Franchising code amendments - dispute resolution
The long awaited dispute resolution provisions under the Franchising Code of Conduct (the...
Strong and consistent brands underpin successful businesses.
Brand protection is essential to maintain the value of your brand and your business.
Brand strategy sets out the detailed plan for growing your business in a structured way. Brand strategy includes brand objective, target audience, brand positioning, brand identity and market strategy.
An effective brand strategy leads to brand consistency, connection with consumers and higher brand value.
As the value of a brand increases, so do competitors as they try to copy the brand's offering.
Consequently, an effective brand protection strategy (or intellectual property protection strategy) should be developed early on in the formation of a business's brand strategy.
Your business name and other intellectual property (such as designs, logos, trade secrets, business know-how, copyright and patents) can be protected in a number of ways, including by trade mark registration and agreement (for example confidentiality, intellectual property, licence and franchise agreements).
An effective brand strategy which works in tandem with an effective brand protection strategy will lead to the creation of further brand value.
Included in the development of your brand strategy will be the development of a detailed and developed brand identity.
If you intend to grow your business, you need to ensure consistent use of your brand.
In order for the use of your brand to be consistent you must have a developed brand identity including logos, fonts, colours and image style.
It is important that your logo communicates the values and characteristics of your brand and your business.
Your name and logo must be used consistently. This includes details like colour, font and size.
Trade marking your logo, image and name style will protect its unauthorised use by others.
In addition to your logo, you should specify what fonts are associated with your brand image.
Your business may use different fonts for different purposes.
Make sure that you specify what fonts (including size and colour) can be used in social media.
A brand identity also includes the specific colours that are associated with your brand image.
These colours are likely to be grouped into primary, secondary and tertiary colours.
Your visual brand identity document should clearly state the circumstances in which each group of colours can be used.
Your image style will include graphics, photos and icons. Your image style should reflect the tone of your brand and complement your brand colour palette. Your images should also tell a story.
Social media is an effective tool in developing your brand. However, you need to ensure that your social media messaging is consistent and accurate.
Any claims that your make on social media must not be false or misleading.
While there are no consumer laws in place which apply directly to social media, general consumer laws, such as misleading and deceptive conduct laws, apply to social media in the same way that they apply to other media.
If you are going to franchise your business, in addition to clear brand identity guidelines, if franchisees are going to manage their own social media accounts, a comprehensive social media policy will assist to keep your brand's message consistent.
You can provide clear guidelines of what can and cannot be posted by franchisees or you can provide franchisees with pre-approved content, templates and images.
Your products or services are part of your brand and will generally form part of your competitive advantage or unique selling proposition (USP).
To ensure consistency in your products, you can supply your licensees or franchisees with products or nominate approved third party suppliers.
A well drafted licence or franchise agreement will set out an approval process to be used if licensees or franchisees wish to use alternate suppliers.
If substitute products are approved they should have the same characteristics of the original product to maintain consistency.
For service industries, detailed processes and procedures together with ongoing training and education of licensees or franchisees is vital.
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