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How Should the Enterprise Design Its Own Trademark?

Trademark is the epitome an enterprise created for its own image at the starting phase. It is conceived and designed based on the name, business scope, location and corporate culture of an enterprise, and acts as its spiritual business card.

Different from the marks in ancient times, trademark is the product of modern economy. Modern marks convey the intangible assets of an enterprise and act as media in the transfer of corporate comprehensive information. As the main part of corporate CIS strategy, trademark is the most critical elements in the transfer of corporate image, and is used with the most extensiveness and the highest frequency. For an enterprise, its strong overall strength, perfect management mechanism, high-quality products and services all can be implied by the trademark and eventually make a deep impression on the audiences.

The guidelines and basic rules of trademark design

1. Concise, easy to recognize and memorize

The nature of trademark is the dissemination of information, so a successful trademark should be of good recognizability and memorability, and should be clear and easy- to-remember; no matter it is device mark or word mark, abstract or concrete.

2. With prominent character and clear connotation

In short, the character of trademark refers to its distinctiveness. While focusing on the recognizability of trademark, we also emphasize its uniqueness and distinctiveness. According to the requirements of trademark registration in the Chinese trademark law, the design of trademark should be of unique conception and unconventionality. Meanwhile, the meaning of device should be clearly highlighted so as to correctly convey the character of specific goods and services. 

3. Novel, unique and compelling

The idea and shape of trademark should be of novelty, uniqueness and ingenuity, reflecting distinct formal beauty and modernity. Blind imitation makes no contribution to the design of good trademarks, but leaves potential problems to the protection of trademark, therefore should be avoided by all means.

4. With good expansibility

A successful trademark also has temporal ductility and usage extensiveness so as to be used on various occasions and in various media. Trademark design is a far-sighted system engineering, where the designers should be strategy-minded and put the long-term corporate development into consideration.

5. With contemporaneity and regionalism

A trademark which is considered out of time will certainly leave an impression of backwardness. Trademark of modern enterprise should reflect its modern characteristics; meanwhile, for an enterprise of rich historical heritages, traditional features and the flavor of era should also be integrated into its trademark.

A trademark of strong local characteristics evokes people’s curiosity and thus can easily catch eyes; on the other hand, it easily gets local popularity.

6. Compatible with the target market

Moreover, a successful trademark should also fit in the target market. The psychology and habits of consumers in target markets need be considered, meanwhile, social customs, culture, religions and likes/dislikes should be followed, for example, Southeast Asian dislike green, the number 13 is taboo in Western World, owl pattern is considered bad in some places in China and the Star of David must not be used in some Arab countries.

7. Compliant with laws

Legally, compliance with laws is the first condition of trademark design. And, legal requirements and examination standards may differ between regions or countries. Therefore, trademark designers must pay careful attention to the compliance of trademark.

8. Combined with decoration, and designed in layers

Trademark should be coordinated with package or decoration. On the package, trademark should be placed at prominent position, while the decoration is designed to highlight trademark. If the decoration is over-attractive, the trademark cannot guide the shopping orientation.

The taboos in trademark design

1. Avoid using geographical names

Geographical name only indicates the place of origin, when used as trademark, it cannot help consumers to identify the producer, and easily makes people confused about the place of production. In many countries, trademark offices will reject the registration by claiming that geographical name lacks distinctiveness and it is common to all mankind thus should not be exclusively owned by a certain producer, even if it gets registered under some circumstances, there still will be many limiting conditions.

2. Avoid using names and surnames

Trademark laws in some countries stipulate that, name or surname can only be used as trademark with related person’s consent. If the related person just died, then permission from his or her legal representative organization or agent must be obtained first. There are many Chinese trademarks whose English parts happen to be foreign names or surnames, registrations of such trademarks in other countries are very difficult, some even never succeeded.

3. Avoid using numbers

Trademarks based on numbers are considered lacking distinctiveness, and the examiner might deem that the numbers are common to all the people and rejected the registration. Although, laws in some countries permit the use of numbers as trademarks, but only if such trademarks are widely used or they have already gained reputation. Above all, it is best not to use numbers in trademark design, especially not in the trademarks of export brands.

4. Avoid cultural and religious conflicts

Trademark offices in some countries have made some special stipulations based on their culture and traditions. Therefore, the design of export brand trademarks must be compatible with social and cultural traditions in various countries, and avoid going against their local customs and religions.

For example, Chinese battery brand “White Elephant” is very popular in Southeast Asia, because white elephant is considered a lucky animal in this region; but its sales volume is not so good in Europe and Americas, for ”white elephant” means something expensive but useless in English, it is obvious that nobody likes a trademark with that name. Panda bear is the pride of Chinese people and is also very popular in Southeast Asia, Europe and Americas, however, people in Islamic countries dislike it.

Trademark plays a very important role in commercial activities; good trademark design will definitely make a contribution to marketing development and product promotion. We hope the above based common experiences will do some help with your trademark design.

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