–Cathy Dahl, Attorney
I always think it’s fun to look at lists of famous trademarks or summaries of what individuals perceive to be strong marks associated with various regions. My kids recently found a game online where you are provided with an image of a logo and have to identify the product/source of origin. Because of the game’s international focus, some of them were pretty difficult to identify (from my perspective).
I recently looked at a list that a person had compiled for what they believed to be the most relevant trademarks in Minnesota. For starters, the list did not even have the Target Bullseye Logo, so I couldn’t take the list very seriously. But I did agree with at least a few of the trademarks that the person included. It got me thinking about regions and how trademarks are more well-known in some areas as opposed to others. For example, hearing my sister in the Southwest talk about “IN-N-OUT” burgers means virtually nothing to me. We don’t have them in Minnesota and we didn’t have them in the mid-Atlantic region that I lived in for several years either. I don’t salivate when I hear it, I just shrug my shoulders. But if you start talking about Ollie’s Trolley in Washington, D.C. …well, I didn’t even finish typing this sentence and my saliva glands are over-reacting.
What are the brands that define a region? While many trademarks have a national impact, I think regionally the strongest or best known trademarks are usually associated with food and beverages, sports, and entertainment. So for Minnesota, I think almost immediately of the following, all of which originate here in Minnesota and have nationwide notoriety.
There are countless other great brands in and from Minnesota. What brands emanate from and define your region?