A trademark is a legal recognition that a particular logo, word, phrase, or symbol belongs to a particular brand.
To succeed in ecommerce, businesses need distinguishable and differentiated branding. A trademark is an official and legal designation that a particular branding element — such as a logo, phrase, business name, tagline, or graphic — belongs to a specific brand.
Most importantly, the trademark provides the business with legal protection. If another business uses the branding element in its marketing materials, it can be held legally accountable to intellectual property law.
Because trademarks legally connect a piece of branding with a particular brand, they boost customers’ perception of that brand, as well. An outdoor equipment retailer who trademarks a witty slogan about hiking, for example, solidifies its expertise and connection with hiking. This can strengthen the brand’s reputation within the market.
A trademark also helps a brand differentiate itself. Since no other brand can use a trademarked branding element, the element uniquely “belongs” to the original brand.