Thursday, October 28, 2010

Monetizing Your Brand

It has been more than a year since the Nation Branding website published their article "Brand Jamaica: Copyrighted". Sparked by discussion generated by our earlier blog titled "Licensing Brand Jamaica" we are compiling a list of some Jamaican entities we think might be prime candidates for licensing as an outgrowth of their own brands and by extension that of the Jamaican brand. From the "Brand Jamaica: Copyrighted" article we detect that government administrators are aggressively on the defensive while private enterprise is challenged with how to monetize the brand. It is true that the process begins with seeking copyright, trademark or patent protection for the property which then needs to be followed up with a number of other steps. Protection is good but there should be a perceptible balance. The response in the following extract explains why:
Last month [September 2009], the government introduced a National Branding Committee. Its task could include researching whether the word jerk, which refers to both the seasoning and a specific way of cooking chicken and pork, can be protected. Even the name Jamaica is being considered for a trademark, officials say. But [Simon] Anholt, the international image expert, said trying to legally protect the nation’s assets through branding is a “dangerous” idea that is ill-advised. “It’s surely more important for Jamaica to work on ways of leveraging and profiting from its wonderful image,” he said, “rather than dreaming up ways of preventing others from doing so.”
The value of the brand to Jamaica is having manufactured products with Jamaican names and cultural content marketed and delivered globally. Protection on the part of any agent of the state should be with the explicit understanding that the rights will be readily made available to anyone subject to them meeting certain fair and sensible criteria, irrespective of nationality. Local brands owned by private businesses will need to start doing some basic things like protecting their trademarks. In going forward it is advised that they seek the professional advice of expert agents as they can help to, brainstorm opportunities, scope the market, and develop opportunities among other things. Licensing is not for everyone but with the right partners who understand your products you will get ahead in the business much more quickly than you would on your own steam. Would your brand make our list? We would like to hear from you.
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