Critical Success Factors “Here’s a challenge: close your eyes and think of the three things that matter most to your brewery’s success”, says Myles Pinfold, WPA Pinfold. “If it’s not the quality of your beer, your people and your brand, then you need to revisit your business plan. And if you are not investing time and money of equal measures into all three then there is a good chance you will not succeed. Quality and people can require constant management, whilst if you invest properly in your brand from the onset, it can provide a lifelong service in delivering consistent recognition and added value. “If you think of all those great breweries out there, how many do not have great brands? Across the UK and USA alone, there are over 8,000 breweries (with thousands still in the pipeline) whilst beer volume growth is fairly stagnant, dropping by -1% in the States and increasing by only 0.7% over here (2017 figures). Only a very small percentage of breweries get the true recognition they deserve – and for these chosen few, you will probably find that the common theme is that all are investing in the three critical success factors: quality beer, people and brand. “Remember, great brands have real clarity and do not require any constant tinkering with. However, they do need to be relevant and interpret your true proposition and positioning in an ever-crowded beer market. This is where the investment in time and money comes in – anyone can design a logo, whilst only a few can create a great brand.” From 1876 when Bass registered its Pale Ale label as the first ever UK Trade Mark, the brewing industry has understood the value of properly protecting their most important business assets, their brands. Nobody orders a pint of beer in a pub, we know what we like and we order it by name, it is almost impossible to put a value on such brand recognition. Even the smallest business has a brand, a means of setting itself apart from the competition, and business can spend considerable time and money building that brand, increasing its value and enhancing the goodwill in the business. But it’s not just the customer who becomes aware of you and your success; your competitors do too and as awareness of your brand grows so do the risks associated with infringement. Having invested time and money into growing brand awareness the last thing you need is for a rival to try to trade off the back of your efforts, causing confusion amongst your customers and potentially damaging not only your sales but your hard-won reputation as well. We often hear business owners say, “I have my Company Name registered, that’s all the protection I need”. Sadly, this is not the case as a Company Name registration is of little practical help. Attempting to defend your brand without the security of Trade Mark protection is both difficult and expensive. A common law action of passing off requires evidence of reputation or goodwill, misrepresen- tation and damages, a high and often extremely costly evidentiary burden. Worse still, if your rival has registered your Trade Mark for their business they now own the rights and very often the only way out is to go through a complete re-brand, with all the costs associated with that and whilst the value previously built up in your original brand is lost completely. The solution for all business owners, from the largest multi-national to the smallest start-up business, is to seek proper advice regarding the appropriate protection for their brand before there is a problem. A registered Trade Mark makes it much easier to take legal action against others attempting to use your brand without your permission as registration gives concrete proof of your legally protected rights. Get your brand protected by filing Trade Mark applications in those countries where you trade already or where you think you might be interested in expanding in the coming few years. It is important to get your registration in before anyone else to give you exclusive rights to use your brand for your goods or services in the countries covered by your registrations. Equally, you don’t want to spend a small fortune coming up with a new name and spend time and money developing the logo, the labels, the associated merchandise only to receive a solicitors letter from another company claiming you are infringing their registered rights. Better to get this checked at a very early stage. A Trade Mark Attorney can carry out clearance searches, advise on the availability of your chosen brands and on the most appropriate and cost effective means of protection. Trade Mark registrations can be completed for only a few hundred pounds, last initially for ten years and can then be renewed indefinitely. Ten years peace of mind for less than the price of a pint per month! 32 BREWING & BEVERAGE INDUSTRIES BUSINESS For more information email: Get your brand protected! urges Dani Aliss, Nucleus IP BRANDING Showcase Dani Aliss is a qualified Trade Mark Attorney and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys. Qualified for 21 years, she is the senior attorney at Nucleus IP and has considerable experience of the brewing industry having worked with several small, independent breweries as well as some of the world largest and best known beer brands. For more information visit: 32_Layout 1 16/05/2018 09:24 Page 1