franchising aspects Oct, 11 2010

Trademarks Defines Franchise Success

Trademark symbolises the identity of the brand and plays a very significant role in the success of a brand. This is especially true in case of franchising where expansion is being carried out through franchisees or channel partners. Read on to know the si

By Shivani Varma
Trademarks Defines Franchise Success

The rising brand awareness and the exuberant lifestyle of the masses have provided in-roads to the well established companies to take the franchise business route to expand the business. It is the brand name that determines the future of a franchising business and its success because today people prefer to buy branded products with best services. As per Aditya Tiwari, Legal Advisor, Themis Legal Group, “The business which is built on franchising model breathes on trademarks. A trademark of McDonalds can be related by a consumer to certain taste and certain kinds of products, services and environment. Similarly, a trademark of Western Union Money Transfer or AT&T would help customer identify with certain type of services”.

Significance of trademarks in franchising

Buying a franchise business is a commendable way to get started with your own business as against setting up an independent business. Even though it requires a plenty of things to be looked upon like products and services, source of finance, working hands with working skills, location, promotion, and etc. In such big jobs, one might forget to spend time over its logo or trademarks. It is through trademarks customers develop a sense of ownership with the company. A customer might not know the owner of the company, but definitely remembers the logo of the company. Few best examples that can be cited under this category are McDonald’s golden arches, Nike’s swoosh, KFC, The Yellow Chilly, Bata, Raymond Limited and S Kumar. Also there are some entrepreneurs who have made their mark in the market by using their name as trademark. Shahnaz Group of Companies and Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (Reliance is the brand name) could be reserved under this category. “My name has become the brand. Therefore, my name is used in all the registered trademarks and logos. The names of our different companies are registered – like Shahnaz Ayurvedics or Shahnaz Herbals. They are used as trademarks for different ranges of products. My photograph and my name have been used as a logo for more than three decades,” says Shahnaz Husain, Founder, The Shahnaz Group of Companies.

Trademarks play a very significant role in the franchising businesses. As Shahnaz Husain, Founder, The Shahnaz Group of Companies says, “Our franchising company also carries my name and is registered. The business model and the company being associated with my name has helped our franchise business. The franchise ventures also carry my name – for instance there are Shahnaz Signature Salons, Shahnaz Forever Shops, Shahnaz Husain International Beauty Academy, etc.”

Basic traits of trademark

Here are enlisted the various traits that a trademark should encompass, which are usually a mix of awareness and creativity:

  • Easy to pronounce and remember: The name or logo should be easy to pronounce and remember. Customers have very short attention span. Along with it, in this fast pace world, people do not have enough time to recall the name of the company. In such scenario, trademark acts as a stimulating factor to remember and buy your product. This is one of the reasons for the success of ‘KFC’ product. We can get a huge number of KFC fans, but at the same time, if we search for the people knowing the full name of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), one might get astonished with the figure.
  • Include information about your company: One should try to include information about the kinds of products or services being offered. This enhances your selling capacity. KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), Pizza Hut, Jus Booster Juice, Fitnessone, Make My names itself represent their respective products and services.
  • Use of symbols: Sometimes symbols also become important, as it is easy to remember. McDonalds which has made its presence globally could be easily recognised through its golden arches.
  • Simplicity rules: The trademark should be very simple, so that it could remain in the memory of the person. The Nike’s swoosh represents the wing of the Greek Goddess. It is a classic case of a company gradually simplifying its corporate identity as its frame increases. It has been used since 1970s and today, this checkmark is more recognisable than the company’s name.
  • Creativity: Apart from these, trademarks should be short and appealing. It should be easy to spell correctly and write legibly. With the use of little creativity, one can also make its trademark appealing. “Now we are also using a new logo, which has my name and a stylised and graphic artwork, reminiscent of a bird. My name or my initials, used in stylised way are also used for some ranges,” says Husain.


Registration of the trademark is utmost important as it helps you maintain your exclusivity and distinctiveness in the market. As Tiwari says, “Getting the trademark registered could be very beneficial as the registration grants you a monopoly to use the symbol or the mark with respect to your business. It helps in establishing an anchor between the goods or services and the consumer at large”. Along with it, in case the trademark is not registered than it would be subject to more in-depth scrutiny by the court of law and would create problems for the whole franchise network.

So, all you aspiring entrepreneurs must develop your trademarks diligently. In a franchise opportunity, eye catching trademarks can bring in both customers as well as potential franchisees.

Related: Empowering Entrepreneurs Micro Franchise Way

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