Tag Archive: branding


Do you notice anything odd in this picture?

How about this one?

If you didn’t notice, it’s the watch.

These pictures came from the Fossil magazine that showed up for my wife yesterday.

Now, how many of you ladies under 35 get into your fancy sun dresses, strap on your wrist watches, and then head into town?

Here is what I believe to be the flaw in this advertising: Fossil makes watches, and they do it well. Fossil also makes clothes (Did you know this?), and they still do it  under their ‘Fossil’ name. This leads to consumer confusion:

How are Fossil’s clothes? I have no idea! My perception of ‘Fossil’ is a watch company, not a clothing company, so I already do not take their clothing as seriously as I would take clothing from someone such as J. Crew.

‘Fossil’ is, and should only be a watch company. If they want to make clothing, they should open up another company with a new name. This way they can create a second solid position in the mind of the consumer and not confuse them with the association to the watch company (look at how Proctor & Gamble have handled Tide and Cascade and their dozens of other products: they have virtually re-invented their company several times by the creation of dozens of seemingly unique companies.).

We’ve already discussed the importance of company names, and I fear that the watch industry is not immune to this rule!

With the way that their marketing is being handled, Fossil is quickly becoming a Relic (Get it? Get it?)…

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5 Best Logo Redesigns

Re-branding is a tough gig, but what I feel was the most shocking thing from looking at these logo changes was the fact that I was oblivious to the fact that a lot of these logos changed!

Looking back now, it is obvious to see the changes and recall the obsolete logos, but I feel that each company managed to “modernize” their logo, while still staying as true to their brand to the extent to not set red flags with consumers (You’d hate to cause a consumer confusion to the point that they could not readily identify your existing brand from the new logo!).

Kudos to all of these companies for some good jobs well done.

What’s in a name?

Yesterday, I was doing a study on two different companies, and they each had a variant of the exact same issue, so I felt it merited addressing:

Company A had a ‘three-word-name’. For sake of illustration and anonymity, we’ll call this company “David’s Plumbing Company”.

I had trouble finding their website (first giant indicator that something was very wrong), but, upon digging into it further, I found the following shocking info:

  • Going to “David.com” went to an unrelated website (remember, these names are made up for the purposes of illustration; I have no idea what is at “David.com”)
  • Going to “DavidsPlumbing.com” went to a competitor!
  • Going to “DavidsPlumbingCompany.com” also went to a competitor! 
  • The actual website was in this format “DavesPlumbCompany.com” – you had to know to shorten the first and second words to get to their website!!!
This essentially means that, if your customer thinks you’re at “DavidsPlumbing.com” or “DavidsPlumbingCompany.com” (that is the name of your company, after all), that you are essentially handing these folks off to your competitors!!!
Company B had a pretty good name. We’ll call this “Bob’s Law Firm” (again, these names have been made up for purposes of illustration!), but they insisted on going with a TLA (Three-Letter Acronym…get it?). Therefore, they became “BLF”.
  • Issue #1: This is where I, again, have to make reference to one of the most brilliant marketing works of all time, Positioning (Buy it, read it, love it). You should not use an acronym for your company name unless you are incredibly well known, or your acronym is substantially more convenient to use than your company name…and even then it is a stretch. An acronym simply does not hold the same place in one’s mind. It does not conjure up any images/memories unless you are so well established in the prospect’s mind that they have these memories readily available in great supply.
  • Issue #2: “BLF.com” (I repeat: names are made up!) belongs to a competitor!!! What are the odds?!?! To alleviate this situation, Bob’s Law Firm went with “BLFFirm.com” (that’s right…say it out loud: “Bob’s Law Firm Firm”). To make matters worse “BobsLawFirm.com” is available!
Your customers would not naturally know to look for “BLFFirm.com”, as that web address does not even really make sense, so, again, you are handing potential customers over to your competition!!!
If no one can find your website, how can anyone buy your product? If your competitor is easier to find (and, in a lot of cases, the customer may not even realize that it’s your competitor), why would your customer put in the extra effort to find you?
Company names have always been important, and company websites are increasingly becoming expected and downright necessary. You may have a dream name in mind, but you need to ensure that it plays nice with the web, or you will be losing massive amounts of sales for an incredibly inane reason!