Steps in implementing a trademark strategy include assessing the market, selecting a mark that distinguishes the company’s goods and services from those of the competitors in the market, clearing the mark to assure its availability, and properly using the mark to secure trademark rights. The process of mark selection involves some important concrete steps and considerations. Business, artistic, and legal considerations all play an important role in selecting a mark that distinguishes a company’s goods and services from those of others. The nature of the goods, the market segment the brand seeks to reach, and sophistication of the typical consumer are all significant business factors in the mark selection process.
obviously, some brands engender greater predisposition to buy than do others. The attributes of a banner brand that determine its impact on buyer predisposition include (1) recognition-the level of brand awareness; (2) reputation-the confidence one has that a product bearing a particular brand will live up to the producers claims; (3) affinity-the extent to which the brand is an integral part of the customer’s sense of self; and (4) domain-the breadth of the brands potential catchment area in terms of plausible product scope. Multiplied together, recognition, reputation, affinity, and domain determine a brand share of mind as shown in the “Determinants of Share of Mind” figure.
Recognition (brand recall) and reputation (brand esteem) well known parameters of brand power, but affinity may need more explanation. Brand affinity refers to the strength of the emotional ties that connects the consumer with the brand: Is a brand an integral part of one’s lifestyle? Does it somehow encapsulate one’s aspirations? Is it intertwined with happy memories? The higher the affinity between Brand and buyer, the greater the predisposition to consider new product offerings bearing the banner brand.
Affinity is distinct from recognition and reputation. Xerox, Boeing, and Rolls-Royce jet engine score high on both recognition and reputation, but low on affinity. Harley-Davidson scores high on recognition and affinity. The affinity Harley-Davidson owners have for “hog” products pave the way for Harley’s launch of a successful line of clothing and a downtown Manhattan eatery. The affinity consumers feel for Harley-Davidson goes far beyond bike owners.
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