Branding is the affixing of a trademark onto a product or service. For example, Smith & Hopen has federal, incontestable trademark registrations for SMITH & HOPEN (word mark) and a logo design. Affixing them to our website pages and in association with our services serves as specimens of continued and exclusive use.
Think of how the term “brand” started. Cattle ranchers seared unique designs into their cattle so that others could identify where that animal came from. In legal lingo, trademarks are consider “source identifiers” which must uniquely identify a single origin for a product or service. Even if the service is provided in multiple locations (e.g., Chick-fil-A), consumers have an expectation of consistency in appearance, product and service.
Another component of brand management is impressions. Sometimes a potential customer does not require your services or products at a single point in time. However, by presenting your trademark to them on a continuous basis, they generate a physiological affinity for the brand and may be more likely to find it trustworthy and known.
As trademark attorneys, we affix our trademark on practically everything we can. Here are just some examples.