Stories of our clients: Brass Tacks

"Negotiation and conflict are not comfort zone activities for most of our clients, so our whole approach starts with the need to build confidence and manage the emotional demands of negotiating, using simple tools that actually work in real commercial situations." Read the whole story of Brass Tacks from the perspective of its Managing Director, Gareth Roberts, and learn how Trama protects this inspiring brand on its mission to provide effective negotiation training for the real world.


Jan Buza

In the context of both business and personal pursuits, achieving success often hinges upon the ability to navigate and excel in uncomfortable conversations—a skill that many individuals instinctively shy away from. These pivotal moments, fraught with tension and uncertainty, can determine the trajectory of one's career, relationships, and overall well-being.

Recognizing the paramount importance of mastering the art of negotiation and adeptly handling challenging dialogues, Brass Tacks, a negotiation training consultant group, was created to provide needed expertise and guidance. With a steadfast commitment to addressing the nuanced intricacies of interpersonal communication, Brass Tacks experts such as Gareth Roberts aim to equip individuals and organizations with the tools and strategies essential for success in negotiations, fostering an environment where even the most uncomfortable conversations can lead to mutually beneficial outcomes.

In comparison to your competitors, what are the main factors setting your business apart?


“For a start, we have actually negotiated in the real world! Established negotiation training brands often use inexperienced associates or generalist trainers, which isn’t much use when you are trying to persuade an experienced salesperson or buyer to lean into a difficult conversation and do something different. When you want change, who delivers the message matters as much as the message itself. Our trainers have all negotiated £100m+ contracts in senior commercial roles over many years, which means they are credible and tend to get listened to, even by seasoned negotiators.”

“Secondly, we focus heavily on mindset, acknowledging that negotiation is not a comfort zone activity for most people. Most of my job is helping nice people have tough conversations! I often experienced a macho or patronising attitude from training providers when commissioning negotiation courses for the teams I led during my corporate career. The whole “boys at the golf club” energy is a huge turn off for most people, so it was important that the Brass Tacks experience felt more inclusive without being overly corporate or anodyne (another problem in this market!)”

“Learning real-world negotiation tools in a fresh, inclusive way from credible trainers has prove popular and, less than 5 years post launch, we’ve trained negotiators all over the world in global organisations as diverse as Sony, McDonald’s, AstraZeneca, Hilton, Superdrug, SSP Group, Southampton FC and many more.”

When did you start thinking about brand protection? And what were the reasons?

“I started thinking about brand protection around 2 years into the business (2021) when it became clear that Brass Tacks were establishing a reputation as “something fresh” and effective in the world of negotiation training. A lot of work started to come via word of mouth and repeat business, with people asking for “Brass Tacks negotiation training” rather than name-checking me or another trainer, which felt like a sign that Brass Tacks had become a brand worth protecting.“

“Our registrations in the UK and EU were plain sailing, but the US proved challenging as the process was both more bureaucratic and more challenging. We received pushback from the US registrar as there was another company – offering completely different services to negotiation training – operating under a similar name. Trama did a great job navigating this, which was not an obstacle we could have confidently navigated independently. We were delighted to see the Brass Tacks brand protected in the United States from December this year, which was a good early Xmas present!”

What made you stick with Trama throughout the process of trademark registration? 

“I started doing an online search for trademark attorneys, then followed up with 1:1 conversations. Trama stood out in terms of reputation, clear communication, a simple process, realistic expectations and value for money.”

Jan Buza
Jan Buza

Product Mind

Helped scale portfolio firms for a VC fund

CEMS Prague

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