October 24, 2006
How Do You Spell Branding?
Including numerals and symbols in your brand or product name makes it easier to trademark and helps differentiate your company, but it also contains some built-in pitfalls and some potential for confusion.
Some people even question whether the word “spelling” is appropriate to describe names like this. And is it misspelling if you write “Wal-Mart” instead of “Wal*Mart?”
One obvious point of confusion is that people who hear the name might assume a different spelling, requiring you to spell the name when using it in an audio-only medium. “That’s ‘Blubrry’ with no Es,” podcasters say when recommending the network on their shows (www.blubrry.com).
Another problem is that while the Trademark Office is happy to include any number of symbols as part of a “Word Mark,” computers aren’t at all fond of non-ASCII characters. How would you put the squiggle by which performing artist Prince was known between 1993 and 2000 into an e-mail message?
Many of the characters used in business names (including Yahoo!'s exclamation point) aren't permitted in domain names, even though they are valid ASCII characters. That means the new magazine “&.” has andpersand.com for a URL. And at least they used a symbol which has a name, which the ubiquitous “@” does not.
And let’s not forget what a hassle Slashdot’s name turned out to be for its would-be clever creator.
Don’t pursue trends or trademarks so far that your customers can’t find you or tell each other about you.
TrackBack URL for this entry: