Before becoming popular, trademark your brand: HockeyShot

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For hockey players who want to improve their skills outside the rink, HockeyShot offers multiple solutions. Their products even make it possible to play hockey on the beach.

HockeyShot is a familiar name in the hockey community. This New Brunswick-based company has expanded its brand across Canada, to the U.S. and Europe, and has become a large player in online specialty retailing of hockey training equipment. Olympic medalists and National Hockey League players have trained using their products. Popular YouTuber "Coach Jeremy," with over 265,00 subscribers, has reviewed their Synthetic Ice Revolution Tiles, along with other HockeyShot products.

But before reaching for the top, HockeyShot made sure of one thing: owning a registered trademark for its brand.

Jonathan Thériault, the lead engineer of HockeyShot, says registering a trademark gave them peace of mind to expand in Canada and abroad. Owning the rights to their brand shows their commitment as a serious player in the market, and it gives the company momentum to keep investing in branding.

HockeyShot's branding strategy is critical to their success. With a mission to revolutionize hockey skills around the world by providing fun, innovative and accessible tools, they frequently offers free online content such as videos or blogs on how to improve skills using their products. This encourages customers to keep coming back to their website. The company also spends time collecting feedback from the online community about new ways in which their products are being used.

"By combining free tips and drills from industry-leading social influencers, pro teams, players and coaches, we have given our customers every reason to keep coming back for more training products and knowledge," says Brody Constantine, Director of Marketing, e-Commerce and Customer Experience of HockeyShot.

Branding and trademarks go hand-in-hand. A trademark is how customers recognize one's products, and branding is how one creates a relationship with them. As a business tries to build up a brand, protecting the brand as a trademark should be one of the first tasks, says Thériault.

With such a wide range of branding activities, HockeyShot has seen increased popularity in North America and in Europe. With a registered trademark, the company avoids wasting time, money and efforts fending off copycats, meaning more time to focus on brand expansion. And while infringement hasn't posed a major problem for them, they still have worked with a law firm that has been looking after their IP interests and will defend their trademark when needed.

"It is your business and its identity that you are protecting," explains Thériault.

Five reasons to register your trademark

  1. It shows that the trademark is yours.
  2. It gives you exclusive rights to use the trademark across Canada for 15 years (and you can renew that indefinitely).
  3. It stops others from using a confusingly similar trademark.
  4. It allows you to flag infringements by others.
  5. It helps you license your trademark, which you can use to make money and increase your brand's popularity.

Are you inspired to protect your products and ideas? Visit the IP for business page on how to develop an IP strategy for success.

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