Company Naming: March 2010 Archives

Supporters of the Frontier Airlines brand name rallied in Denver yesterday to save the brand name and the animal images on Frontier Airlines airplanes that form the basis of the company's branding. The need for support comes after Frontier was acquired by Republic Airways Holdings, which also included the acquitsition of Midwest Airlines.
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Hard to believe, but people are actually trying to save advertising mascots. One of the protesters even said these animals and the Frontier name offer "job security" and if Republic "comes up with a generic brand, then we're just like everybody else. Right now, we have unique branding that really helped pull us through the tough spots".

There is an active Facebook group called KEEP THE FRONTIER BRAND AND ANIMALS!!!! that has almost 5,000 members.
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People even flew in from other cities to help save the animals, rally organizer, pilot Jan Elliott, said

"We just don't think the new owners should waste time and money, changing something that the public loves. To start over with brand recognition efforts is a bad way to begin our new relationship with other new carriers".

The rally had bells, whistles, banners and even a guy dressed as a Frontier Airlines seat.

There are 60 different animals featured on the Frontier Airlines airplanes' tail fins, which include "Larry the Lynx" and "Grizwald the Bear."

As one protester said about Frontier's possible demise, Frontier Airlines has "brand loyalty. It's theirs [Republic's] to mess up."

The slogan of the day? "Save Our Animals, Save Our Tails."

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One of the classic taglines in marketing today is "Let your fingers do the walking," with the recognizable Yellow Pages 'walking fingers' logo. This is all changing in Canada as the Yellow Pages enter the digital age.
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There will be "More Yellow, Less Pages" and the new logo will not include an open book.

The former Yellow Pages logo is pictured at right, as the new one is unavailable.

"Let your fingers do the walking," is gone, too. As one Yellow Media exec puts it, "The beauty of the fingers is they're very much relevant whether they're on a mobile device, a Web search, or a print directory." Yellow Media, Inc. is the new name for Yellow Pages Group (YPG) in Canada.

Even the yellow is getting a fluorescent makeover in the new, pebble-shaped logo. The same exec says, "The message it sends is that YPG is multi-platform: we're online, we're mobile and we are still the leading and most widely used print directory in the country."

The term "Yellow Pages" is not protected with a trademark in the US for AT&T (who bought Yellow Pages in 2004) and is being used freely by many companies. The Yellow Pages brand goes back to 1883 when a printer used yellow pages to print a business directory after running out of white paper. There are now over 2,300 Yellow Pages directories in the USA.

However, what is happening in Canada will soon reflect on other Yellow Pages worldwide as the walking fingers walk over more than just pages.

The former logo, with a duller yellow and an open book, was "too traditional" and not suitable for a world where 20% of the company's revenue comes from digital media. YPG is launching applications for the iPhone, Blackberry and Google Android smartphones, since our technology is slowly leaving the paper, physical Yellow Pages behind.

The new campaign launching the revamped brand is aimed at a younger, media savvy generation and will use a healthy dollop of humor to reposition the brand for the digital age. Even the name Yellow Media, Inc, reflects the company's striving to be everything to everybody.

I think this is an excellent example of how naming and branding can be revised to remain relevant.

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This is interesting news in naming and branding.

Canon has applied for the .Canon generic Top Level Domain (gTLD), which Antony Van Couvering of Circle ID says breaks the "thin brand line" of near universal opposition to the practice of companies buying these domain names.
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The fact is, it's the "worst kept secret in the industry" that top brands are quietly acquiring their own domains from ICANN to smoke out cybersquatters, throwing costs to the wind.

This makes Canon one of the world's first companies, and certainly the biggest brand, to say "uncle" and buy its own domain name, making the future Canon home page Canon.Canon.

Many bloggers question the wisdom of this move, saying that the intuitive domain name still ends with ".com" But this may change over time, and Canon is not taking chances.

According to DomainNews.com, "The new gTLD system is expected to allow a company name, brand name, geographic region, or service type to be used as a gTLD within website and e-mail addresses."

The installation of the system is set to begin by the end of 2011.

It just seems logical that a large company with a lot of brand equity would want it's own domain, and not have it bought by some kid in a basement or a shrewd competitor.

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For the past few months, we at Strategic Name Development have been partnering with Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota (HSDM) to create a new, more all-encompassing name and logo for their steps into the future.
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HSDM is a non-profit organization located in New Hope, Minnesota, and for over 20 years, Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota has been enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by partnering them with specially trained dogs. Since the company's inception, they have placed over 300 service dogs to people with disabilities. All at no cost to those in need.

However, the organization was growing far beyond its original scope. They were moving to a newer, much larger facility where they can train three times as many dogs as before. Now, HSDM is placing dogs with people in need across the Midwest, not just in Minnesota.

And the dogs' skills are growing as well. They are being trained to do much more than just help those that are deaf or profoundly hard of hearing. Now the dogs can assist people with mobility challenges, diabetes complicated by hypoglycemia unawareness, seizure disorders, and autism. Most recently they have recommitted to serving the needs of disabled returning veterans.

Clearly, the organization needed a new name, and the 'can-do' attitude of the volunteers, the employees, the sponsors, and of course, the canines was perfect inspiration for just that.

As a result, Can Do Canines™, was born.

Al Peters, the organization's executive director said,

I am confident that the new name, Can Do Canines™, reflects much better the people we serve, our volunteers and entire team that makes these special partnerships possible. Each person has to say, 'I can do it' in order for them to be successful."

We at Strategic Name Development were very happy to provide pro bono services for the project; the partnership could not have been any smoother. We are confident Can Do Canines will enjoy much continued success in the future.

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Obama Naming and Branding Losing Luster

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All politics aside, the Obama brand name is not helping some businesses.

An article out today looks at the dozen or so Michigan businesses that have used the name to sell everything from pharmaceuticals to realty to auto body repair. And, funnily enough, the President hasn't clamped down on these small business owners, in fact, one of them actually got a friendly call from the White House. Nonetheless, consumers aren't buying it.

The building of the Obama brand, of course, is not new. There are plenty of political analyses out there describing how he used branding to create an excellent image for himself.

However, the appeal of the name seems to flow out of politics, as evidenced by the apparent Israeli love for it.
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But now the brand doesn't sell, and that includes political t-shirts with his likeness and name on them. The Obama store in Union Station has been closed.

Naomi Klein, author of No Logo, a book speaking to the evils of branding, wrote last year about how the Obama brand is just another example of how corporate branding has taken over American politics. If that's the case (and I am unsure if it is), then the brand itself is liable to face the same challenges of any other in the marketplace.

I'm not sure what it means when a pharmacy named after Obama decides to change its name to a far more generic Community Health Pharmacy, but I am thinking that the President's brand name equity may be in trouble.

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