I think that registering a Trade Mark is costly compared to owning a domain name. So I think that as long as you secure the .com for your brand (because in the US people can claim the brand after you first published it, but they would want the .com) and publish content containing your brand name you can avoid the need to register a Trade Mark.

In the UK/Europe, I believe that simply being first to publish a brand name is enough to secure ownership.