Wherever we look, trademarks are getting smaller. From app icons to college stickers on cars, brands are shrinking as the competition for consumers’ attention grows more fierce. A few years ago, parents proudly displayed window stickers featuring the full name of their children’s schools across the bottom of their car window. Contrast this with the norm today (shown in photo):

Photo Credit: Lauren Hagerstrom

As the format in which customers view your brands grows even smaller, here are five ways brand owners can make sure their brands still stand out in this tiny marketplace:

1. Consider short/small space brand formats up front. When creating a new company, product, or service name, consider the formats in which the brand will be viewed by consumers, and develop strong options for displaying the mark in small space format.

2. Design elements should not be an afterthought. Develop a strong graphic image along with the brand name.

3. Select a color scheme early in the process. Colors can create a large impact in a small space. Used consistently throughout branding materials and websites, colors can help consumers quickly distinguish your brand or app among competitors.

4. Search small. Search and clear the small space form of your mark, color, and logo to make sure it is available for use and is

5. File to protect. Create a strong wall of protection around your brand by filing to protect different iterations of your mark and app icons. Also consider design patent protection for your icons and other small space user interface designs.

This article appeared in the August 2015 issue of MarkIt to Market. To view our past issues, as well as other firm newsletters, please click here.