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What’s the Difference between Brand and Trademark?

Difference between brand and trademark

What’s the Difference between Brand and Trademark?

Many individuals often find themselves confused between the terms brand and trademark. Understanding the difference, especially for entrepreneurs, is essential since it significantly impacts business. The main difference between a brand and a trademark is that a brand signifies the overall impression of your business identity, while a trademark refers to specific brand elements, like logo, name, phrase, design, etc. With trademark registration, you can provide legal protection for your brand elements. In this article, you can understand the major differences between brand and trademark with their definitions, features, and examples.

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What is a Brand? 

A brand is a unique business identity, including its name, logo, values, and overall image. It includes everything that distinguishes one company from another and influences the customer’s perception towards products or services. A strong brand is essential for businesses to build customer trust, loyalty, and recognition. To build a brand, a business should be clear about its audience, vision, and mission and put consistent efforts to impact the customers positively.

Also, learn about Brand Valuation in India

What is a Trademark? 

A trademark is a special symbol, name, or logo officially registered to identify and protect a business’s products or services. It includes unique elements associated with business like logos and names. You can safeguard the brand elements with trademark registration. Businesses use trademarks to establish their identity in the market, making it easier for customers to recognize and trust their products or services. To build a strong brand, consistently use and promote your trademark in all aspects of your business, from advertising to product packaging, creating a memorable and reliable image for your customers.

Features of Brand 

  • Builds Identity: The brand creates a unique identity for a product or company, including elements like name, logo, and colours. It stamps the sense of authority on the people’s minds.
  • Reputation and Image: It refers to the reputation and image of a company in the minds of consumers and emphasizes trustworthiness and credibility.
  • Emotional Connection: It establishes emotional connections with customers by implicating values and loyalty.
  • Differentiation: Brands highlight the company’s unique features, benefits, values and selling points.
  • Consistency: The business can build recognition, trust, and familiarity among the customers by maintaining consistency in brand elements.
  • Brand Promise: A brand promises customers the value and benefits they can expect from their products or services. 
  • Brand Experience: It creates positive and memorable customer experiences at every interaction. It builds lasting relationships with customers.
  • Brand Equity: Brand equity signifies the value and worth of a brand in the marketplace, including awareness and loyalty. It signals the place it’s attained in the marketplace.
  • Brand Extension: It is easy for successful brands to extend their presence into new product lines by leveraging existing brand equity.
  • Brand Management: Strategic brand management involves planning, positioning, communication, and consistent monitoring to track customer brand awareness.
  • Differentiation: Innovative brands can stay ahead of the competitors by introducing new and improved products or services.
  • Personalization: A Brand can tailor products, services, and communication to individual preferences for a personalized customer experience. Employing the stories that resonate with the individual values is a fruitful strategy.
  • Community Engagement: Brands engage with communities, building a sense of belonging, support, and recognition.
  • Influence on Purchase Decisions: Brands influence consumer choices and purchase decisions since they convey the business identity. 
  • Examples of Brand: Apple, Coco Cola, Disney, Nike, and Amazon.

Features of Trademark 

  • Distinctiveness: A trademark should stand out and be easily recognizable to distinguish products or services.
  • Protection: Trademarks offer legal protection, preventing others from using similar symbols for similar goods or services.
  • Ownership: Trademarks are owned by individuals or businesses and represent their exclusive rights to specific symbols.
  • Identification: Trademarks help consumers identify and associate products or services with a specific source or brand.
  • Symbolic Representation: Trademarks often symbolize a brand’s values, quality, and reputation in a compact visual form.
  • Legal Recognition: Trademarks gain legal recognition through registration, providing stronger protection against infringement.
  • Renewability: Trademarks require periodic renewal to ensure continued protection and ownership rights.
  • Exclusive Rights: Trademarks grant exclusive rights to the owner, allowing them to control the use of the registered symbol.
  • Brand Loyalty: Trademarks contribute to building brand loyalty as consumers associate the symbol with positive experiences.
  • Categories: Trademarks are categorized based on the type of goods or services they represent.
  • Infringement Protection: Trademarks protect against unauthorized use, and legal action can be taken for infringement.
  • Brand Extension: Successful trademarks can be extended into new product lines, leveraging existing brand equity.
  • Global Recognition: Trademarks can achieve global recognition, contributing to a brand’s presence in international markets.
  • Examples of Trademark: McDonald’s Golden Arches, Google’s Multicolored Logo, Microsoft Windows Logo, Starbucks Mermaid Logo, and Adidas Three Stripes.

Also Read: Trademark Filing

What are the major differences between a brand and a trademark?

Below, we have provided the information regarding the brand and trademarks. It helps you to know the difference between a brand and a trademark.

S.No Characteristics Brand Trademark
1. Definition It represents the overall image and identity of a product, service, or company. It is a legally protected symbol, name, or logo that identifies goods or services.
2. Legal Protection It is generally not legally protected and instead relies on reputation and goodwill. It is legally registered and protected under intellectual property laws.
3. Registration It is not registered formally. It requires formal registration with the relevant intellectual property office.
4. Scope It represents the entire perception of a business. It focuses on specific symbols, names, or logos associated with products or services.
5. Ownership It is owned collectively by customers, stakeholders, and the business. It is owned exclusively by the entity that registers formally and uses it.
6. Transferability It is difficult to transfer independently. It can be bought, sold, or licensed independently, providing a transferable asset.
7. Duration It can evolve, change and transform over time. It is protected for a specific period, renewable indefinitely if maintained.
8. Use in Commerce It represents the overall business identity. It is specifically used to identify and differentiate products or services in commerce.
9. Enforcement Its protection depends on maintaining a positive image. It is enforced through legal means against unauthorized use, protecting against infringement.
10. Costs Generally, there are no registration costs. It involves application fees and registration with intellectual property offices.
11. Examples Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola – holistic business identity. Nike’s swoosh and Apple’s bitten apple are legally protected symbols associated with products.
12. Valuation It is based on overall business value, perception, and reputation. It is valued based on legal protection and recognition associated with the symbol, name, or logo.
13. Geographical Scope It represents a broader and potentially global identity. Its protection is typically limited to registered geographical regions.
14. Influence Customer experiences, advertising, and business conduct influence it. It is primarily influenced by legal recognition and protection, ensuring exclusivity.
15. Applicability It encompasses various elements like logos, slogans, and customer experience. It encompasses names, logos, or symbols to identify products or services.


As we were given all the necessary information regarding the brand and trademark, we believe you understood the difference between these terms. If you are in business or thinking of starting one, knowing the difference between brand and trademark is essential. It prepares you to navigate through the business world. Essentially, a brand conveys the overall personality of your business to the customer, while the trademark legally protects the specific brand elements that tie your business to the customer. After the trademark registration, it is only valid for 10 years; you must renew afterwards. At the end of the day, both of them promise a lasting relationship with your customers and bring more.

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