Memorial Day is another example of successful re-branding: Memorial Day apparently used to be called Decoration Day.

Although most appreciate and understand that this federal holiday since 1971 comes on the last Monday in May, there is a concern that “many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day.” It is more than a three-day weekend, it is a day to remember those who have died in military service for our country.

After you have paid your respects on this Memorial Day, I have a suggestive branding challenge for you, below the jump, if you’re interested.

I got to thinking about the word MEMORIAL, and how my memory couldn’t produce awareness of a single MEMORIAL brand, besides lots of different hospitals. When I took a closer look on the U.S. Trademark Office’s on-line search-able database, the sense of my memory was validated in that the word MEMORIAL clearly is not a popular trademark term, only appearing in about 300 currently live trademark applications or registrations, and far fewer than this if medical/hospital services are excluded from the list. In addition, with only a few rare exceptions, the word MEMORIAL is never arbitrary or suggestive, but instead, generic or immediately descriptive of the goods or services covered by those applications and registrations.

Moreover, the most obvious Internet domain names seem to confirm how little this word is touched by any creativity in branding. sells on-line what you might imagine, memorials. contains sponsored links concerning, you guessed it, memorials.

Why won’t creative naming consultants touch this word? What is it about the word MEMORIAL that seems to limit its trademark value to merely descriptive uses? Are there not more creative possibilities for using MEMORIAL as a brand name? Here’s one suggestive example I came up with, what about MEMORIAL for insecticides, pesticides, or herbicides?

Now, recalling what you have already learned about the important distinction between descriptive and suggestive trademarks, here and here, what are some other kinds of goods or services that could be branded — as suggestive, not descriptive — under the MEMORIAL name?