Fluid Trademarks – Wave Of The Future

Heraclitus, the well-known Greek philosopher rightly said that- “The only constant in life is the change”. These thoughtful words have become more relevant than ever in today’s rapidly growing markets, where consumer behavior is everchanging, which is attributable largely to the availability of information readily on any aspect of procurement and also further because of the plethora of product and service choices in the market. This everchanging landscape in consumer choices and behavior has also led to innovation in branding of products and services and has challenged the conventional principles of branding that a trademark should be static to become stronger.

It is in this context that “Fluid Trademarks” have come into existence as a dynamic marketing tool and are becoming an increasingly popular mode of branding where brand owners adopt novel ways to grab the attention of their consumers by way of a brand rejuvenation in order to retain consumer engagement but nevertheless bearing in mind the all-important aspect and fundamental purpose of trademark viz., “Source Identification”.

Fluid trademarks are marks that are based on an original popular and well-known trademark but which have been rejigged intentionally to appear as a number of variants while retaining some basic and important elements and features of the original mark in order to maintain brand recognition and source identification. While browsing and surfing through the internet, we often encounter many popular traditional trademarks / brands in different variations. These are the new age trademarks as they are eye catching and ever changing which are created more likely to attract the public’s attention in the commercial space in this digital era. These marks prove to be a big hit for the brand owners to connect with people with the changing trends in the market and by customizing the traditional marks as per the current occasion, festival, season, weather, etc. to leave a message.

Fluid marks can take several forms, including logos, graphic symbols, verbal elements, or a combination thereof (i.e. any type of identifier that qualifies as a trademark). Google ‘Doodle’ is the quintessential “fluid trademark”.  While its primary mark and logo remain intact, from time to time–and for one day only – Google changes its conventional, static mark for a colorful, whimsical, and often dynamic alter-ego. Some of the other famous fluid marks are Perrier bottles, Absolut Vodka, MTV Channel logo, etc.

It is pertinent to mention that people should not confuse fluid trademarks as daily updates or family of marks or mere presenting a mark in different colours. The different ways in which a traditional trademark can be represented as a fluid trademark are (a) by ornamenting the trademark, (b) changing background of the trademark, (c) filling a frame like the icons of the television channels, (d) employing moving designs and (e) adopting multiple and ever-changing designs.

Why do companies go for Fluid trademarks?

  • Fluid marks are more eye catching than a mark that stays the same.
  • To maintain interest in the brand. Capture consumer attention – particularly online.
  • Strengthen brand awareness by interacting with consumers.

Contributing Advisors