World Intellectual Property Organization

Using Brands and Designs to Market Goods and Services Abroad

The reasons for protecting trademarks and industrial designs in the domestic market fully apply to foreign markets too. Trademark registration, in particular, enables you to maximize product differentiation, advertising and marketing, thus enhancing recognition of your product or service in international markets and establishing a direct link with the foreign consumers. Depending on the nature of your service, a franchising agreement with firms abroad, could be a useful alternative way to earn revenue from your trademark abroad as well.

Companies that export unbranded products will face disadvantages such as:

  • Lower revenues as consumers demand lower prices for unbranded goods.
  • Lack of customer loyalty largely due to their inability to recognize the product and distinguish it from the products of competitors.
  • Difficulties in marketing and advertising products or services abroad in the absence of a suitable symbol or easy identifier that links your products or services with your SME, as marketing an unbranded product is inherently much more difficult.

With regard to industrial designs, protection in export markets will help not only to strengthen your overall marketing strategy but may also be important for customizing products for specific target markets, creating new niche markets for your company’s products, and strengthening your company’s image and reputation by linking it to a specific design.

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