Financial Matters

Have You Protected Your Brand?

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Branding yourself or company is your “mission statement”, it defines you in the simplest terms thought out in a most profound way.  To have a bit of fun here to speak to how ingrained a marketing slogan is whether it’s a jingle, slogan or logo how it impacts you subliminally or vibrant you’d be surprised to how influential branding can be.  Let’s throw out some and the answers will be revealed later.


  • Nike’s
  • Verizon
  • Burger King
  • Allstate
  • McDonald’s
  • Lay’s
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Bounty
  • BMX
  • Apple
  • KFC
  • Hallmark


If you guessed them all Bingo!  All time tested and have carried their brand to success. What do they all have in common?  A person or people with an innovative thought whom either unilaterally or in a boardroom had an idea or was given an idea. It may have been a few simple words to sell the David or Goliath’s products or services and merchandise them locally or worldwide. They all have something similar a mind with a brainstorm, from a thought to action.


For those of you who have thought of a great name perhaps a slogan, poems or a song, a drawing or phrase on a scribbled napkin. You have maybe embarked on a big picture or a comfortable small idea. Either way you gave it legs, you launched that missile and it’s your boat to sink. It belongs to you either way. Or does it?


In high school a friend and I had a passion for writing poetry and songs.  We knew a singer from a very famous group that we offered up our musings that my friend and I collaborated on. In turn we forgot about it, until one day we heard this song on the radio that had the words to one of our poems but with some minor adjustments.  I remembered us being elated and overjoyed and confused. Being younger we didn’t realize the monetary value but we understood the authorship of this being a bigger picture than either of us imagined. Our names were not on that record as the songwriters. There was a songwriter on our song, but it was our collaboration, except for the oo-la-la. That was my first experience with understanding the importance of copyrighting and royalty regrets.

Having told this story many times to my chagrin. I had this idea about potty training being easier as arduous as it was to come up with an idea to make it simpler.  A partner and I came up with an easy fix.  Instead of switching from soiled underpants to disposable diapers for toddlers. Why couldn’t there be a combination? So we went to work on a proto-type, which was easy enough. Disposable trainers with elastic waist stitch and the sides and legs and  “Little Trainers” it was, we had coined a name. I had the bright idea to call the headquarters of major diaper distributors and was generally excited that this would be the idea of the century. Ok, not so bright but determined. I was told by one gentleman that while the idea was great, if it was so good, wouldn’t the CEO’S of the major corporations thought of this idea by now? But send the idea & sketch to his company anyway. They would let me know if a hit or miss.  It took that one person to deflate my dreams and I called a few patent attorneys and it was cost prohibitive and I let my dream go down the potty.  My big dream and eight years later, a commercial for,


  • Huggies


Yes there is a slogan and yes I was ill for many years afterwards, if only I? Making a mad dash to the store to buy these for my second child who was at that stage in need of what I labored on years ago, my dream. It couldn’t be. How could I prove it now? I understood then the painful lesson of with an idea you must patent it immediately and keep it under lock and key. Not call corporations or mail-in.


Whether you have a slogan such as my own  “Walls you Deserve” in Real Estate for my business of many years the same rules apply. You don’t assume that people or a person will take your slogan and make it theirs, with no questions asked? It’s part of your definition your business identity, it’s personal. Yes, even with your name, your creative moment and many years of using your slogan, someone may decide to just make it their own who is not just creative and not want to ring their own bell. Through another life lesson I certainly learned the importance of Trade or Service marks for,


  • Karen Walls


Having shared my lessons in branding and not touching on the successful names of businesses that I did trademark and ones I should have, as there was a consequence.  But for a copyright or a patent pending I had for a product not birthed but now just a fond memory. Or a trademark that is personal and defines your essence and hard work to live up to your slogan.  Remember, it doesn’t matter if you are the next small David or the big Goliath, protect your name, idea, slogan, song, product.  It’s yours and if someone uses it without your permission you have legal recourses. Don’t take it for granted, the name or product or song or slogan that you conceptualized may be the very one that like a stealth bomber it’s invisible to a radar signal but strategic in design.  It’s yours take action today!


“Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution strategy is useless”

Morris Chang CEO of TSMC


Answers: “ Just do it”,  “Can you hear me now? Good” , “Have it your way”, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”, “ i’m lovin it, “Betcha can’t eat just one”,  “America Runs on Dunkin”,  “The quicker picker upper”, The ultimate driving machine,  “Think Different”, “Was “Finger licking good” for 50 years now “So Good”, “When you care enough to send the very best”,,  I’m a big kid now  was my Little Trainer’s  and lastly


Call Karen “For the WALLS You Deserve’! TM

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