As companies grow, especially internationally or through M&A (Merger & Acquisition) activity, they often find their portfolio of brand names becoming ever larger. At some point, it is usually prudent to do a Brand Name Audit. The first step is to identify the key issues the audit should address. Here are ten you may want to consider:
- How many names are we currently actively using?
- Are we licensing any names or using names owned by a partner in conjunction with names we own?
- Which names are most important?
- How many of these have we registered as trademarks?
- How well aligned are names across divisions, product lines or countries?
- How are our names organized (e.g., master brand, family brand, product names, etc.)? Where are the problems?
- Which names do we plan to expand or grow in the future? Do we have the legal rights to do this given the Goods & Services descriptions in our current trademark registrations?
- Which names will we be phasing out? What will take their place?
- When do we use brand names versus more descriptive names? Do we need to change this strategy in the future?
- Is our current naming architecture delivering everything we need? Where can it be improved?
While there are other questions you may want to add to this list, answering just these ten can often provide some invaluable insights.