Brandway is a brand and business consulting platform.
No matter whether you are a start-up, an SME, a hidden champion or a global player, our services focus on two brand and business aspects that are critical to your success:
Which scenario is yours?
"We’re still looking for an attractive product name for our new line of products. Indeed, we should look for new name candidates NOW, if we want to keep to our ‘go to market’ schedule."
"As a matter of fact, with a joint team effort we have now found a rather good product name. Unfortunately, we can’t use this product name in all our new markets of interest, due to trademark conflicts."
"Our sales force for international markets has advised us not to use the proposed name candidate in one of our most important sales regions due to linguistic and cultural reasons. Our customers should be amazed about the new product, not laugh themselves silly about our new product name."
"We have been managing our brand rather tightly thus far by always focusing on the product category that the brand has been associated with for many years. If we want to grow in the future, we need to extend our brand’s offer. The question is, which products actually fit with our brand."
"Our brand has an interesting business potential, but it lies outside our current business model. Therefore, we need to find an appropriate partner who wants to license our brand."
"We believe that we will be unable to reach effectively the new target group with our own brand, despite the fact our brand is very well known. We have to discuss whether we want to create a new brand or whether it would actually make sense to license a brand that the target group is aware of."
"Due to a revision of our corporate strategy, one of our divisions currently using our corporate brand is about to be sold to an external party. We’ll need to rename and rebrand prior to starting the divestment process."
"We think we need an independent view to seize our brand’s opportunities. It certainly is about recognizing the inherent brand equities, but even more, we need to discover our opportunities on a white canvas, enabling us to sail to new shores."
"Everybody talks about brand experience. But what strategy do we need to create a more compelling experience for our brand?"
"Co-Branding is a marketing phenomenon that we should also use. Is our brand a suitable candidate and if so, how could we use co-branding for our brand in the future?"
"Brand Revival: Wouldn’t it be interesting to search for an old, authentic brand and launch it on the market again?"
"We’re looking for an appropriate brand partnership for our next marketing-initiative. What partners and brands do actually fit with our own brand?"
"We have already thought about licensing a brand in addition to our own brand portfolio. It really is about time to explore such an opportunity."
"It may be worthwhile to check whether it is possible to acquire an already registered but not-in use trademark. Why should we bother to create a new brand name, conduct trademark searches, file the name and wait until the name has survived the opposition period?"
"New brand babies sound very promising, especially if you are in the digital business. However, what we need is a brand with a ‘heritage’ and an authentic story. Couldn’t we start hunting and find out whether there is an old but still known mark that we could re-launch onto the market?"
“We have a business partner who wants to label our OEM products with his own brand. Can we find for him an already registered brand on short notice, so that he will be able to market our products in his region with his own brand?”
"As a producer of own label products we have to make a full-scale offer to one of the large retail groups, i.e. a complete product concept, a brand, packaging design and the product formula. We could offer our trade partner a registered trademark, with which we could develop our product concept. Alternatively, we could develop the brand and product concept completely ‘from scratch"
"Has anybody a different way to source a brand, a mark or a name? We can create names on our own, but we are curious to know whether there are other valid brand and name sources that meet our needs"
offer you true choices.
Providing brands is about variety and making the right choices. Our approach is based on a wide spectrum of and at times even surprising brand sources, rather than merely relying on a prefabricated creative process or a single way of sourcing a brand and name solution.
Making the right choice on a brand or a brand name is of ultimate significance: You decide on a brand or a name only once for the whole life of your business, product or service. And possibly, this will be a decision you are only facing once in your own lifetime. The new brand will be the hallmark of your own personal story, your career and a vibrant facet of your personal achievements and joy. The way to the right brand is a significant act for the future of the brand and for you, the decision maker, but even more important for your audiences who will opt for and identify with your new brand.
The term ‘Brand Acquisition’ includes purchasing a brand and other rights that could become the foundation for development or further growth of an existing brand or trademark. We divide our ‘Brand Acquisition’ services into three categories:
Registered Trademarks (TM not in use).
The category ‘Registered Trademarks’ concerns trademarks that are registered, but currently not in use, either as national or international trademarks. Ideally, the classes of goods and services these trademarks cover, the range of registration options (countries/registers) and the brand character (message, associations, style, phonetics, conceptual fit) should all fully correspond with the search profile required by the respective client. Extensive screening of trademark registries and profound analyses of potentially interesting brands are key to discovering conceptually appropriate, previously registered trademarks. BRANDWAY approaches brand owners, clarifies whether they are prepared to sell their trademarks and supports trademark acquisition processes.
One of the major advantages of this approach is to enable the access to conceptually adequate trademarks that have successfully survived their opposition period. After following legal due diligence, the residual risks of using such trademarks commercially are relatively low. Anyone intending to launch a new brand with a tight timeframe should certainly consider this approach as a viable option. Alternatively, this approach can be combined with other ways to help you to find your next brand name.
Brands (TM in use).
Our use of the term ‘brands’ refers to intellectual property assets that are not only protected as trademarks through an adequate registration with various national and/or international patent and trademark authorities, but are also considered as being ‘living business assets’. Brands are thus associated with what they actually stand for, with the products and services they offer and the brand experiences made by audiences at multiple touchpoints. For brand owners, brands are intangible assets generating business value by ensuring future cash flow and customer loyalty.
The acquisition of a brand is recommended if buyers intend to enter new product or price segments, want to gain access to new regional markets or new customer segments, or plan to enhance their brand portfolio by buying market shares at the same time. Searching and sourcing brands that are actually for sale is a demanding and elaborate process. After all, successful brand acquisition largely relies on compatibility with the business strategy and ambition of the relevant brand owner.
Brandway searches, identifies and evaluates potentially attractive acquisition targets and accompanies the acquisition process with appropriate partners.
Company Name (incl. shell companies).
When starting a new business, entrepreneurs in search of a company name might decide to purchase a ‘shell company’ which provides a name and a complete company registration in the preferred legal form in the country of their choice. In case the party interested in acquiring a shell company and is intending to use the shell company’s name for its business, it should properly evaluate whether the name actually can be used for the intended business purpose without violating existing name rights owned by third parties. A company name that comes along with the shell company package does seldom include any corresponding trademark protection appropriate to brand the intended products and services of the company so that these can be marketed in all the countries of interest. As a consequence thereof, it is as well necessary to evaluate whether the company name actually is legally available as a trademark for the intended products and services in the relevant trademark registers.
Furthermore, due to the many linguistic and cultural sensitivities in the various markets of the world, shell company names should be carefully checked to avoid linguistic and cultural disasters.
Brandway supports your search for an appropriate company name including a shell company registration. In case it should prove that the company name is inappropriate to brand the business and related products and services, we will search for alternative ways to either equip you with a registrable brand name or an already registered trademark, which can be transferred to an existing, registered company shell thereby replacing the current shell company name.
We evaluate potential company shell offers with regards to their legal trademark qualities and potential linguistic and cultural deficiencies with the support of our external IP law partners and linguistic experts.
- Registered Trademarks (TM not in use)
- Brands (TM in use)
- Company Name (incl. Shell Companies)
Regardless of the target – for a company, product or service – the development of a new brand name is one of the most exciting and challenging tasks of branding. Besides meeting conceptual requirements, legal and cultural/linguistic aspects need to be considered. A new brand name should not just be ‘free to use’, it rather has to meet all the requirements for a successful trademark registration covering a clearly defined scope of goods and services and allowing the filing of the name in all the trademark registries of all the countries where the products and services are going to be marketed in.
In addition, due to increasing cultural and ethnic sensitivities in many regions of the world, it is an absolute necessity to be very careful with new names. They should not be associated with any cultural or verbal ambiguities, neither literally nor phonetically.
New brand names should not be regarded as the solo artists of branding, rather they are connected to a brand claim – the first statement about a brand – and they often represent the starting point of a whole nomenclature system. Brand name, claim and product nomenclature are therefore the essential pillars of the new brand’s verbal identity. They stress the brand’s positioning, help establish orientation and express the structure of the brand’s products andservices.
All these tasks are supported by a team of verbally creative people, including wordsmiths and copywriters, in cooperation with linguistics experts and experienced patent and trademark lawyers.
- Corporate Brand Names
- Product Brand Names
Today’s dynamic markets provide the possibility to broadcast and sell a brand’s offer via web and social media in real time. The opportunities to rapidly build presence and recognition of new brands created from scratch, fueled by innovative business ideas and value propositions have never been so good. The development of a brand embraces a great many facets, however, the source of a powerful brand is always the key insight and idea on which the conclusive brand concept is built. To us, relevance, attractiveness and distinction are the essential parameters to developing new brand concepts. We find ways to authentic brands and translate them into visual and verbal identities – advancing from appropriate names to claims and brand language, from unique logos, graphics, colors and font systems to characteristic imageries.
The Brandway approach aims to attain convincing creative solutions, not by merely relying on a single ‘multipurpose’ branding firm or design agency. Instead we seek a diversity of creative resources, developing compelling visual and verbal solutions, regardless where they come from. We believe that if communication between creative partners is managed accurately, there are boundless opportunities to develop something genuinely original and new for you.
- Brand Concept
- Brand Verbal Identity
- Brand Visual Identity
Trends in lifestyle and fashion are often contemporary quotes and interpretations of styles, designs and values that were characteristic in past periods, such as the twenties, fifties, sixties or seventies. The popularity of utilizing a bit of ‘déjà vu’, related to the style of a certain period and its associated moods, can motivate the reviving of an authentic brand from the past. Rather than just picking quotes from the past and injecting them into a living brand, that may in fact have a different legacy, a revived brand is an original and can creatively fuse elements of the zeitgeist with today’s ways to communicate. The revival of a brand that hasn’t managed to survive the winds of change, e.g. caused by management failure or that lost its consumer relevance due to lack of product innovations, or became a victim of brand portfolio restructuring, could still be a valid option for an imaginative and enterprising brand seeker.
Nonetheless, a revival requires diligent assessment to find out whether there’s a genuine opportunity for the brand. Quite a few brand revivals have become painful failures after an initial success, because they lacked conceptual relevance or financial stamina for a long-term success. In the end, the relevant question is whether the former brand is merely a ‘the corpse of a brand’ in the eyes of the beholder or is actually a ‘sleeping beauty brand’. The key challenge is surely to update the brand idea, write a compelling brand story and create a product offer that links to the past through an appealing and contemporary product offer.
For our clients, Brandway traces and seeks potential brand candidates for potential revival. We analyze current ownership, check the quality of the current legal protection of the brand, clarify the remains of the brand’s equities, explore potential space to position the brand in today’s consumer and competitive context and define potential product categories and product features as part of a unique brand experience. If the preconditions for a revival are promising, we develop a full brand revival concept and support new brand owners to achieve their goals with support by appropriate partners.
- Brand Discovery
- Brand Health Check
- Brand Concept
In-licensing known brands is the opposite of developing a new brand or stretching your own brand. The in-licensing method provides licensees with the rights to use an existing and well-established brand, building on the brand’s inherent strength, its genuine positioning, attractiveness and, ultimately, on the experience of target groups that are already familiar with the brand.
Brandway explores diverse brand options within the spectrum of a predefined license search profile. We evaluate the brand’s principal fit against a number of key criteria and check whether potential brand candidates’ trademark registrations have already been protected for the relevant products and services in the countries of interest. After initially shortlisting brand candidates, we contact brand owners and find out whether they are generally interested in discussing a brand license. We gain an initial understanding of the basic prerequisites for a brand license cooperation. In further steps, we clarify the commercial, contractual, product and marketing related concepts in line with the licensors’ plans for the brand. We support commercial realization of the in-licensing program in cooperation with the licensee, IP lawyers, product designers and communication firms.
- Brand License Exploration
- Brand Licensor Search
- Brand License Realization
To us, brand partnerships include a variety of forms of tactical and strategic brand cooperation. Tactical partnering with an appropriate brand to jointly create compelling promotional ideas and concepts is a powerful tool to activate the brand and increase the sale of the products promoted. Strategic, long term oriented brand partnerships to unleash a brand’s potential may even go beyond the licensing of a brand.
Brandway seeks brand partners that ensure a high mutual brand fit with the sufficient ‘creative space’ to formulate a promotional idea or other marketing and communication measures, resulting in a genuine ‘co-created’ brand experience. In regards to strategic brand partnerships our focus is on identifying capable partners that enable the brand to realize opportunities by entering new product and market segments.
- Brand Partner Exploration
- Brand Partner Strategy
- Brand Partner Search
- Brand Partner Concept
- Brand Partner Realization
From Insight to Opportunity.
From Strategy to Reality.
Discovering genuine brand opportunities is a continuous and powerful source of brand growth. The playgrounds to achieve this are manifold – from innovation cultivated within the brand’s current business model to realizing opportunities outside the brand’s home turf.
Translating a brand opportunity into a commercial reality requires a clear commitment from the brand owner, a convincing game plan and dedicated partners to realize the brand’s potential.
Initially the ability to seize/recognize/realize promising opportunities for a brand requires generating the relevant insights. The acquired insights need forward-thinking interpretations that genuinely connect with the brand, target audiences and the business models used by the brand. Combining these insights with different frameworks (=perspectives) allows us to produce an array of brand opportunities and eliminate any unexpected and out-of-the-box conclusions.
To us, developing brand opportunities essentially relies on creating scenarios that move along the following lines: positioning opportunities (what the brand will stand for in future), extending opportunities (which options define, structure and grow the brand’s offer) and identifying and assessing partnering opportunities (which partners are required to realize strategic and tactical growth). Brandway supports dealing with these essential strategic brand and business questions in cooperation with appropriate partners.
- Insight Generation
- Positioning Opportunity
- Extension Opportunities
- Partnering Opportunities
We regard brand strategy as a long-term approach for how to grow a brand. First of all, the ingredients for a brand strategy consist of a comprehensive but crisp brand definition, including the brand’s reason to exist and its purpose, the offer related to the brand and the types of experiences made at different touchpoints that create the intended perception. A wider sense of brand strategy includes how the brand goes to market and communicates with its audiences.
The development of a brand strategy is influenced by a wealth of factors. For us, it is essential to successfully connect future expectations, customers’ behavior and priorities with the brand’s current equities and the opportunities we have identified for the brand. We understand the brand definition as the brand’s proposition and a basis to formulate a product strategy and an experience strategy, which defines how the brand is experienced, followed by a ‘go to market’ strategy that ultimately translates the brand strategy into a concrete market presence and brand experiences.
- Brand Definition
- Product Strategy
- Communication Strategy
- ‘Go-to-market’ Strategy
- Experience Strategy
Regardless of whether the brand structure is based on a master-brand approach utilizing an array of sub-brands, consists of a portfolio of individual brands or follows a hybrid brand architecture model, the brand structure should adhere to clear organizing principles and reflect the selected brand strategy. These are the ingredients that forge a future-oriented brand structure: existing brand architecture, extension scenarios for different brands and emerging market segmentation models. The realization of a brand’s potential, in terms of the products it offers, triggers questions related to how these offers are organized within the brand. Such questions should be answered before communicating new products and creating potentially new touchpoints.
- Brand Architecture
- Brand Portfolio
- Product Segmentation
Brand touchpoints are the sources of brand experiences. Whether these refer to the branded product itself, its website or the tone of voice of the employee speaking on your service hotline: Touchpoints create impressions and impressions influence perceptions and emotions, no matter which senses are involved.
Touchpoints are like the instruments of a brand orchestra and only if they follow a clear direction will they have their intended effect. We regard it as important to understand the role and function of touchpoints in the overall context of a brand experience and the individual purpose they were designed for. The tremendous spectrum of touchpoints also implies that we need to draw on partners with specific skillsets for their development and realization.
- Touchpoint Analysis
- Touchpoint Development
- Touchpoint Realization
- Touchpoint Documentation
Once a brand potential has been recognized and the decision to realize it has been made, brand licensing (out-licensing) can be a strategically valuable instrument for brand growth. Especially when the extension stretches beyond the owner’s current organizational capacities or requires a different business model and skillset, brand out-licensing is an option. Clearly, an appropriate set of equities should be available for the brand to credibly enter an unknown product category. When considering a brand stretch with a partner, the brand owner needs to be aware of the potential change in brand perception that is fueled by moving into new product areas.
The advantages of brand out-licensing programs can be summarized as follows: The brand is strengthened by additional investments and can increase its overall sales volume. New products trigger new interest, new sales channels increase brand presence and, if managed properly, cross-selling activities allow promoting the brand across licensors’ and licensees’ product categories. All the potential advantages of licensing partnerships need to be viewed with respect to potential positive or negative retransfer effects on the brand image and core product categories that are related to and offered by the brand (licensor). Brandway guides brand owners through the different phases of a licensing program, supported by appropriate partners.
- License Exploration
- Licensing Strategy
- Licensee Search
- License Realization
Boosting short-term sales in the context of brand building activities is often achieved by remarkable and exciting promotional campaigns. Partnering with an appropriate brand to jointly create compelling promotional ideas and concepts is a powerful tool to activate the brand and increase the sale of the products promoted. Brandway seeks brand partners to pair brands while ensuring a high mutual brand fit with sufficient ‘creative space’ to formulate a promotional idea that results in a genuine ‘co-created’ brand experience and leads to increased sales and brand relevance.
- Brand Partner Exploration
- Brand Partner Strategy
- Brand Partner Concept
- Brand Partner Realization