It’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your coaching business: What will I call it? How will the world identify my brand? Who am I??? (Cue the drama…) 😅
In all seriousness, your program name is how your audience and potential clients will identify you. And when you register that name as a trademark, you make things realer than real!
In today’s world of online business, with all the noise and competition out there, your trademark is more important than ever.
Your leads will search for you using your program name. Previous clients will recommend you to others using your program name. What we’re saying is your recurring revenue largely depends on the public’s ability to easily find you online.
This means instead of registering just any trademark, you’ll want to register a trademark that is strong, distinct, and effective. Trust us, you don’t want to spend money on a trademark that is weak or generic, meaning other coaches in your niche are using a similar name.
If multiple coaches are using your desired trademark — or they need to use it to describe their own services — you probably won’t be able to secure the exclusive trademark rights to it through the USPTO.
Read on to learn how to develop a strong, valuable trademark for your new coaching program.
4 Types of Trademarks to Help You Name Your Coaching Program
- Descriptive trademark
- Suggestive trademark
- Arbitrary trademark
- Fanciful trademark
Let’s begin! 👇
How Valuable Is a Coaching Program Name?
When you’re considering trademarking your coaching program, you must look at the why behind it.
Why Your Coaching Program Name Isn’t That Important
The truth is the name of your coaching program will never be worth more than the work being done within the program. The relationship you build with each of your clients outshines the way you package up your program for marketing purposes.
Since you’re a great coach, you already know this…The whole objective of entering a coach-client relationship is the undeniable transformation you facilitate.
Whether it’s business coaching, life coaching, relationship coaching, or some other awesome niche, you’d rather change people’s lives for the better than have a cute program name that attracts clients that don’t truly understand you, and vice versa. 🤓
Some online coaches get started without an official program name, but they still invest enough education, experience, and energy for their clients to see real results.
Why Your Coaching Program Name Still Matters
While all of that is true… we still believe you need a memorable and unique program name that represents what a client will get out of working with you. Otherwise, how will you attract leads to the program?
Having a nameless program *could* work at first. But your momentum (i.e. marketing and sales) will only last so long. 📈
Choosing a program name simplifies the entire process of explaining your offer on social media, as well as building a new page for it on your website.
Naming your program becomes especially important as you expand your offer suite. Think about it: Who wants to advertise three different offers that all have super similar names? That just sounds confusing for yourself and for your audience.
Since naming is essential, why not have fun with it?
And while you’re at it, take the extra step to register your program name as a trademark, so you own exclusive rights to the name. This keeps you competitive within your niche, while proudly defending the fact that you came up with creative ideas to enhance your clients’ experiences with your brand.
4 Ways to Use Trademarking for Your Coaching Program
In case you didn’t know, there are levels to trademarking your coaching program name. We broke down all four levels just for you. Let’s go! 🤗
Do your best not to use generic or descriptive words to describe your program. For example, if you were opening a restaurant, you wouldn’t want to call it, “Diner” or “The Sandwich Shop.” The same applies to the world of coaching.
Say you’re a business coach. You probably don’t want to name your coaching program, “The Online Business Coaching Program” or “The Entrepreneur Accelerator.”
The USPTO will refuse registration to generic/descriptive marks because other businesses selling similar services need to be able to use those terms to describe what they do.
On top of that, what good does it do if a million other businesses show up in Google search when someone interested in hiring *you* tries to find you?
One step up from descriptive trademarks are suggestive trademarks. (Coach, you’ll want to pay attention to this one!)
A suggestive trademark is one that does not explicitly name the nature of the services being provided. Instead, it gets the point across in an indirect way.
Examples of Suggestive Trademarks:
- Peaceful Parenting: a group coaching program for parents looking to eliminate anger and tension from their parenting style
- Perfect Match Mastermind: a relationship coaching program
- Macho Mindfulness: a mindset coaching program for masculine individuals
- Beach Bums United: a business coaching program that is designed for individuals of the #digitalnomad lifestyle
💡 A suggestive trademark is the sweet spot you want to aim for when naming your online coaching program!
The next level of trademark strength is an arbitrary mark. Arbitrary trademarks include words that exist in the English language but have nothing to do with the service being sold.
Examples of Arbitrary Trademarks:
- Queen Bee Mastermind: a business coaching program
- The Rainbow Rooster: a health and wellness coaching program
- The PAUSE Method: a signature methodology or framework
Want to see some examples of arbitrary trademarks outside of the coaching industry? Here they are:
- Bumble: a dating app
- Infiniti: a car
- Apple: an electronic brand
Finally, we’ve arrived at the strongest type of trademark: a fanciful mark. A fanciful mark is a word that bears no meaning in the English language and is used as a trademark to identify the source of good or services.
Examples of Fanciful Trademarks:
- Hulu: a streaming service
- Kodak: photography equipment
- Exxon: gasoline
What We Covered
There we have it! You’re one step closer to trademarking your coaching program name. You now know you should avoid using a generic or descriptive trademark. Instead, go the suggestive route so that you can properly advertise your coaching program and work with the clients who are perfect for you.
As a coach and overall brand, you’re about to stand out from the crowd. We couldn’t be more excited for you!
Ready to serve clients through 1:1 or group coaching? Check out our ready-to-use, lawyer-approved, plug-and-play legal templates, so you can upgrade your client contract while staying Protected & Profitable™✨
*The information presented in this blog post is for educational & informational purposes only. This should not be a substitute for customized legal advice from a licensed professional in a private setting. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. This is not a law firm.