Names Matter: The Challenge of Naming Your Brand

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Monday, 22 May, 2017

Do names really matter? They do if you’re involved in trademarks, domains, or brand protection. And they’ve become extremely important in today’s complex trademark landscape.

Names are a face to the world. They’re often the first thing you read or hear about something new and they can act as a critical differentiator in a crowded market.

Anyone who’s ever worked on a naming project knows it is a challenging exercise. Although it normally begins as fun and creative, it quickly progresses toward finding answers to these more difficult questions:

  • Is it easily understood?
  • Is it unique?
  • Is it acceptable globally?

Let’s take a look at some of the most common naming challenges — several of them might be familiar to you:

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Topics: branding, names

When Democracy is Bad for Branding: The Strange Case of Boaty McBoatface

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Friday, 22 April, 2016

Coming up with creative new names — for brands, babies, and even ships — can be quite challenging these days. The growth of the Internet and social media has made participation in naming contests extremely easy, which means anyone can wage a campaign to take names into . . . uncharted waters.

And that’s what happened in the UK recently. The Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) asked for help in finding a name for a Royal Research ship via its website and Twitter account. The plea resulted in 7,000 names floated, with more than 124,000 votes cast for the smile-inducing name of “Boaty McBoatface.”

Despite an overwhelming victory in online votes, it turns out the UK’s Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson thinks that “Boaty McBoatface” is “not suitable.” Johnson says that the poll is only one factor that will be used in choosing a name. The Guardian reports that Johnson said, “. . . we want a name that lasts longer than a social media news cycle and reflects the serious nature of the science it will be doing.” It turns out that Johnson isn’t “the decider.” That honor falls to NERC Chief Executive Duncan Wingham, who, at a minimum, should be excited about all of the free publicity his organization has gotten recently.

This story has gotten a boatload of media attention, although disappointingly, the headlines didn’t get any more creative than this one from NPR: “UK Science Minister Torpedoes 'Boaty McBoatface' As Ship Name.” The Times came out in support of letting the majority rule for the Boaty name, reminding readers: “This is the age of stolen elections . . .” In the US, the Chicago Tribune wrote an editorial about the kerfuffle, pointing out that the British government had asked for the people’s opinion and by ignoring the public’s choice, it chose to “belittle its supporters.” The newspaper declared: “Science doesn’t need to be so serious.”

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Topics: branding

Conducting Figurative Trademark Searches: A Notoriously Difficult Task 

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 22 September, 2015

When Airbnb, the lodging marketplace, debuted its new logo last year, some keen observers said that it looked an awful lot like the logo for IT company, Automation Anywhere. (Note: Automation Anywhere has since “revised” its logo.) The new Airbnb logo generated a lot of press attention, including Buzzfeed’s angle of finding “18 Things That Look Like The New Airbnb Logo,” including a a couch, a sea creature, and a mini-golf course.

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Topics: trademarks, branding

Welcome back to Trademarks + Brands

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 1 September, 2015

Welcome back to Trademarks + Brands! 

We’re happy to be back after taking a break to plan what we know will be a better blog experience for you. Your continued interest in all things IP-related inspired us to create a blog that will stand out from all of that information already crowding your inbox.

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Topics: Trademark Clearinghouse, ICANN, Wolters Kluwer, trademarks, Corsearch, brands, nGTLDs, branding, IP Law

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The title says it all. This is a blog about trademarks and brands, expanding the expertise and resources you’ve come to expect from Corsearch. From expert research tips to the inside scoop on productivity solutions, join the conversation about trademarks and brands.

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