protecting their name in the long run. Most brands that are top of mind that didn’t adopt such a strategy are brands we are all familiar with including Apple, Virgin, McDonalds, Mercedes, Chanel, Qantas, Amazon, Microsoft and many more just like these.

Follow these simple steps to creating a brand:

  1. Engage a good branding agency.
  2. Ensure that the name you settle with has been researched. That is, it does not conflict with other names in the market place, particularly dealing with the same or similar product or service.
  3. Is the Domain name available nationally and internationally?
  4. If you were to engage a strong search engine optimisation strategy with Google, will it rank well?
  5. Engage a trade mark lawyer to determine whether the name and/or logo are capable of registration in Australia and potentially other jurisdictions.
  6. Obtain a trade mark registration where applicable for the products and services.
  7. Establish a monitoring policy for your brand to ensure others are not “passing off” your brand and reputation.
  8. As the brand will inevitably be a significant asset to the business, protecting it from any liabilities is critical. Therefore a well thought out ownership structure is a must have. In some cases these brands can be worth billions and must be handled accordingly. The world’s most valuable brands include those noted above along with Google, Facebook, Coco Cola, Disney and Samsung. The same applies to franchise brands such as KFC, Subway, McDonalds, Anytime Fitness, Burger King and many others that grace our shopping centres and streets across the world.

The above may seem a stretch for those embarking on the journey of building a business, however, we have seen brands grow in three years from minimal revenue to in excess of a $100m in turnover. There is no limit to the growth of a brand, so long as the brand is presented to the market thoughtfully.

Marwan Kojok is Managing Partner of premier franchise firm Baybridge Lawyers where he specialises in emerging and mature franchise systems and franchise litigation matters. Marwan has consistently been recognised by International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers, working closely with many international brands and firms across the globe.

With over 20 years’ experience assisting franchisors manage their legal affairs along with assisting in the development of their networks, protecting and enforcing their Intellectual Property and maintaining their brand goodwill.

Baybridge Lawyers offer the following services: franchise set ups, franchise transactions and compliance, attending to sale contracts of businesses and assets, intellectual property protection and enforcement, dispute resolution and litigation, corporate transactions including preparation of partnership, joint venture and shareholder arrangements.

Brought to you by Baybridge Lawyers

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