Inc. recently published an article titled “How Bill Gates, Jessica Alba, and Other Famous Founders Learned from Their Crucial Mistakes.” This is a great article, and one of the crucial mistakes identified is “Being Too Similar to Other Brands.” Brands that lack differentiation may not be positioned for long-term success. There are several articles on what “brand differentiation” is, but in general it means when a product or service matches superior performance with an important customer benefit. Consumer experience the brand differentiation through advertising, trademarks, and product packaging.
As searchers, what can a trademark search tell us about this issue? In the legal arena, lack of brand differentiation means dilution, which we discussed in a prior post. When using BOB, you know dilution may be an issue if the results are returned with a yellow light. A yellow light signals that legally your proposed mark may be able to co-exist with the other marks identified in the search results. However, it may also be indicating a lack of brand differentiation. If you are a branding company conducting the initial trademark search, you may want to take this into account as you work on the brand strategy.