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Archive for October, 2009

Naming Steve Rivkin

When The Name You Want Is Taken



You've just found out the name you want for your brand is owned by somebody else. So, the temptation is to say, "Let's move on."

Not so fast. Names are property, and can be bought and sold (or leased) like real estate.

Coors licensed the name of its upscale beer Irish Red from a long-defunct brewery. Yves St. Laurent bought the name of its Opium fragrance for only $200 from two elderly perfumers.

The 1999 relaunch of National Airlines came about after the new owners paid $175,000 to buy the name at a bankruptcy sale from defunct Pan Am. (Pan Am had acquired the carrier in 1980.)

Not that long ago, we helped a Fortune 100 company acquire the rights to an automation software name from its Japanese owner. One week of phone calls and faxes produced a letter of agreement.

When the name you covet is owned by somebody else, go after it. Use an intermediary to open a channel of communications. Have a valuation in mind. Make sure the assignment of rights is perfectly clear. (For which countries, for what period of time are you acquiring the name?)

Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop

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Branding Basics

Complex Language Weakening Brands



“Call the law enforcement officers. We’re being robbed.”

Not a likely scenario. What the average person is much more apt to say is: “Call the cops. We’re being robbed.”

Unfortunately, marketing people are not average persons. Marketing people are much more likely to elevate their languages until, in some cases, they lose their meanings.

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Luxury Branding

The Anti-laws Of Luxury Marketing #15


#15. Do not sell. This isn’t arrogance, not at all. The luxury strategy is the very opposite of the volume strategy.

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Branding Trends

Top Ten Integrated Marketing Trends For 2010



1. Less will get done: until we learn to do more with less.

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Marketing Is Not Communications



A 5-page foldout magazine advertisement opened up with the following 39 attributes spread out over two pages: Renegade, fearless, unexpected, bold, true, spontaneous, curious, intriguing, unwavering, rare, brash, provocative, intuitive, genuine, daring, uncommon, irreverent, brazen, absolute, unusual, visionary, idyllic, proud, maverick, wild, undaunted, resolute, poetic, dynamic, soulful, unconventional, strong, romantic, authentic, brave, unorthodox, deft, radical, dreamer.

What brand could possibly combine all these wonderful attributes? Turn the page and get the answer: The 315-hp FX45. And who makes the renegade, fearless, unexpected, bold, true, etc. etc. FX45?

There in small type at the bottom of the next page is the answer. Infiniti, accelerating the future.

What’s wrong with this advertisement and thousands more just like it? It assumes that the primary function of advertising is to communicate. ‘Tell more, sell more’ was the old advertising adage.

The idea that advertising is a form of communications is deeply embedded in the corporate psyche. Many Advertising Departments are now calling themselves the Marketing Communications Department or ‘Marcom’ for short. Too bad. The name encourages advertising people to go in exactly the wrong direction.

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