Collaboration Novagraaf and Globrands means adding value (interview Fonk magazine no. 336)

Trademark agency Novagraaf and naming consultancy Globrands have been working together for a long time on various international projects. But not everyone in the business knows that. Mike Dijkstra Taurel, director of Globrands, and Max Hübner, director of Novagraaf thought it was time to come forward with their cooperation.

It is not surprising that the two specialists have found each other. The clients fo Novagraaf regularly have naming and trademark strategy related questions which Globrands helps them with, while Globrands has Novagraaf carry out many trademark searches and registrations, with the trademark attorney being in direct contact with the client.

But it all starts with language, says Mike Dijkstr a Taurel. ‘Language gives us the possibility to name something. From spoken language which simple, general words to very specific ones for a particular message we want to get across. Through the words we choose for it we give that message a meaning or emotion we want to convey, often using a combination of words on different levels.’ This is also how it works with brands according to Dijkstra Taurel: ‘A brand never communicates unambiguously, but is formed by different naming levels. A brand like Phillips has a division name (Healthcare), a payoff (together, we make life better, a tagline that explains what they do, a brand story, category names, product group names, sub brands, product designations, specifications, variant names et cetera.

Staying true

Since 1984, naming and verbal branding consultancy global brands has been working for companies and organizations in transition which are not just looking for a name, but want a potentially strong brand to make their plans possible. A distinctive name which meets all the criteria and lays the foundation for achieving their goal: building the new brand they have in mind. Dijkstra Taurel: ‘Globrands helps companies and organizations to keep renewing themselves and to lay foundation for new brands. Over the years, the demand has expanded to include thinking about the concept and proposition development, structuring brand portfolios and name systems, brand and branding strategy and verbal branding manuals.’

Brands stay relevant by distinguishing themselves in a world that is constantly changing, according to Michael. ‘They achieve this by remaining true to their essence, but also by developing new brands or sub-brands with a vision that can response to new opportunities.’

Value in use

All communication around the brand, in words, images, advertising, PR, products, people and all activities in which the brand is expressed are therefore entirely at the service of the brand. The investments are aimed at making the brand known and successful, so that the brand represents the greatest value of the company. A value that is also reflected in the balance sheet.

Max Hübner explains: ‘The registration of a trademark and/or design offers the necessary protection of intellectual property rights against unwanted infringements. This contributes to the value of the brand, because the better the protection, the greater the value of intellectual property. Intellectual property has become such an important part of company value that the European Union has determined that in the case of mergers and acquisitions, the brand value must be included in the balance sheet. This is another reason why a well-managed portfolio if intellectual property rights is indispensable.

Key role

If the importance of a brand is so great and so much money is spent on it, then your brand must be well constructed from the outset, emphasizes Dijkstra Taurel. The right name that meets all the criteria plays a key role, because it starts with a name with intrinsic brand value that has everything it needs to become a brand. Especially if a brand wants to be active internationally, it takes a lot of effort to find a name that matches its positioning and objectives, that is linguistically and communicatively suitable, that can be properly protected under trademark law and of which the desired name extension Is still available. Dijkstra Taurel: ‘To give and idea of the complexity: 218 million .com domain names have been registered and customers still ask us for a name that is .com free. That requires some searching. The Netherlands, too, is not doing bas, with some 6.5 million .nl registrations.’

‘More than 17 million will be registered worldwide by 2020’, adds Hübner.

Legal assessment

Hübner continues: ‘A brand acquires value not only by creating a brand name and/or design with distinctive character. It also requires a legal assessment before it can be used. The work of Globrands is therefore closely linked to intellectual property, specifically trademark law, trade name law and trademark registration. For this reason, Globrands and Novagraaf have been working together for many years and we thought it was time to expressly acknowledge this.’

Through specialist preliminary research, Novagraaf knows whether a chosen brand name and/or design is usable or will cause problems. Globrands, in turn, can respond creatively, thus preventing conflicting registrations of a new brand name and/or design.

Hübner: ‘So, registration is essential for the development of the company’s brand awareness and positioning, but more importantly, the value of the brand.’

Once the name is registered, for brand implementation  both Globrands and Novagraaf work together with VIM Group, which helps organizations – locally and globally – to analyze, organize, and implement, brand change projects and improve brand management.

Global Naming Network

Because the majority of Globrands’ clients work internationally, Globrands set up the Global Naming Network 15 years ago. The network consists of independent naming agencies in 11 countries from Seoul and Geneva to New York and Shanghai. A unique group of agencies specialized in naming and branding that work together for different clients in international teams in which consultants and creatives are deployed on a project basis. This makes it possible for Globrands and the affiliated agencies to handle large global projects, where the agencies’ local knowledge and experience proves to be very valuable. Globrands has the lead within the Global Naming Network for the pharmaceutical market.