There's a lot of confusion around branding. People think about those wonderful logos that we all know (and love and hate in equal parts); for example, the Nike swoosh; McDonald's golden arches; Macintosh's half-eaten apple. Grappling with how to protect a mark is relatively straightforward, especially if you know a good trade mark attorney... but that's not the point.
The value of a brand lies far deeper than a logo. It's about the relationship that your audience have with your product or service -- the connections they make, the way they feel about your stuff. It's about what sets you apart from your competition: Paul Smith perfectly encapsulates his brand with one very small statement --'Classic with a twist' -- a statement that defines his entire company.
A good brand doesn't die. A good brand can outlive a company.
American company River West have built a business around buying dormant brands; arguing that it's cheaper to launch new products using an old brand than people recognise. And as we've just seen, rumours of Woolworth's demise have been greatly exaggerated -- as the brand rises from its High Street ashes to be re-born as an online retailer.
So what is a brand worth, what steps should you take to ensure that your brand's IP is protected, and how can you make your brand work for you?
This video is from an Own-it (own-it.org/) event that sought to answer these questions and many more.