Since the 1980s, it has been recognised that brand value is a significant factor in the overall worth of a company. Today, market research companies such as Millward Brown estimate that a brand may be worth as much as 30% of the stockmarket capitalisation of a company.
When we talk about brands, we’re talking about various different things, including perception, customer experience, PR and quality, to name just a few. But for most companies, brand value starts with trademarks, whether the simple name of a company, the various logos it uses, or even including more novel marks such as sound marks or shape marks for products. Without protection for these marks, the brand value is lessened. You only have to look at the resources companies put into fighting counterfeits to see how important their trademarks are, since without them, the very identity of a brand is compromised.So it makes sense that protecting the trademarks on which your brand relies would be a costly, time-consuming and difficult endeavour, doesn’t it?
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There is another way
The costs of enforcing your brand and trademarks depend somewhat on how desirable your brand is to copycats or counterfeiters, on what industry you operate in, and on where any litigation needs to take place. But you can mitigate these risks by ensuring that the trademarks that underpin those brands are as robust, up to date and useful as possible.
The good news is that there’s an easier way to do that. Whereas in the past, you might have needed to manage multiple agents in very many jurisdictions, negotiating individually with each of them on fees and worrying about whether you were being charged too much, there is now a solution that can solve your cost problem at the same time as solving your efficiency and reliability problem.
By using Brandstock’s unique agent benchmarking service, you can achieve up to a 40% reduction in the costs of your external agents for standard trademark matters, including, for example, applications, renewals, oppositions and searches.
These costs are the hidden killers of in-house IP budgets. While litigation, for example, is likely to be more costly as a one-off endeavour than any of these more standard matters, for a brand of any significant size, the everyday business of managing a trademark portfolio costs far more in the aggregate. Savings you can make here are savings that are not affected by a particular problem with a competitor, or a counterfeiter. They are savings that can be embedded into your business and which set you up for long-term success.
The key to this is that normally, reducing costs can add risk to your brand, not protect it. But with the agent benchmarking service, you’re reducing costs at exactly the same time as further protecting your brand.
Brandstock benchmarks agent fees and official fees across all the jurisdictions in which you work, and then negotiates on your behalf to sign new agreements with the best of your agents (or suggests where you could change agents) to give you peace of mind that you’re getting the right job done at the right price.
At the same time, it generates savings that are typically 10 times the cost of undertaking the benchmarking project in the first year. If your brand represents 30% of your company value, even if you’re putting less than 30% of your resources into protecting in, the outlay is substantial. Imagine that you could save 40% of the cost of making sure your trademarks are being looked after properly. Such a saving would effectively increase the value of your brand overnight.
Brands are important. They’re the first contact between you and your customer, and they define how your company is seen in the world. But just because your brands are important, that doesn’t mean protecting them should be expensive.