Development of a brand through trade mark protection
A Dr Martens case study

Page 1: Introduction

Branding of a product is important for both buyers and sellers. For buyers, branding reduces the random nature of product selection. It helps them to identify more easily products that may satisfy their needs and enables them to reduce time spent on evaluating alternatives. A brand also represents certain qualities and characteristics which they may use to develop a clearer picture of what the...
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Page 2: Protecting the brand

In the UK the definition of a Trade Mark is: “any sign capable of being represented graphically, which is capable of distinguishing goods and services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings. A Trade Mark may, in particular, consist of words (including personal names), designs, letters, numerals or the shape of goods or their packaging” (Trade Mark Act 1994). This means...
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Page 3: Trade Marks

The primary purpose of Trade Marks is to identify the proprietor to the consumer and to provide the consumer with an indicator that the company’s reputation for providing good quality goods, can be associated with the product. When choosing a word Trade Mark, a number of pointers have to be considered. The mark should be easy to remember and pronounce and able to be presented in a graphic...
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Page 4: Investing in the development of the business

Griggs wanted to protect its ability to invest in the development of its business through advertising its brand and this investment was secured through the relevant Trade Mark protection. Without protecting and policing its Trade Marks, Griggs would have little security that the AirWair marks could be used exclusively by itself, leading to competitors branding their products using these marks...
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Page 5: Operating on a global scale

Operating on a global scale produces added complications when attempting to protect Marks in countries not using the Roman alphabet. If the local population cannot read the mark, or pronounce it, a suitable translation into the local language has to be found. It is important to make sure that the translated mark works in the relevant country and not rely only on a translation service to provide...
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Page 6: Conclusion

The purchase of footwear in the UK reaches nearly £5bn per year, with a large proportion of shoes being imported from low cost producers outside the EU. Competition from these producers has resulted in many UK shoe manufacturers going out of business or seeing their markets gradually eroded.R Griggs Group Limited, through the successful production of a high quality product that appeals to...
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Related: Dr Martens
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