Patenting, Branding, and Marketing
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When it comes to product or service development, these activities should be thought of as mutually beneficial, not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Patenting involves securing ones intellectual property rights by obtaining a grant of a patent, thus protecting the novel features of the invention from being made, used, offered for sale, or sold by someone other than the inventor. Branding on the other hand, is the process of developing a products identity within the minds of the consumer. Patenting is accomplished by securing a patent, and branding is accomplished, typically, through marketing efforts. However, these development efforts need not, and should not occur in a vacuum.
Unless the product, method or process in question is truly a commodity and incapable of patent protection, branding alone will probably not provide the outcome the owner is seeking. Yes, branding alone may make a product successful. Unfortunately, if the product is not protected, it will likely not be the original owner who enjoys that success. For example, small and medium sized business owners who concentrate solely on branding in order to secure the market place will invariably be thwarted in their efforts by large corporations having better access to marketing and distribution channels.
Normally, what happens in these cases is that as the product becomes a commercialized success, competition enters. If this competition has access to cheaper manufacturing, a larger distribution network, and sufficient initial capitalization, the competition will be able to capitalize on and then take over or redevelop the brand, leaving the original owner in their wake.
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