Sunday, November 05, 2006

Descriptive Trademarks

Every once in a while, I feel compelled to reiterate certain counterintuitive marketing principles. One of these principles is that generic or descriptive names make poor brand names.

In his latest blog entry on trademarks, Seth Godin states the truth starkly:
The best trademarks are 'fanciful', words like Yahoo! or Verizon. Next down the list are words that [are] a bit descriptive, like Woopie Cushion, Wikipedia or JetBlue. The worst kind of words are descriptive. Yes, you can trademark the brand American Motors, but don't expect it to be particularly valuable or long lasting.
Trademarks can be names, words, phrases, logos, symbols, designs, or images. Choose trademarks that are abstract, not descriptive. See this August blog entry for a summary of why abstract names are superior.

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