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Tag Archives: Brand

Protecting the World’s Most Valuable Non-Brand

Posted in Branding, Contracts, Guest Bloggers, Mixed Bag of Nuts, Search Engines, Technology

- James Mahoney, Razor’s Edge Communications “Brand” and “branding” are the current darlings of the fashionista class. They’re rapidly driving those terms into the realm of cliché by busily associating them with practically everything you can think of. But in the midst of branding’s 15 minutes of fame, a potentially crippling challenge faces the non-brand… Continue Reading

Dear Entrepreneur Who Needs A Name: Do Not Let Tactics Drive Your Strategy

Posted in Branding, Domain Names, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts

- Mark Prus, Principal, NameFlash There was an article this summer in the Wall Street Journal called, “Why Startups Are Sporting Increasingly Quirky Names.” The author indicated that this trend was being driven by a “lack of short, recognizable URLs” which “prompts use of misspellings and word mash-ups” in the names of new startups. One… Continue Reading

The Pancake Disillusion

Posted in Branding, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Social Networking

- James Mahoney, Razor’s Edge Communications It was a sunny day, and Richard Milhous Nixon was inspecting the troops.  He came within spitting distance of the photographer pen, where I was babysitting some press people. “Holy cowpat!” I thought.  “The President is wearing make-up!” Sure enough, Nixon had more pancake on his face than Aunt… Continue Reading

The Real Taco Bell Skills Challenge

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Guest Bloggers, Marketing

—George Fiddler, Client Relationship Manager, Fast Horse Inc. Last Saturday night I watched the entire 2011 Taco Bell Skills Challenge, an NBA All-Star competition that puts some of the league’s best point guards through an obstacle course of shooting, passing and dribbling. I somehow turned the tube off thinking about trends in modern crisis communication… Continue Reading

Want Pancakes With That Prayer?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Food, Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Infringement, Law Suits, Marketing, Trademarks

 —Alan Bergstrom, Beyond Philosophy    IHOP (International House of Pancakes) recently filed a lawsuit to prevent another group, International House of Prayer, from using its trademarked acronym. According to the trademark infringement filing, IHOP has repeatedly asked the religious group to drop the use of the acronym IHOP, which is a registered trademark for its franchised… Continue Reading

And, Here’s . . . Jimmy’s Johnnys

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Dilution, Famous Marks, Food, Marketing, Television, Trademarks, TTAB

One good thing leads to another, or perhaps, vice versa (then again, maybe not):      Odds are, you probably are familiar with the logo on the left, but maybe not the history behind the brand and company it represents. Apparently, a guy named Jimmy John Liataud founded Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches in Charleston, Illinois, in 1983, and since then, has grown… Continue Reading

Tripartite Branding Trouble: The Name is Suk?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Goodwill, Marketing, Trademarks

"The name is Bond, James Bond," said Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Daniel Craig, among others, countless times in film, as part of the famous 007 series. An ideal name for a secret agent. A name and line not easily forgotten, as brands and taglines should be. And then, there are some names you’d like to forget, but can’t, especially if… Continue Reading

GeeWhiz: Another Edition of Trademark AlphaWatch

Posted in Advertising, AlphaWatch, Branding, Food, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Trademarks, Truncation

In this edition of AlphaWatch, it appears another major brand owner is flirting with truncation and wants to be g too (of course, not to be confused with G2 or even G for that matter), despite the fact that the products associated with each brand might be considered complementary (assuming you’re looking to break a sweat): So,… Continue Reading

The Designed Economy

Posted in Branding, Marketing, Trademarks

 —Aaron Keller, Managing Principal at Capsule The pattern of our society evolving from agrarian to manufacturing to service economy has been identified by many authors (Joseph Pine and Joe Gilmore being my favorites). Now, the next economy has been predicted to be everything from the information economy, the digital economy, the experience economy and many… Continue Reading

Can You Rollerblade On K2 Brand In-Line Skates?

Posted in Mixed Bag of Nuts

These kinds of signs — that appear to single out Rollerblade brand in-line skate loyalists – are all over the place. This one happens to be in the parking garage I use in downtown Minneapolis. To understand why the Rollerblade brand may find itself in this perilous position, read on, here. For some additional reading on the related question of verbing brands, take a… Continue Reading

Exposing Two-Face Brands

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Goodwill, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Trademarks

I’m not talking about brands that say one thing and do another. I’m not talking about brands that don’t live up to their promise. I’m literally talking about brands with two faces. One face may be confident, complicated, technical, professional, and/or formal. Let’s call him, Stephen. The other face might be friendly, simple, approachable, engaging, and/or informal… Continue Reading

Going Brand-Less: To Be or Not to Be a Brand?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Domain Names, Goodwill, Marketing, Trademarks

Apparently, if you own one of the diminishing number of retail shops that specializes in tobacco products, it doesn’t really matter if you have a brand or a distinctive name, or not. Tell them what you sell, tell them you’re open for business, and they will come, I guess. This image got me thinking about how often this marketing strategy – if… Continue Reading

A Dimming Energy Star

Posted in Branding, Guest Bloggers

—by Jason Voiovich, Principal and Co-Founder of Ecra Creative Group I know I looked for it. A little over a year ago, I spent my normal morning shower in about 45 degree water. Needless to say, it was time for a new water heater. Undeterred by the cold for a day or two (my wife was out of… Continue Reading

Branding in Pop Culture: How Brands Avoid Negative Associations

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Guest Bloggers, Marketing, Social Networking, Trademarks

—by David Mitchel, Vice President of Marketing at Norton Mitchel Marketing Branding is an intricate and complicated process. Every aspect of the marketing mix must be handled with care. Brand managers watch their brands in the same manner that most parents care for a newborn child. However, there is an element of marketing communications that… Continue Reading

Goodbye, Process of the Past; Hello, Trust and Engagement

Posted in Branding, Guest Bloggers, Marketing

by Jodi Petrich, Senior Director at Fast Horse More brands are turning to social media to engage consumers. Social media are a great tool for launching new products or services, sharing promotional offers, hosting contests or simply connecting with loyal fans. One big challenge is that the approval process in many companies doesn’t lend itself… Continue Reading

Shaun White’s Trademark Move

Posted in Trademarks

Shaun White recently won gold in Vancouver in the halfpipe with a near-perfect score.   At 23, this already his second Olympic games and his second gold metal in this event.  Since 2002, he has also won 9 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze medals in the X Games.   Anyone who saw him in the Olympics has to be… Continue Reading

Double Negatives in Branding: Nobody Doesn’t = Everybody Does?

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Food, International, Marketing, Television, Trademarks, Truncation

There is a time and a place for the use of double negatives. The Rolling Stones made the double negative "I Can’t Get No" lyrics famous in the legendary hit Satisfaction (#2 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s List of the Top Songs of All Time). Pink Floyd made the double negative lyrical phrase "We Don’t Need No" famous in the song Another Brick in The… Continue Reading

Serving Up More Alphabet Soup at W’s XYZ?

Posted in AlphaWatch, Branding, Marketing, Trademarks

  One of Minneapolis’ most recent hotel additions, Aloft Hotel, branded as a "hip" hotel and a "vision" of Starwood’s W, apparently features the WXYZ Bar. Or is it XYZ? I’m not sure, and I’m not sure if Starwood or W have made up their minds yet either (as there appears to be different font, size, and spacing between the W and the lower case… Continue Reading

Apple vs. Apple: Protecting Your Brand Abroad

Posted in Branding, Famous Marks, International, Trademarks

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney The inquiring minds at TechDirt have unearthed a spat between Apple and Woolworths (the supermarket chain in New Zealand and Australia) due to the latter’s adoption of a curly-cue-letter-W-shaped mark, shown below:   Putting aside dilution issues, the central question would appear to be whether confusion is possible, let alone likely, given… Continue Reading

Kleenex® Not Wanting to Blow It: Some Steps to Avoid Trademark Genericide

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Famous Marks, Genericide, Loss of Rights, Marketing, Trademarks

This sponsored banner ad is currently appearing in AdAge’s Daily News on-line newsletter: How many boxes of tissue do you suppose this ad is responsible for selling? If the answer is none, that is probably fine with Kimberly-Clark since the return on investment for this ad is measured quite differently, I’m sure, given how the frequently misused Kleenex®… Continue Reading

Is Twitter¬Æ “Following” Kool-Aid¬Æ, Mickey Mouse¬Æ, and Spam¬Æ?

Posted in Branding, Social Networking

What does Twitter have in common with Kool-Aid, Mickey Mouse, and Spam? Maybe nothing, at least yet, but I predict that it will soon, unless Twitter retains some talented PR help in a hurry. Why? The Kool-Aid, Mickey Mouse, and Spam brands all have spawned secondary or alternate and negative non-trademark meanings that have become part of the English… Continue Reading