Again in September 2017, I joined a promising South African tech firm referred to as Honeybee in Stellenbosch, Cape City’s winelands space, as a part of the crew to scale the enterprise and take the corporate and model world.
We now have a fantastic product (a Subject Gross sales Administration and Cell Gross sales app), a reputation with sturdy model fairness and a big buyer base within the South African market. Nonetheless, as we entered the UK market, we found that our identify was not distinctive. There was one other expertise firm with the identical identify. And worst of all, though they weren’t a direct competitor, they operated in the identical house – CRM or gross sales software program. After a short dialogue with the opposite Honeybee firm, we each agreed that as we had not trademarked our identify they usually had, we might be those to alter our identify.
Whereas we had been unhappy to say goodbye to our identify and model, one which workers and clients had grown to like, we noticed this as a superb alternative to develop a model that was extra versatile and suited to a world market. I used to be tasked with discovering the best identify and growing the model and ensuring that this time we labored with trademark attorneys to information us and guarantee we by no means face this hurdle once more.
Associated: Enlargement Insights From One Of SA’s Energy Partnerships
“How arduous can or not it’s?”
I made a decision to work on making up a phrase, since all the present appropriate phrases would doubtless be taken. (Have you ever ever tried to register a website identify?). I naively thought it might be a matter of merely getting the inventive juices flowing to make up new phrases that I may construct a narrative round after which doing a Google search to see if any firms had been already utilizing that identify.
You see, a made-up phrase is distinctive and, in the event you’re fortunate, distinctive. Nonetheless, within the land of logos nothing is this straightforward. Regardless that a phrase doesn’t exist in regular vocabulary, it may nonetheless probably be confused with one other made-up phrase that sounds related. In keeping with our trademark attorneys, we might run the danger of getting our registration both rejected by the US Trademark Workplace or efficiently opposed by an organization in Europe with an analogous sounding identify registered within the lessons we wished to register in.
Our first potential identify, which had a superb again story and we may have beloved as a lot because the identify we’ve now chosen, was Xavi – pronounced “savvy.” Brief and sensible and with a fantastic story. Good proper? Apparently not. The authorized crew felt it was too just like different four-letter model names beginning with X like Xavo or longer model names that begin with Xavi like Xaviant. This was the issue with developing with a made-up phrase, it’s so distinct that it will possibly simply be confused with one other made-up phrase that sounds related or is spelled equally. Gutted can not even start to elucidate how we felt.
Google looking, it turned out, was solely the very first step. The subsequent step, was looking the publicly accessible databases of the varied trademark places of work throughout all of the international locations we wished to register in.
Click on right here to learn my “how one can” information on growing a singular model identify and how one can conduct trademark searches
I centered these preliminary searches within the US, UK and Europe. If I didn’t come throughout any trademark registrations for that very same phrase in our classifications, then I went to our attorneys to conduct a extra thorough search utilizing their native specialists in these markets. Solely as soon as their contacts in these markets got here again with no conflicts may we then proceed to register our trademark with minimal enterprise or authorized dangers. When you ask any lawyer, there isn’t any such factor as zero threat.
“That is arduous”
What I first thought would take maybe a month, took over 5 months. I might dedicate a while through the week simply to brainstorming a reputation and lots of headspace fascinated by it whereas commuting or strolling the canine.
Each time I might give you a fantastic sounding identify I may construct a narrative round, I discovered myself stumbling over one of many hurdles within the course of: an preliminary Google search would lead to me discovering one other expertise firm with the identical identify, or after clearing that first hurdle, I might discover a registered trademark for that identify in one of many nationwide trademark workplace databases. Then, if I managed to clear that hurdle, I might method the attorneys solely to have them come again after a extra thorough search and evaluation with an analogous sounding registered identify that might pose a enterprise or authorized threat if we had been to attempt to proceed with a trademark registration.
Associated: Considering Of Cross-Border Enlargement? Contemplate This First
It acquired to a degree on the pinnacle of our frustration when, exasperated, I simply typed a bunch of random letters on my keyboard and got here up with a ridiculous phrase that was over 20 characters that I half-jokingly, feeling defeated stated, “perhaps that is the one alternative we’ve acquired: Schaneffenhoogenstorm.
I bumped into our CEO’s workplace and shouted the identify, “I may construct a narrative round it! I may make up a personality referred to as Baron Schnaffenhoogenstorm – an historic character with a vibrant previous! He might be our mascot! The Baron of Gross sales-bury!”
My CEO checked out me with a mix of amusement and concern as he noticed the desperation in my eyes to allow us to simply decide on a freakin’ identify that the attorneys would discover posed minimal threat. “The .com is out there!” I stated in a last-ditch effort to persuade him. He laughed. I laughed. We laughed and laughed. I pretended I used to be simply kidding. And I went again to my desk to begin over.
Inspiration can come from anyplace at anytime
Then at some point, trying up on the sky and pondering, “I just like the phrase sky, it might be good to have a reputation with the phrase sky in it,” after which afterward admiring my spouse for the little dynamo that she is, I hit pay grime: Skynamo! I rapidly went by means of the earlier talked about steps and managed to get all the best way to “inexperienced mild” from the attorneys.
Inspiration can come from anyplace at any time. It can’t be compelled. You simply should be open to it and in the best way of thinking to obtain it. After months of attempting, I lastly had a fantastic identify that fulfilled the entire standards of a fantastic identify to construct into a world model:
- it was straightforward to spell and pronounce in numerous languages
- it invoked constructive connotations – Sky (upwards, limitless) and dynamo (changing mechanical vitality to electrical energy)
- it was distinctive and hopefully memorable
- and above all – based on our trademark attorneys – it’s distinctive in our desired trademark classifications.