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Brand vs. Trademark — What's the Difference?

Brand refers to a name, term, design, symbol, or feature distinguishing one’s products, while a trademark legally protects those distinguishing features from imitation.
Brand vs. Trademark — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Brand and Trademark

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Key Differences

Brand and trademark play pivotal roles in defining and protecting a company's identity and products. A brand encompasses a company's name, logo, design, and other elements that differentiate it from others, creating a unique identity. It is integral for building a reputation, conveying values, and gaining consumer trust and loyalty. A brand represents how a company is perceived by the public and influences consumer behavior and decisions.
Sep 25, 2023
Conversely, a trademark is a legally registered symbol, word, or phrase, used to protect the brand's distinguishing features. Trademarks ensure that no other entity can use similar symbols or words that might confuse consumers. They provide legal recourse against unauthorized use or infringement, maintaining the brand's uniqueness and preventing dilution or misuse of its identity.
Sep 25, 2023
While brand is about building and maintaining a distinctive presence in the market, a trademark is about legally safeguarding the elements that constitute that presence. Brands utilize elements like logos, taglines, and names to create a memorable and recognizable image in the consumer's mind, establishing a connection and emotional resonance with the audience.
Sep 25, 2023
Trademarks, on the other hand, operate within the legal realm, providing the tools and means to protect those elements from unauthorized use or imitation. They secure the brand's integrity and value, ensuring that the time, effort, and resources invested in building a brand are not undermined by counterfeit or infringement.
Sep 25, 2023
In essence, brand is the embodiment of a company’s identity, values, and promises made to the consumer, and it exists in the minds of the consumers, while a trademark is a legal mechanism that exists to protect the uniqueness and integrity of the brand from being compromised or diluted by others.
Sep 25, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Represents a company's identity and values.
A legal protection for brand elements.
Sep 25, 2023

Purpose

To differentiate and establish a unique market presence.
To legally protect brand elements from unauthorized use.
Sep 25, 2023

Scope

Encompasses name, logo, design, and other distinctive elements.
Specifically protects logos, names, and other brand symbols.
Sep 25, 2023

Value

Built through consumer trust and recognition.
Provides legal value and protection to the brand.
Sep 25, 2023

Legality

Not legally protected unless trademarked.
Offers legal recourse against infringement.
Sep 25, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Brand

The perceived image and emotional response associated with a company.
The brand was renowned for its commitment to sustainability and ethical practices.
Sep 25, 2023

Trademark

Legally enforceable, ensuring exclusive rights to use specific brand elements.
The trademark granted them exclusive rights to use the distinctive name.
Sep 25, 2023

Brand

A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising for recognition and, importantly, to create and store value as brand equity for the object identified, to the benefit of the brand's customers, its owners and shareholders.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

A legally registered symbol or word representing a company or product.
They secured a trademark for their logo to prevent unauthorized use.
Sep 25, 2023

Brand

A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name
A new brand of soap powder
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

Provides legal protection against infringement of brand elements.
Having a trademark ensured that their unique design could not be copied.
Sep 25, 2023

Brand

An identifying mark burned on livestock or (especially in former times) criminals or slaves with a branding iron
The brand on a sheep identifies it as mine
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

A crucial legal asset for protecting a brand’s integrity and value.
The trademark was vital for maintaining the brand’s reputation and market presence.
Sep 25, 2023

Brand

A piece of burning or smouldering wood
He took two burning brands from the fire
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-mark) is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A sword.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

A symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

Mark with a branding iron
The seller had branded the animal with his grandfather's name
Regulations concerning the branding, movement, and sale of cattle
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

Provide with a trademark
They are counterfeiting trademarked goods
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

Assign a brand name to.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

Abbr. TM A name, symbol, or other device used to identify and promote a product or service, especially an officially registered name or symbol that is thereby protected against use by others.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A trademark or distinctive name identifying a product, service, or organization.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

A distinctive characteristic by which a person or thing comes to be known
The snicker that became the comedian's trademark.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A product or service so identified
Bought a popular brand of soap.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

To label (a product) with proprietary identification.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

An association of positive qualities with a widely recognized name, as of a product line or celebrity
The company tried to improve its brand by donating money to charity.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

To register (something) as a trademark.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A distinctive category; a particular kind
A brand of comedy that I do not care for.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

A word, symbol, or phrase used to identify a particular company's product and differentiate it from other companies' products.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A mark indicating identity or ownership, burned on the hide of an animal with a hot iron.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

Any proprietary business, product or service name.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A mark burned into a person's flesh, as to identify a convicted criminal or a slave.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

The aspect for which someone or something is best known; a hallmark or typical characteristic.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A mark burned into a person's flesh for ornamental or aesthetic purposes.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

(proscribed) To register something as a trademark.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

An association of disgrace or notoriety with something; a stigma.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

(proscribed) To so label a product.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A branding iron.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

(informal) Distinctive, characteristic, signature.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A piece of burning or charred wood.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

A distinctive characteristic or attribute
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

(Archaic) A sword
“So flashed and fell the brand Excalibur” (Tennyson).
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

A formally registered symbol identifying the manufacturer or distributor of a product
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

To mark with a hot iron, as to show ownership
Branded the steer.
Oct 06, 2021

Trademark

A distinctive sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises.
Their trademark distinguished them from competitors, representing reliability and quality.
Sep 25, 2023

Brand

To provide with or publicize using a brand name or other readily recognized identifier
A line of cars branded with mythological names.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

To consider or label as disgraceful or infamous; stigmatize
Branded the deserters as cowards.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

To impress firmly; fix ineradicably
Imagery of the war has branded itself into the national consciousness.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A conflagration; a flame.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A piece of burning wood or peat, or a glowing cinder.
To burn something to brands and ashes.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A torch used for signaling.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

(archaic) A sword.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A mark or scar made by burning with a hot iron, especially to mark cattle or to classify the contents of a cask.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A branding iron.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

The symbolic identity, represented by a name and/or a logo, which indicates a certain product or service to the public.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A specific product, service, or provider so distinguished.
Some brands of breakfast cereal contain a lot of sugar.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

(by extension) Any specific type or variety of something; a distinct style or manner.
I didn’t appreciate his particular brand of flattery.
New Orleans brand sausage; Danish brand ham
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

The public image or reputation and recognized, typical style of an individual or group.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A mark of infamy; stigma.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

Any minute fungus producing a burnt appearance in plants.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

(transitive) To burn the flesh with a hot iron, either as a marker (for criminals, slaves etc.) or to cauterise a wound.
When they caught him, he was branded and then locked up.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

(transitive) To mark (especially cattle) with a brand as proof of ownership.
The ranch hands had to brand every new calf by lunchtime.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

(transitive) To make an indelible impression on the memory or senses.
Her face is branded upon my memory.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

(transitive) To stigmatize, label (someone).
He was branded a fool by everyone that heard his story.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

To associate a product or service with a trademark or other name and related images.
They branded the new detergent "Suds-O", with a nature scene inside a green O on the muted-colored recycled-cardboard box.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A burning piece of wood; or a stick or piece of wood partly burnt, whether burning or after the fire is extinct.
Snatching a live brand from a wigwam, Mason threw it on a matted roof.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A sword, so called from its glittering or flashing brightness.
Paradise, so late their happy seat,Waved over by that flaming brand.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A mark made by burning with a hot iron, as upon a cask, to designate the quality, manufacturer, etc., of the contents, or upon an animal, to designate ownership; - also, a mark for a similar purpose made in any other way, as with a stencil. Hence, figurately: Quality; kind; grade; as, a good brand of flour.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A mark put upon criminals with a hot iron. Hence: Any mark of infamy or vice; a stigma.
The brand of private vice.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

An instrument to brand with; a branding iron.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

Any minute fungus which produces a burnt appearance in plants. The brands are of many species and several genera of the order Pucciniæi.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

To burn a distinctive mark into or upon with a hot iron, to indicate quality, ownership, etc., or to mark as infamous (as a convict).
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

To put an actual distinctive mark upon in any other way, as with a stencil, to show quality of contents, name of manufacture, etc.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

Fig.: To fix a mark of infamy, or a stigma, upon.
The Inquisition branded its victims with infamy.
There were the enormities, branded and condemned by the first and most natural verdict of common humanity.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

To mark or impress indelibly, as with a hot iron.
As if it were branded on my mind.
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A name given to a product or service
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A recognizable kind;
There's a new brand of hero in the movies now
What make of car is that?
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

Identification mark on skin, made by burning
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A piece of wood that has been burned or is burning
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A symbol of disgrace or infamy;
And the Lord set a mark upon Cain
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A cutting or thrusting weapon with a long blade
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

Burn with a branding iron to indicate ownership; of animals
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

To accuse or condemn or openly or formally or brand as disgraceful;
He denounced the government action
She was stigmatized by society because she had a child out of wedlock
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

Mark or expose as infamous;
She was branded a loose woman
Oct 06, 2021

Brand

A unique design, symbol, or name associated with a company or product.
The brand’s logo was instantly recognizable, symbolizing quality and reliability.
Sep 25, 2023

Brand

A distinct identity that differentiates a business from others in the market.
A strong brand is crucial for standing out in a competitive market.
Sep 25, 2023

Brand

Represents the values, personality, and reputation of a company.
The brand was synonymous with innovation and customer satisfaction.
Sep 25, 2023

Brand

The collective impression and experience of consumers regarding a company or product.
The brand enjoyed a loyal customer base due to its consistent high quality.
Sep 25, 2023

Common Curiosities

Does a trademark protect brand reputation?

Indirectly, by preventing unauthorized use or imitation of brand elements, it helps in maintaining brand reputation.
Sep 25, 2023

Can multiple companies have similar trademarks?

No, trademarks are meant to avoid consumer confusion by preventing similar marks in related goods or services.
Sep 25, 2023

Does having a strong brand guarantee trademark approval?

No, trademark approval depends on distinctiveness, the likelihood of confusion, and other legal criteria, not brand strength.
Sep 25, 2023

Is building a brand solely about creating a logo?

No, building a brand involves developing a unique identity, values, and consistent consumer experience, not just a logo.
Sep 25, 2023

Can a brand exist without a trademark?

Yes, a brand can exist without a trademark, but it won't have legal protection against infringement.
Sep 25, 2023

How does trademark infringement affect a brand?

It can dilute brand value, cause loss of consumer trust, and lead to financial losses.
Sep 25, 2023

Can a brand be changed after trademark registration?

Yes, but changes may require new trademark applications and may impact brand recognition and equity.
Sep 25, 2023

Is every brand element eligible for a trademark?

Not necessarily; only distinctive elements that can uniquely identify the source of goods or services can be trademarked.
Sep 25, 2023

Does a brand’s value increase with trademark protection?

Yes, a trademark protects and adds value to a brand by ensuring exclusivity and legal recourse against infringement.
Sep 25, 2023

Can trademarks expire?

Yes, if not renewed or properly maintained, trademarks can expire or be cancelled.
Sep 25, 2023

Can a trademark protect a brand internationally?

Trademarks are territorial, but international treaties and agreements can facilitate international protection.
Sep 25, 2023

How does a strong brand benefit a company?

A strong brand fosters consumer loyalty, allows premium pricing, and provides a competitive advantage.
Sep 25, 2023

Can anyone apply for a trademark?

Yes, individuals, businesses, and legal entities can apply for trademarks, provided they meet the criteria.
Sep 25, 2023

Is it necessary to register a brand as a trademark?

While not mandatory, registering provides legal protection and exclusive rights to the brand elements.
Sep 25, 2023

Is brand only about visual elements?

No, a brand encompasses visual elements, values, perceptions, and the overall consumer experience with a company or product.
Sep 25, 2023

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