UPDATE: In case you’re wondering, the microscopic text in the lower right corner of the billboard reads like a disclaimer: “ENJOY IN MODERATION.” How’s that for a messaging mixed drink?
We’ve made a lot of friends in the naming community over the last six years, special congrats to one of them, Anth Shore over at Operative Words, whose work in naming Jaunt was recently featured in a New York Times article called: The Weird Science of Naming New Products.
It is a fascinating inside look at the art and science of naming, definitely worth reading, enjoy!
Here are some of Anth’s previous guest posts here on DuetsBlog, thanks Anth for sharing your wisdom:
- The Names of MIT Media Lab: How to Describe an Innovation
- Does Your Branding Pass The SNIFF Test?
- Truth is Stronger Than Fiction
- Describe Different
Love the word Jaunt, do you think it will be verbed?
Samsung has federally-registered in the U.S. the trademark GALAXY NOTE for smart phones, mobile phones, and tablet computers — note the absence of a disclaimer of NOTE, meaning that term is believed to be distinctive, not descriptive or generic for the goods (at least for now):
And, Samsung’s DO YOU NOTE? trademark application publishes for opposition tomorrow.
As you know, we have welcomed the challenge by marketing types to press the edges and not fall into the assumed knee-jerk legal trap when it comes to weighing the true risks of genericide based on the verbing of brands, but if you’re not Google, this recommended reading from our archives — on the subject of trademark verbing and the risk of genericide, is still highly useful:
- Just Verb It? A Legal Perspective on Using Brands As Verbs: Part I
- Just Verb It? Part II: A Legal Perspective on Using Brands As Verbs
- Just Verb It? Part III: Testing the “Slippery Slope” of Using Brands as Verbs
- Managing The Legal Risk of “Verbing Up” Brands and Trademarks
- How Realistic is the Risk of Trademark Genericide?
Who will be the next to jump on the brandverbing bandwagon? How long will the ride last?
There is a growing interest and, quite frankly, a dogged persistence among branding professionals to select brand names that have the ability and potential to be “verbed.” This makes trademark attorney types nervous and those of the “Dr. No” variety actually become unglued.
So, why the emphasis or fascination with verbs anyway? The answer apparently can be found in the definition of a verb: “A verb is a doing word (helping, grabbing).” This feature is appealing to marketers. In addition, some argue that “verbing” a brand extends its reach through effective “word of mouth branding.” Some feel so strongly about the marketing benefit they argue that “having the public utter your company name as a verb is like going to heaven without the inconvenience of dying. Getting ‘verbed’ is the ultimate accomplishment for any brand — the marketer’s Shangri-la.”
As marketing maven Seth Godin argued as early as 2005: “Nouns just sit there, inanimate lumps. Verbs are about wants and desires and wishes.” Given that limited binary choice, David Cameron’s recent and thoughtful “Brandverbing Brands” post on his OnBrands Blog, asks a reasonable question: “Wouldn’t you rather have your brand in the latter category?”
I’m wondering and you might be wondering too, what happened to door number three? We’ll get to that, patience.