Tag Archives | Branding

Naming Products Like Babies, And Babies Like Products

siriSlate on how branding names and baby names converged. Are our consumer products becoming our babies, and our babies becoming branded items?

We’ve started naming our kids like products—and our products like kids. Parents approach baby naming a lot like product branding. Whereas in the past, names were typically chosen with an eye toward personal significance (a baby was named after a grandparent, say), today’s parents increasingly focus on the public image projected by the name.

Now, as companies introduce technologies that function like people—Siri being the most extreme example to date—they suddenly find themselves with the same kinds of naming challenges as today’s parents-to-be. They have to consider the complex web of cultural meanings that each name carries. They have to ask, as parents do, “What kind of person are we creating, and what name represents that?”

It’s no coincidence, then, that brand names and baby names have begun to converge, as in the case of the Sienna minivan and baby Siennas.

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Long Island Couple Seeks Trademark For “Occupy Wall St.”

Occupy Wall StreetJust another reason to hate Long Island … reports the Smoking Gun:

Citing the potential of “Occupy Wall Street” to become a “global brand,” a Long Island couple has filed to trademark the name of the amorphous organization responsible for the protests and encampments in lower Manhattan and other U.S. cities, the Smoking Gun has learned.

In a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) application, Robert and Diane Maresca are seeking to trademark the phrase “Occupy Wall St.” so that they can place it on a wide variety of goods, including bumper stickers, shirts, beach bags, footwear, umbrellas, and hobo bags.

The October 18 filing, made in Diane Maresca’s name, cost the couple $975, which Robert Maresca, 44, termed “something of a gamble” in a TSG interview …

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A New Perspective On Transmedia

YPosterThere’s a lot of talk about transmedia lately. Haven’t heard it? Well, there has been. Trust us. And heaven knows there are a lot of transmedia evangelists out there. So I just want to talk over some of the possibilities presented by transmedia storytelling as a concept, without pretending that this is the final word on anything.

Most of us (er, them) are motivated by deep excitement. And of course, many corporations are also excited by it as a new way of perceiving the “life cycle of their brands,” and “customer engagement,” and other terms that sound really creepy in the “bad touch” kind of way. But we see all of the possibilities for new ways of engaging with content. Some of us see exciting creative possibilities and some see dollar signs. (I prefer to see both, when possible.)

Engagement. Right there, some people get lost. ”You mean there is more than one way to engage with content?” Yes, there is. When you read a book, you’re engaging with that story in a very different way then when it is shown to you in a comic, and when you watch a movie.… Read the rest

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The Age Of Perpetual Self-Branding

imageFacebook wants to be the place where you feel most yourself, with the most control over how you are regarded. It inextricably intertwines marketing with selfhood, so that having a self becomes an inherently commercial operation.

Writing for n+1, Rob Horning concocts a frightening, fantastic, and thought-provoking essay on how we live today, connecting the reign of “fast fashion” companies such as Forever 21, social media such as Facebook, and 21st century capitalism’s demand that workers market and reinvent themselves endlessly:

I’ve always thought that Forever 21 was a brilliant name for a fast-fashion retailer. These two words succinctly encapsulate consumerism’s mission statement: to evoke the dream of perpetual youth through constant shopping. Yet it also conjures the suffocating shabbiness of that fantasy, the permanent desperation involved in trying to achieve fashion’s impossible ideals.

Despite apparently democratizing style and empowering consumers, fast fashion in some ways constitutes a dream sector for those eager to condemn contemporary capitalism, as the companies almost systematically heighten some of its current contradictions: the exhaustion of innovative possibilities, the limits of the legal system in guaranteeing property rights, the increasing immiseration of the world workforce.

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Osama Bin Laden: Death Of An Advertising Icon

It may come as a surprise to some Americans, but since 9/11, Osama bin Laden’s name and visage have been prime fodder for use in corporate ad campaigns (elsewhere) around the world, symbolizing a range of meanings. Buzzfeed has an overview of some of the best examples of Osama advertising, demonstrating that terrorism, like sex, sells. Just imagine the unbelievable bankability he would have commanded had he not been in hiding.

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Sarah, Bristol Palin Seek To Trademark Names

Sarah & Bristol PalinVia Fox News:

Sarah Palin is attempting to trademark her name ahead of a possible 2012 presidential run.

The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate filed paperwork with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in November to register the trademark.

The federal office is seeking more information and examples of usage. The office is also seeking additional details for the application submitted in September by Palin’s daughter, Bristol, a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” last year.

Palin’s attorney, John J. Tiemessen, said Friday that he has six months to provide the information. “We are preparing to respond to all their questions for both,” he told The Associated Press by telephone from his office in Fairbanks. He said he couldn’t disclose the reasons why both applied for trademarks because of attorney-client privilege.

But Seattle lawyer Marshall J. Nelson, with the firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, says it’s not that unusual for entertainers to trademark their names.

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A ‘Brand’ New World: Attachment Runs Thicker Than Money

Brand mashup by Brazilian graphic designer Mario Amaya.

Brand mashup by Brazilian graphic designer Mario Amaya.

From LiveScience:

Can you forge an emotional bond with a brand so strong that, if forced to buy a competitor’s product, you suffer separation anxiety? According to a new study from the USC Marshall School of Business, the answer is yes. In fact, that bond can be strong enough that consumers are willing to sacrifice time, money, energy and reputation to maintain their attachment to that brand.

“Brand Attachment and Brand Attitude Strength: Conceptual and Empirical Differentiation of Two Critical Brand Equity Drivers,” a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Marketing, is co-authored by USC Marshall’s C. Whan Park, Joseph A. DeBell Professor of Marketing; Deborah J. MacInnis, Vice Dean of Research and Charles L. and Ramona I. Hilliard Professor of Business Administration; and Joseph Priester, Associate Professor of Marketing; along with Andreas B. Eisingerich, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Imperial College (London) Business School; and Dawn Iacobucci, E.

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Fighting For You (Up To A Point): Bill Maher Gives Democrats Slogans To Go With Their New Logo (Video)

Maher on the New DI think Bill Maher’s on the money again. Kudos also to Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm for his off-camera observation on the recent Real Time. Frances Martel writes on Mediate:

Whenever a major political party tries to “rebrand” itself, aesthetically, it inevitably ends in disaster. Last time it was GOP.com, but to prove the graphic failure is bipartisan, the Democrats have come up with a new logo, and a new slogan (“change that matters”). An exasperated Bill Maher tried to help out the party by offering some new slogans, like “fighting for you (to a point)” and “we got Lisa Ling’s sister out of Korea.”

The logo (which, it should be noted, The Atlantic has already called out for plagiarism from a Midwestern pizza place), is a small “D” in a blue circle. The hours spent thinking up this complex design must be incalculable. Maher presents it without comment, though his face says it all, and to add insult to injury, Jon Hamm of all people deadpans from off-camera, “Radiates power, doesn’t it?

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NASA’s Robonauts Ready To Launch Wearing Corporate Sponsor Shirts

Robonaut 2. Photo: NASA

Robonaut 2. Photo: NASA

What I really like about this picture from NASA is the sponsor logo right slap in the center of the Robonaut’s chest, just like it was playing center forward for Manchester United or Real Madrid, except they decided that the sponsor should be one of the bankrupt companies that the U.S. government bailed out in the increasingly suspect financial crisis, General Motors (actually, Manchester United’s sponsor is another one of those companies, AIG). Here’s the story from PopSci:

Later this year, NASA’s R2 will become the first humanoid robot resident of the International Space Station. The launch of the handsome android, which until now had not been firmly scheduled, has now been fast-tracked to happen this September.

Before the bot goes up, it has to be tested in conditions of vacuum, low gravity, high radiation, and trained sensitivity to the unusual practices on board the ISS.

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