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Three “Scandalous” Small Biz Branding Lessons From Olivia Pope

ABC's "Scandal" - Season Two

ABC’s smash hit “Scandal” is full of life lessons about love, power, and the value of a good red wine. Amongst the drama, there are also valuable lessons for your small business. We can all agree on one thing: modern marketing can get confusing, especially when the laws surrounding intellectual property are involved. Just as Olivia Pope makes seemingly life-ruining crises manageable for her clients, Rocket Lawyer makes complicated concepts (like trademarks) simple for you so you can do what you do best: build your brand.

But what is your brand, exactly? A good brand starts with bright ideas, of course, but also requires competent follow-up and execution to protect those ideas and make them a reality. One of the single most important reasons innovators should take care to protect their work is that if they do not, somebody else will. Olivia’s enemies are always on her tail, and although they seem like larger-than-life villains — Papa Pope! Hollis Doyle! Adnan Salif! — the threat of stolen ideas is very real. Even the biggest companies must remain vigilant — Apple and Google regularly spend more on patent litigation and defensive patent acquisitions than on research and development.

Is your brand memorable and worth protecting? Let’s evaluate what you have so far.

Memorable Brand Name. Trademark law gives stronger protection to unique brand names than to generic ones for a good reason: a unique identifier is more valuable. However, you also want your name to be easy to remember. Olivia’s firm officially goes by the name of Olivia Pope & Associates, but in more casual settings, her and her colleagues are known as “gladiators.” Whichever moniker is used, it’s pretty clear that they are professional but also totally willing to go to battle for their clients (always in a dramatic fashion). Similarly, your name should tell the public what your business does or what makes it different. Either way, just make sure that your firm name is unique, easy to remember, and (of course) not a copycat of someone else’s already existing brand.

Catchy Tag Line. Do you have a motto or tagline for your business? If not, brainstorm a short series of words that communicates something important about what makes your brand different from your competition. Go for something catchy, descriptive, memorable and short. Whenever Olivia and her team successfully complete an assignment, she delivers her signature catchphrase, “It’s handled.” And when that happens, you know it’s taken care of. Ideally, your brand’s tagline should inspire similar confidence and brand loyalty in your new and existing customers.

Attractive Logo or Visual. Pope & Associates team members love talking about white hats, or in Olivia’s case, really expensive white pea coats, for a reason. Symbolically, her sleek and chic brand visuals convey power, strength, and competent leadership — and the sentiment that when they’re on the job, it will get done right the first time around. In your case, a thoughtful logo or brand visual designed by a professional designer is a worthwhile investment for a business of any size. First, a well-designed logo itself lends your business a touch of credibility and a little gravitas. It makes you look professional. Second, a good logo can itself convey information about your business in a memorable way.

If you have any of the three things mentioned above, you’re ready to file a trademark. We can help with that!

The most important lesson from Scandal? Confidence ensures success. Olivia knows she is the best at what she does and that’s why she is so successful. With everything you’ve invested in building your own brand, it’s critical that you are confident in your ability to protect your company from copycats and competition.

That way, if a new player surges onto your scene and tries to steal your branding ideas, all you have to do is twirl your white coat dramatically and say: “It’s trademarked.”

[typography font=”Times New Roman” size=”40″ size_format=”px” color=”#a81421″]Sign Up Here![/typography]

How It Works

1. Sign up for free to speak with a Rocket Lawyer Trademark Specialist. Don’t worry, they won’t call you during your Christmas dinner and you can always choose not to purchase the package later.

2. Within a week, the Trademark Specialist will chat with you for five minutes to determine the right package to help you protect your unique brand.

3. Pick your package, and your trademark application will be underway shortly!

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