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Wealthy & Wise: Branding Your Business

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April 14, 2023
Author: NCH

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About the Video: Wealthy & Wise Branding Your Business

Branding and trademarking your business are essential steps for establishing a unique identity and protecting your intellectual property. A strong brand creates a powerful association between your company and your products or services in the minds of your customers. Trademarking your brand name, logo, and other identifying marks ensures that no one else can use them without your permission. By registering your trademarks, you also gain legal protection and the ability to take legal action against any infringement on your intellectual property rights. This can prevent confusion in the marketplace and help build trust and credibility with your customers, ultimately leading to increased brand recognition, customer loyalty, and long-term success.

Prefer to read? A full transcript is provided below.

Cort:

Hello and welcome to another episode of Wealthy and Wise. I’m your host, Cort Christie. And today we’re going to be talking about branding, branding your business. And there’s a lot that goes into branding and doing it correct. And really kind of laying the foundation properly for any new business so that you protect your valuable brand that you just started when you launched your new business. I have an expert with us today. We’ve got Adam Kintigh, one of the top advisors here at NCH. Welcome to the program, Adam.

Adam:

Thank you for having me.

Cort:

Awesome and Adam, you’re going to be giving us some story here. We want to understand exactly why branding is important. What kind of things one can do in business to brand their business properly. Where do you go with a conversation on branding with a new client?

Adam:

Yeah. So great question. So, the first thing is getting the company formed, forming a corporation or LLC. And people will get hung up on getting a name that is, you know, a perfect name. Well, the perfect name might take a lot of time to develop. So usually I advise people, form your LLC, we could do a general name and we can file a DBA, doing business as, for marketing purpose, when you come up with that genius name because the most important piece is the date of incorporation moving forward. So, we start with, get the LLC formed to a general name if needed, and we can get more specific and fine tune that later on with a simple DBA.

Cort:

You mentioned the date of the business. Now is there any value to maybe if you’re not prepared to start the business, but to file the business entity sooner than later, just to start to kind of set that date in place?

Adam:

Yeah, it’s a great point. So, one of the most important pieces is the longer your company is around, the more valuable it becomes from a credit standpoint as well. So, if all we did is just form the company, just establish the date of incorporation, it is going to be adding value to your company.

Cort:

So, there’s age, there’s value in age as far as kind of getting it done. And I think, you know, we’ve seen clients that will form a business entity and finally a year later, they’re ready to launch their idea because there’s a lot of work involved in many businesses. And you’ve got to put the time you might need a facility to work out of or a storefront that you’re working on. But yeah, if you could say establish last year versus this year it starts to give it that age, which is somewhat of a form of branding in a way, it’s like, okay, you’re established.


Adam:

So, the second thing is we formed the company, get an LLC formed, and then we want to make sure that we’re getting the URL. Getting the domain name established. And it’s one of those pieces I just got off the phone. I found this great, I was at, my wife is starting a business, a cleaning service and I googled free logos because I wanted to see what logos were out there. I thought, well, we’ll use Fiverr or someone to design a logo, I went to free logos dot com and the domain name was available for sale. Now, usually you can get a domain name for a minimal amount of money, you know, $20, $30 bucks a year. This one said available for purchase. So, I just got a call this morning from GoDaddy who explained to me that that domain name is available and for sale logos dot com for a small price of $40,000.

Cort:

Well, that sounds like a great URL. You should buy that domain. So, one of the things you want to do is actually, you know, secure your property online, right? And get that address online and register that so that for your business you’ve got you know that establish for the next stage of the development. What other things should one be thinking about as far as branding their company.

Adam:

Yeah. So, getting the actual URL and then are you going to have for the logo itself are going to have a name in the logo or is it just a picture or a symbol? Is it both? And these are things you have to pay attention to because part of getting your business up and running is having the logo. Our NCH logo has NCH and on our building in there as well. And that is one trademark. Whereas if we had words that could be separate from the trademark itself and those things start getting expensive, when you start doing multiple things, having names and logos and different graphics involved. So, let’s figure that out and get your website set up and running along with an email address. So, I guess one of the most important pieces is you get the domain name. Now you really want to look professional. So, when you’re doing your business cards and getting your website set up that they’re not emailing Adam Kintigh at gmail.com or Adam Kintigh at Yahoo! They’re sending it to a professional email.

Cort:

And I think, you know, so often I’ll see business cards or get correspondence from individuals that use a Gmail address. And why? Because they use it for all their personal. And so they think, well, I’m going to do that for my business as well. Absolutely not. It is too easy to set up an alternate email address. It can still go to the same inbox, or you can have two inboxes. It will go right to your phone. It’ll go right to your computer, and you can manage it identically as you do Gmail or any other email that you have right now. But it really tells people they are a real business that you are a professional, not just some fly by night little freelance company or somebody just doing a little side hustle. It actually makes you look professional.

Adam:

And, great point. I was a few weeks ago helping a client. He had been presented an opportunity. I said, you know, let’s look them up online and see what they have there. And the email address that he had forwarded to me was not from a professional, it was from a Gmail. So maybe start digging in thinking, okay, is this a fly by night organization or what is it? And then I went to the website and that was, and looked very unprofessional. So, my quick assessment was, this is not a good company to do business with. They have a Gmail account. The website is, doesn’t look very nice. It was outdated information with one page and in my view, just not a professional organization.

Cort:

And even then you go into the website, you know, as you mentioned, you get your domain, you get your email now set up. So, you’ve got your business kind of established online and now you’re going to build out that website. What kind of website do you recommend, how involved? You know, because I’ve seen very shoddy, you know, websites. And in today’s world, it doesn’t take a lot to either hire somebody or build it yourself.

Adam:

Yeah. So, one of the pieces we always look at the website is you’ve got to be able to find you online on your desktop. But they also have to be able to go to their phone. And there are special programs and all this programing language changes all the time. So, have you ever gone to a website and you pull up on your phone and you can’t read it? It’s not compatible with the phone that you’re using. So again, it lends credibility to the fact that you are working with a reputable company that maintains the website and makes sure that it is visible, and it is up and running and we don’t type in the domain name and find page not found or an error of some kind. Those are all important. If your business is an e-commerce business, you’re selling things online. Obviously, the amount of work and time that goes into that is a lot more, I’ve got to show pretty pictures. And if I’m a restaurant, I probably want to have updated pictures of my menu. If I’m just a consulting business it could be a very basic website with a few pages, an About Us page, Services, Contact Us, pretty simple stuff. So, depending on how elaborate your business requires, the website could be a one page. It could be many, many, many pages. But those are things that you as a business owner have to determine is, what are my what are my customers going to want to see, and how easy is it for them to buy from me?

Cort:

Yeah, and I think it’s so important. It’s like, I want to know that this is a real legit company I want to go to. If you have a small coffee shop or a restaurant, you know, I want to know I can make a reservation. I want to see your menu. You know, really the basics. And again, it doesn’t take a lot. You can build it yourself on many platforms. You can hire somebody to do it. NCH offers custom websites. We have incredible designers that put together websites for you, but you want that professional image as a part of your brand that you’re representing as you start to grow your business. And many people, when they’re just starting out, don’t think about brand. They’re like, brand. What is a brand? I mean, brand names like Gucci or Louis Vuitton? Yes, that’s a brand. But it started with an idea at one point in time. And your brand, just like we have the NCH shirts on here today. It’s laying the foundation for that. So, as your business takes shape, people know who you are, know where to find you and they’ll remember that name of that business or that logo that you’ve developed.

Adam:

Well, the final thing I want to talk about is that trademarking process of actually legally taking the trademark of the business. And it’s one of the most important steps because that protects your brand. And as you go out and start advertising and marketing, you’re developing this great name and it is so easy today that if you don’t file a trademark, other people can piggyback off of all your work and they can, (A), ruin your name, (B) steal business from you. So, protecting that property is so important and that’s done through the trademark.

Cort:

And that’s a process with the Federal Trademark Office in Washington, D.C., and, you know, it does take a little while. So, it’s something you want to start on early on in your business to protect your brand from somebody else taking it. You know, you might have somebody down the street that wants to use a very similar name to you in business or in another state. And you want to make sure that, nope, that is yours. You made sure that that is protected. We’ve got Nevada Corporate Headquarters trademarked. You know, no one can use that in the space that we’re in. You have to pick an industry class. And, you know, if you’re in the clothing, then you get clothing. If you’re a restaurant, then you’re in the restaurant class. You don’t get it for every industry, but you protect it in your space, which is very, very important. Is that something that they can come to you for, Adam?

Adam:

Yeah. So, we have a whole team that specializes in putting together these trademarks, and it’s not as easy as someone might think. So, we have to work with trademark attorneys that actually file these things and make sure that they’re doing all the searches to make sure it’s done right. And then people often think that they can’t start using the trademark until it’s approved. It can take 6 to 9 months to get an approval. And if you’re not actively using the trademark, it seems odd, but if you’re not actively using your trademark, they won’t approve it. One of the questions through the process is, are you using this now? And the answer needs to be, yes, I’m actively using it in order for us to get those approvals.

Cort:

So very important. If you want to properly brand your business, make sure that that finale or once you’ve got everything else laid is to get that trademark done, call Adam at NCH, call any of our representatives at NCH and they can help you get your trademark done properly and very efficiently. We have a very affordable process too. But most importantly, you have to have an attorney draft up the documentation and file the trademark. Be careful with firms that don’t have attorneys doing it. Actually, the Federal Trademark Office requires that you must be a licensed attorney to file any trademarks. So, very important point. So, this has been great Adam. Thanks for sharing information about, you know, kind of how to brand your business, how to kind of lock down your name and your logo and your presence around, you know, the identity of your business that you’re trying to get out to the public and let the world know about. So, thanks for being on today.

Adam:

Thanks for having me.

Cort:

Absolutely. And for all of you listening in today, hopefully, you learned a little bit about all the things that are necessary in branding a company. Make sure you take these steps to securely lay the foundation of your business idea. Thanks for tuning in to another edition of Wealthy and Wise. Have a great day!

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DISCLAIMER: The above material has been prepared for informational purposes only, containing opinions of the provider, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consider consulting tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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