Difference Wiki

Brand Name vs. Trademark: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 7, 2023
A brand name identifies a product or company, while a trademark legally protects brand names, logos, or symbols from being used by others.

Key Differences

A brand name is the name given to a product or service from a specific source, used for identification and marketing purposes. In contrast, a trademark is a legal designation, a registered symbol, name, or phrase that represents the brand and legally distinguishes it from other products.
A brand name serves to create recognition and reputation for a product or company. A trademark, however, protects the brand name or logo legally, preventing others from using a similar identifier for their products.
Registering a brand name as a trademark provides legal protection and exclusive rights to use that name. While a brand name can be used without registration, a trademark requires legal registration to enforce protection.
A brand name is crucial in marketing, creating a memorable identity for consumers. Trademarks support this identity by ensuring exclusivity, enhancing the brand's market position.
Internationally recognized brand names like Coca-Cola or Apple have a significant impact on consumer perception. Their trademarks are equally important, providing global legal protection and maintaining brand integrity.

Comparison Chart


Name given to a product or service
Legal protection of brand identity


Identification and marketing
Legal protection and exclusivity

Registration Requirement

Not legally required
Legal registration required

Role in Marketing

Builds brand recognition
Ensures brand exclusivity

Global Impact

Influences consumer perception
Provides international legal protection

Brand Name and Trademark Definitions

Brand Name

Brand names are used for identity and marketing purposes.
The brand name 'Starbucks' evokes premium coffee products.


Trademarks are crucial for maintaining a brand's uniqueness.
The name 'Disney' is a trademark, protecting the brand's identity.

Brand Name

A brand name is the distinct title given to a product or service.
The brand name 'Nike' is synonymous with athletic apparel.


A trademark is a symbol, word, or phrase legally registered for protection.
The 'swoosh' logo is a trademark of Nike.

Brand Name

A brand name differentiates one product from its competitors.
The brand name 'Google' has become synonymous with internet search.


Trademarks prevent others from using similar brand identifiers.
The golden arches are a trademark of McDonald's, distinguishing it from competitors.

Brand Name

Brand names can become a part of popular culture.
The brand name 'Coca-Cola' is recognized worldwide.


Trademarks are a key asset in a company's intellectual property portfolio.
Amazon's trademarked logo is a valuable part of its brand identity.

Brand Name

A strong brand name adds value to a company.
The brand name 'Apple' is associated with innovation in technology.


Trademarks can be renewed indefinitely as long as they are in use.
The trademark for 'Coca-Cola' has been in use for over a century.

Brand Name

Having a widely known brand name and usually a good reputation
A brand-name hotel.


Abbr. TM A name, symbol, or other device used to identify and promote a product or service, especially an officially registered name or symbol that is thereby protected against use by others.

Brand Name

Alternative spelling of brand name


What is a brand name?

A name given to a product or service for identification.

Can any name be a brand name?

Yes, if it's distinctive and used for a product or service.

What is a trademark?

A legal registration protecting a brand's identity.

How does a brand name benefit a company?

It creates recognition and differentiates from competitors.

Do brand names need to be registered?

Registration isn't required but provides legal benefits.

Can a brand name become generic?

Yes, if it becomes the common name for a product or service.

How is a trademark obtained?

Through legal registration with a government authority.

What can be trademarked?

Names, logos, slogans, and distinctive sounds or colors.

Are brand names globally protected?

Not automatically; protection depends on regional laws.

Can two companies have the same brand name?

Yes, if they operate in different industries or regions.

What's the difference between ™ and ® in trademarks?

™ indicates an unregistered trademark, ® a registered one.

Can a trademark be international?

Yes, through international treaties and registrations.

How do brand names impact marketing?

They play a key role in brand recognition and loyalty.

What happens if a brand name isn't unique?

It may lead to confusion and weaken brand identity.

What rights does a trademark grant?

Exclusive use of the mark in connection with certain goods or services.

Is a trademark forever?

It can last indefinitely with proper renewal and use.

How does a brand name relate to a logo?

Both are parts of a brand's identity, but a logo is visual.

What if someone infringes on a trademark?

Legal action can be taken against unauthorized use.

Can a trademark be sold?

Yes, it's a transferable intellectual property asset.

How does a trademark protect a company?

It legally secures brand identity and prevents misuse.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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