WeddingWire Education Team adds Andy Ebon

WeddingWire EducationWedding Marketing Expert, Andy Ebon, will be joining the WeddingWire Education Team as an Education Expert. His official start date is June 1st, kicking off with the WeddingWire World Conference in Miami, June 3rd,  closely followed by the WeddingWire WorldConference in Washington DC, June 16th. These full day events the first two in a 5-day schedule for calendar year 2014.

WeddingWire Education

For the Miami gathering, Andy will be joining such wedding industry luminaries as: Sonny Ganguly (Wedding Wire), Alan Berg (Wedding Industry Leadership Conference), Silvia Camps (Brand Development Group), Kathryn Hamm (GayWeddings.com), Kyle Mihalcoe (WeddingWire), Brendan McLellan (WeddingWire), Bill Cronin (WeddingWire).

During the course of his work with WeddingWire, Andy will be speaking at national, regional, and local conferences and meetings, as well as giving periodic webinars, and contributing to its B2B blog.

“I am incredibly excited being part of the WeddingWire Education Team as an adjunct to work in my companies, Wedding University®, The Wedding Marketing Blog, and the Wedding Marketing Network. Great thanks to Sonny Ganguly for bringing me into the fold.”

Noreen Azuzu
Feature Writer
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Trademark Primer for Wedding Professionals

This item was originally posted on August 8, 2011. 

register-markIn August 2011, I completed the process of Federal trademark registration for the phrase, Wedding University ® (notice the R in the circle), and thought I’d share a bit about what a trademark means, and doesn’t mean, in simple terms.

In the United States, there is a differentiation between registration of a product and service. A product gets a trademark. A service, gets a service mark. Although, either option is referred to as registering for a trademark.

The procedure is not particularly difficult, and only moderately costly. One can use the Federal website for free research, to see if a term or phrase has been registered. Or, if there is any question, you can pay for the research.

The Wedding University ® search now shows this result in the Federal online records. Reading further into the record, it shows me as the service mark holder.

WEDDING UNIVERSITY
Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Education services, namely, providing seminars, workshops, and webinars in the field of marketing education for wedding professionals; Educational services, namely, conducting programs in the field of marketing education for wedding professionals; Educational services, namely, conducting seminars, workshops, and webinars in the fields of marketing education for wedding professionals and distribution of training materials in connection therewith; Educational services, namely, conducting seminars, workshops, and webinars in the field of marketing education for wedding professionals and distribution of course and educational materials in connection therewith ; Educational services, namely, providing seminars, workshops, and webinars in the fields of marketing education for wedding professionals. FIRST USE: 20031013. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20080923

in the last line, it notes that I first used the term in 2003, though I registered it more recently.

When applying for a trademark, there are many services that can expedite the process for you. I used a service called: Trademarkia.com – It cost me about $425, including the Federal fees. I did not seek outside research, as there were no competing/overlapping trademarks on file. Trademarkia performed the process of application, quickly, and informed me that the government might take about three months to complete the process. I was given login access on the Trademarkia site to check the process of my order. In about two months, the trademark was finalized. The registration period is for a 10-year time frame; renewable, of course.

Trademarks, Service Marks, Copyrights, etc., do not give absolute exclusivity; however, they do give protection and recourse. In general, the laws prohibit another person or entity from using the exact or similar words/image in a way that would be confusing to the average person/public. Variations of spelling or sound generally do not qualify as significantly different, and create an infringement. An example might be to use a Z, and not an S. Since that would sound them same, though spelled differently, it is unlikely to hold up against a challenge.

Added words don’t hold muster either. If someone elected to attempt to use a phrase, such as Wedding University Oshkosh, it would be unlikely to hold up. That one is pretty obvious.

bump-city-logoThis example is not as simple. If you published a magazine, for instance, titled Bump City Bride, serving the metropolis of Bump City, California, you would not have absolute use of those three words. You would have use of that phrase, as it refers to the name of the magazine, but not as it refers to ‘a woman who gets married in the metropolis of Bump City, California’.… i.e. ‘a Bump City bride’ (lower case letter b).

In addition, fair use of a trademark by media (print, online, etc.,) would allow use of Bump City Bride, with specific reference to the magazine. To be correct, it would need to use the trademark ®  symbol. You may notice the letters TM or SM next to a logo. That is an indication that trademark registration has been filed, but not completed.

The major ongoing issue is that you MUST defend infringement on a trademark or you may lose its privilege of exclusive use. I use Google Alerts to notify me about the publishing of various words or phrases on the internet, such as “wedding university”.  Immediate awareness of any use/infringement enables me to take prompt action should such a violation occur.

BUSINESS MORALE: The way the internet blurs territories and borders, it is helpful and advisable for many businesses to consider a trademark or service mark than in the past. You wouldn’t want to invest in your brand, over years, and have another company swoop in and over take you…. would you?

Have any lingering questions? A short visit with a trademark attorney should do the trick.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

 

 

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Wedding University: On the road to Illinois

The week of December 3rd will find Andy Ebon making multiple stops in the state of Illinois.

The Elegant Bridal GroupMonday, December 3rd will have stops in morning (8am – 12pm) and afternoon (3 – 7pm) stops in Springfield and Champaign, respectively. The half-day sessions are hosted by The Elegant Bridal Group and will include sessions on Building A Social Media Strategy and Effective Bridal Show Techniques.

Windy City Wedding ShowThursday, December 6th, Andy will be at the Westin O’Hare Hotel, hosted by the Windy City Wedding Show. Andy will be partnered with fellow wedding marketing expert, Alan Berg. Andy and Alan will presenting a total of four seminars.

Andy will be speaking on Pinterest and Competition. Alan will be presenting on Effective Email Communication and Protecting Your Online Reputation. The details and signup may be found online.

Andy will remain in Chicago, on Friday the 7th, for some one-on-one consulting sessions. Details and signup for consulting are also available online.

Andy Ebon - Alan Berg
Andy Ebon – Alan Berg

Great Wedding Business Name of the Week

In my travels, giving Wedding University seminars, I look at a lot of marketing materials, particularly websites. What I see in all forms are names for wedding industry businesses. Great wedding business names?… not so much

Many of them are run-of-the-mill. Some are vague or unclear. Others just jump out at you with style and clarity. Having a clear brand image and identity is a critical advantage.

Effective business names tend to come in two varieties:

  1. A name (1-3 words) with a tagline that clarifies what the business does.
  2. A name (1-3 words) that tells exactly what the business does, without need for clarification.

Great names are also easy to remember and spell. If the business name doubles as the website domain name, that’s a bonus.

I came across a great business name that breaks one guideline (for the number of words), but has everything else.

  • It tells exactly what the business does.
  • Its rhythm makes it memorable
  • It’s easy to spell
  • Add .com and you have the domain name
great wedding business name
Up Dos for I Dos

Know of a great business name (your or someone elses). Email me the recommendation.