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April 27, 2007 | Tate Linden
Over at Ubernamer there was an interesting post on the 21st of the month about using the name Qwertypie for a blog. While we haven't developed a process for naming blogs, we noticed there was a little bit of a parsing problem with the name - visually the term wasn't easy to break into constituent parts. (I personally read the name as pronounced "Qwer - Type - Ee" the first time through.)

We suggested some sort of visual indicator was needed to tell the reader where the lexical partscutiepie.jpg went - like changing the font type or color to show where Qwerty ends and "pie" begins.

We did not, however, think of what the Ubernamer did - and when we saw it we not only knew he got it right, but we felt pretty darn dumb for not thinking of it ourselves.

The fix? "QWERTYpie"

Not only does the use of caps for the first wordlet present the letters in the fashion they're typically presented on the keyboard, the change from CAPS to lowercase strongly forces the visual parse into the right place. It also gives the name the intuitive verbal emphasis that matches how we say "cutie-pie" which I believe is the connection they were aiming for. "qwertyPIE" would bring about an emphasis on food (think "apple pie" - where unless you're answering the question "what kind of pie is it?" you'll place the verbal focus on "pie" - or pronounce them with equal weight - rather than emphasizing "apple.")

I can't speak to the other important facets of the name here as I don't know the subject of the blog, the personality of the author or dozens of other factors that determine appropriate strategic fit. I can say that for a whimsical presentation of a word without resorting to graphic designer the solution he came up with is pretty darn good.

As for why I didn't just outright suggest the eventual solution instead of just leading him to the solution? All of us have our off days... I suppose.

Good job, Ubernamer. Nice workin' with ya.

Tate Linden Principal - Stokefire 703-778-9925
March 29, 2007
The RelaxOne. The RelaxOne Massage chair offers dynamic relaxation by listening to the peaceful music, through the5999_1_230.jpeg audio system of the chair. Its dome-like style is intended to plunge you deeply into the music to rouse a natural relaxation. Created by Swiss inventor and experimental psychologist Hugo B. J. Soder, it is equipped with multi-dimensional sound system, a CD player and an internal ambient lighting for reading. Is is it not deserving of another name?

[Brought to us by Trendhunter]
March 27, 2007

Time Shutters Life

Three years after relaunching Life magazine as a newspaper supplement, its third incarnation, Time Inc. said it would fold the title with the April 20 issue, citing the decline in the newspaper business and outlook for ad revenue in the newspaper supplement category.

The iconic titles name, which will continue to operate online and through its books, had begun to find its footing after rocky start since its most recent reincarnation.

March 22, 2007
Tech products get a shot of bling with the new line Active Crystals which named between a partnership formed between Phillips electronics and Swarovski Crystals. First itmes to come out will be a flash port and headphones. Smiliar items that use the Swarovski crystals can be foundn on shinyshiny.tv.

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March 19, 2007


jackiechan.gifInstaGreen Tea Beverage Mix is a vitamin-packed green tea product that delivers EIGHT TIMES the antioxidants of regular green tea.

To deliver this punch, Jackie Chan, kung-fu master, backs the product with his name and verve.instagreenblob.gif
March 16, 2007
The Three Little Puppies. That's what one British school renamed the traditional Three Little Pigs story for a school play, so as not to offend Muslims in the community, London's Daily Mail reported.
March 9, 2007
In a Global Marketplace, Claiming a Name Becomes an Art in Itself.loius.jpg

When a snazzy new product goes on sale in many countries, its name must be one of a kind. Yet today it has become increasingly difficult to find a name for a company, a product, or shade of lipstick that has not been taken.
March 8, 2007
picture-14.jpgAgroLabs, Inc., announced today its new product line of single-serve, exotic The lead item in the Bali Island line is White Peach Juice made from peaches grown only in China.

Huh.
February 22, 2007
Cisco, Apple Settle 'IPhone' Dispute

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2007 they haveCisco Systems Inc. and Apple Inc. said settled the trademark-infringementimages2.jpg lawsuit that threatened to derail Apple's use of the "iPhone" name for its much-hyped new iPod-cellular phone gadget. Cisco Systems Inc. and Apple Inc. have agreed to share the "iPhone" name, but both companies are staying tightlipped about what future products might come from the resulting deal to collaborate on "interoperability" between the companies' products.

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Redrock Oil Sands, Inc. has changed its name to Redrock Energy, Inc., effective immediately.

February 19, 2007
logohome.gifCoty Inc., the world's largest fragrance company, announced today the creation of a new global business unit which they have named, Coty Beauty, which will combine the mass businesses of the Americas, Europe and Asia.
February 12, 2007
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LONDON: Richard Branson's Virgin Group has announced several packages for the television and telephone subscribers of its Virgin Media, which formally got the name Thursday last after the successful merger of Virgin Mobile and satellite broadcaster NTL Telewest.
February 9, 2007

 

ge-lumination-logo.jpgGE's LED lighting business is renamed Lumination

GE Consumer & Industrial has changed the name of its LED business from GELcore LLC to Lumination LLC.

GE says that the new name "reflects the fast–growing business unit's vision of imagination with light, and embraces GE's heritage of innovation and optimism for the future." ."Our name change emphasizes an important element of our growth strategy," states David Elien, president of Lumination. "Our focus since our inception has been lighting applications that leverage the benefits of LEDs to drive real value for customers."
February 8, 2007
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PHOENIX, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- British grocery store chain Tesco announced today that its new chain of grocery stores in the U.S. will be called "Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market," and formally revealed its new logo, during an event hosted by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. tesco-express.jpg The company is focusing on the Greater Phoenix area, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego and stores will begin to open later in the year.Tesco USA has plans of opening 300 small grocery stores in Southern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix. The openings would cost approximately $2 billion and would take five years to fully complete. The company plans on opening the stores in the second half of next year.

In an effort to distinguish itself from other grocery or produce stores, the emphasis at Tesco will be on the freshness of food. The company hopes to ensure this freshness with large distribution centers and quick turnaround times.fresheasy.gif

Has anyone seen the new logo (the one above is not it)?? I could not seem to track it down. I would love to get a look.

Thanks for the pointer to the new loge Denise. Much appreciated!!! >>>>>>
February 5, 2007

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Apple Inc. and The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. Enter into New Agreement

CUPERTINO, California and LONDON—Apple® Inc. and The Beatles’ company Apple Corps Ltd. are pleased to announce the parties have entered into a new agreement concerning the use of the name “Apple” and apple logos which replaces their 1991 Agreement. Under this new agreement, Apple Inc. will own all of the trademarks related to “Apple” and will license certain of those trademarks back to Apple Corps for their continued use. In addition, the ongoing trademark lawsuit between the companies will end, with each party bearing its own legal costs, and Apple Inc. will continue using its name and logos on iTunes®. The terms of settlement are confidential.

Commenting on the settlement, Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO said, “We love the Beatles, and it has been painful being at odds with them over these trademarks. It feels great to resolve this in a positive manner, and in a way that should remove the potential of further disagreements in the future.”

Commenting on the settlement on behalf of the shareholders of Apple Corps, Neil Aspinall, manager of Apple Corps said, “It is great to put this dispute behind us and move on. The years ahead are going to be very exciting times for us. We wish Apple Inc. every success and look forward to many years of peaceful co-operation with them.”
January 30, 2007


BrandChannel just released their top brands results from all continents around the world. Here is what's in and what is out: In and out in 2006 Winners: Google Las Vegas iPod YouTube eBay Yahoo! Target Oprah Winfrey Sony NFL Losers Nicole Richie Britney Spears Havana Paris Hilton Hand-hand combat Mumbai Boxing W Hotels Bangkok NHL Source: ImagePower Newsmaker brands survey
 
January 25, 2007
canada.gifBack in the news (see our previous blog entry). As per the Minister's Office of Canada, effective immediately, the words “Canada's New Government” are to be used instead of “the Government of Canada” in all departmental correspondence. **Please note that the initial letters of all three words are capitalized.
January 19, 2007
"It's hip to go topless." Singapore's Hippo Bus tour's cheeky tagline referris to the open air, double-decker model bus. Bold move in a country known for it's high moral standards.
January 18, 2007
Joost is the new name of Skype founders' video venture. Skype founders have given their online TV service a new name, Joost.

Joost -- pronounced "juiced" -- may eventually try to move onto television sets, but it will initially focus on making it easier and more fun to watch TV on a computer.
January 12, 2007


AOL. Napster. Partnership. Imagine if those three words had been put together in a sentence way back in 1999. It would've been something out of The Onion. AOL was the massive, dominant corporate giant, and Napster was pretty much a bunch of punks who were raising hell. But times change, and companies change, and today AOL has announced that it has inked a deal with the music subscription service-- formerly, a name, synonymous with cyber-piracy--as the power behind the download service on its AOL Music site.

McCarthy, Carolin,. “AOL Ditches Dowload Service to Partner with Napster.” Weblog. Webware. 12 January 2007.

January 11, 2007
Cisco sues Apple over iPhone citing trademark infringement. The two Silicon Valley giants apparently are going to duke it out. Apparently San Jose-based Cisco, the world's largest network-equipment maker, has owned the trademark on the name "iPhone" since 2000, when it acquired InfoGear Technology Corp., which originally registered the name. Apple argues that since their technology is 'materially different' that it has they are entitled to use the name.
January 11, 2007 | Tate Linden
Heard this on the local NPR affiliate this morning (text taken from the Sydney Morning Herald):
A travel poster spotted in India reads: "Have You Seen Nepal?" but the mountains pictured surround Peru's own Machu Picchu, according to Peruvian mountain climber Ernesto Malaga.

The official news agency Andina reported that Malaga was in New Delhi when he saw the poster, meant to promote visits to Nepal's Himalayas, 16,000 kilometres in the opposite direction.
Lesson number 142 in developing location-specific taglines: Always check to be sure that the location is actually where you say it is and has the stuff in it that you say it has.

This message provided to you by Stokefire, Canada's leading Australian Rules Football Team from Venice, France.

January 10, 2007
Apple Computer Is No Longer. Steve Jobs announced after the announcement of the iPhone yesterday, something seemingly subtle, but actually really big: a name change. Apple Computer, Inc., will from now on forward be called Apple, Inc., reflecting the fact that Apple is more and more turning into a general electronics company instead of a computer/software company.
January 8, 2007 | Tate Linden
We Americans pride ourselves on our ability to understand stuff. A whole lot of us think we're downright smart... So, with all this rampant intellect bouncing around you've got to wonder why this happened:933007_75875.jpg
The Nintendo Wii game Necro-Nesia got a rename for it US release: Escape from Bug Island.
Sure, Necro-Nesia isn't exactly catchy... but I've amused myself by thinking about the meeting in which the switch came up. Seems like a group of people looked at what sort of names have been used before and then said lets use that! (Escape from Monkey Island, Escape from Gangsta Island, Escape from Rhetundo Island...) "We've got lots of bugs and they're on and island... and you've got to get off!"

Honestly, Escape from Bug Island is a pretty good name for a game in which you've got to get away from an island full of bugs. People who are interested in the concept of the game are going to want to play it based on the title.

Interestingly (to me) I think that "Bug Island" alone wouldn't have worked as well. It almost sounds like a kiddie game. And of course the objective isn't clear... are you making bugs? Are you trying to become rich off of bugs? Does it have something to do with spying?

Counterpoint: Note that Halo was quite successful with a less obvious moniker. It wasn't "Escape from Halo." Just "Halo." And the fact that the revelation of the meaning was part of the game (Halo was a spacecraft of some sort, I believe) made the name that much more interesting. In this context "Escape from Halo" would've given too much information about the game and defeated the purpose of the exploration and storyline.

Non Name-Related Parting Thought: I'm truly disappointed that Escape from Bug Island isn't taking advantage of the technology provided by the Wii gaming system. As soon as I heard about it I pictured people standing around the living room making compulsive fly-swatter motions around the room. Thwappp.... Thwap-thwap!

Tate Linden Principal Consultant Stokefire Consulting Group 703-778-9925
December 15, 2006
Wii launch ad draws series of complaints over violence. Sword violence... which is different than the locality advertisements running in London Underground stations showing a group of people with bloody stumps instead of heads dancing in a hall of mirrors at the palace of Versailles. The strapline says visitors to Versailles will be "treated like royalty". Which is more offensive?

Virgin Galactic Appoint First Space Agents in NZ. Together with Virgin Galactic, House of Travel, whose tagline is "How Kiwis See the World" will help make the dream of going into space a reality for New Zealanders.

Make that a triple: whisky maker back for another round Johnny Walker has a new commercial that will air next week. It features the global tagline "Keep walking", which has been in use since 1999 and is based on the proposition that a drinker who is "moving up" to scotch is making progress in life.
December 15, 2006 | Tate Linden

Indira Gandhi discovered a promising young talent around 1969 and nominated her as a member of the Indian delegation to the UN Commission on the status of women. This woman spun this nomination into a seat in Parliament in the 80s, and then as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and PMO. She followed this up with the presidency of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee and just became the first Chief Minister to get a second successive term to rule Delhi.

Her name?

I'll get to that...

First names are tricky. Last names are even moreso.

What would happen if your last name held a proud history in your own country but translated very nearly into a profane reference in other cultures? As this powerful woman has progressed in her career there must have been temptation to step onto the global stage. With all of her achievements she seemed ripe for the move.

But she didn't. Perhaps it was that she was more interested in helping her own country and culture.

Or perhaps it was because the English speaking world is not ready for someone with the name "Dikshit" to hold a prominent role in affairs of State.

From what I can tell, Sheila Dikshit is a great woman. But I can also confirm that English speakers have a very difficult time with her last name. Just check this thread that brings up the name, or this site that can't help but bring up many, many references to the name in popular culture. Or even Dikshit.com whose tagline is (no joke) "Feel The Difference."

English speakers have to feel at least a little bit naughty when saying the name.

In the name's defense, I've been told that it is pronounced "DIX-sit" but even so, we Americans can't pronounce "Ask" and "Nuclear" on most days - so how well do you think we're going to do with this name?

I'm sure there's a lesson in this. I'm pretty sure it isn't "Check your personal name for translation issues before you go into politics." But it seems at least a little bit telling that a woman with such a strong following hasn't made the leap to the world stage.

I'll be watching with interest when her term is up to see if she goes for a third consecutive or tries to affect world politics. I'm guessing that she'll stay in Delhi, though I'll be pleasantly surprised if she takes on the translation issues and makes a grand re-entry into the UN.

Tate Linden
Principal Consultant
Stokefire Consulting Group
703-778-992

December 14, 2006
Residents of Fjuckby demand new name. Having stoically accepted years of relentless badgering, the people of Fjuckby have finally had enough. Globalization has led to rude English-language associations that the villagers could do without.

Underdog PosterHave No Fear, the Underdog is Here. "One Nation...Under Dog" is the tagline for the new Underdog movie set to come out this August.

For holiday glee, play on Wii. Two Japanese men knock on a door, bow, and offer a small white gift. No, it isn't the start of a joke, but a commercial for the new Nintendo Wii.



(This space intentionally left blank!)









December 8, 2006
An Unreasonable Fear of Christmas? It used to be that people wrung their hands about the over-commercialization of Christmas. These days we have almost the opposite problem—Christmas is disappearing entirely. Advertisers still want the huge spike in sales that Christmas provides but they're afraid to acknowledge the holiday itself. It's almost funny to watch them trip over themselves trying to find politically correct substitutions as they avoid saying the dreaded "C" word. But "happy holidays" and "season's greetings" only go so far.

Seems it's a big week for listings information. Zillow announced today the upgrade of the popular site with virtual For Sale signs for both FSBO's and realtors. We had a giggle over the "any home, anywhere" tagline- the presumption being you actually own it.

As part of this years 'Don't drink and drive' campaign, England's Road Safety Team are distributing posters with the strap line, 'Whose bed will you end up in after the Xmas party?' to all pubs and clubs in the county. The poster will feature a picture of a prison cell with bed in it.
December 7, 2006
Freelander 2 Rebranded as a Range Rover? Land Rover is considering rebranding its recently launched Freelander 2 (AKA LR2) SUV as a Range Rover to improve its perception as a luxury vehicle. Land Rovers are considered to be utilitarian vehicles in all countries, but more so in some than others. In parts of Europe, for example, a buyer may look down upon the Land Rover branded Freelander when comparing it to premium marques such as BMW. The other reason behind the name change would be to allow the Freelander to punch above its weight in terms of prestige despite being priced below many comparable vehicles.

'Orbital Outfitters' to Provide Space Suits for Next Generation. "Have Spacesuit -- Will Travel," from the famous Robert Heinlein novel, is also the tagline of a new company that intends to do just that -- make sure a new generation of commercial civilian Space travelers, adventurers and explorers fly in style and safety in Space suits like none designed before.

Wrestling101.com reports the UK's "The Wrestling Channel" is to be renamed to TWC Fight!
December 1, 2006
South Molle Island to enter a new phase. The plan includes an updated island logo which will include the new tagline “The Natural Island Resort” and a complementary strapline “Connecting People With Nature".

IceWeasel, The rebranding of FireFox. Did you know about IceWeasel? I think not many people know about this thing. Don’t worry..I love to share with you. IceWeasel is a web browser and it originally base on FireFox. It is one of GNU projects and done by Debian to satisfy some of demands from Mozilla (the creator of FireFox). How'd they get this name IceWeasel?

Salesforce rebrands its platform… again. As of today, it has become the Apex platform and Apex API, which helpfully puts all the platform elements under the same branding as the Apex programming language announced last month. Since Apex is a synonym for culmination as well as summit, Salesforce.com's marketing people must be hoping this is the final step in the platform's rebranding journey, otherwise it could be all downhill from here on.

Stealing Green. Mega-corps GE, BP and Wal-Mart have joined the chorus for sustainability by re-branding themselves as green companies. A pioneering green business consultant contends it's more than just PR.

Sky Anytime rebrand for broadband download service. Satellite broadcaster BSkyB is rebranding its Sky by Broadband video download service as Sky Anytime and is adding Sky One shows and pay-per-view premium to the programming line-up.
November 30, 2006
How big companies terrorize small businesses. Big companies are the most litigious in protecting their brand names. Last year alone, Louis Vuitton conducted more than 7,000 anti-counterfeiting raids around the world and began more than 15,000 new lawsuits. Those pennies keep adding up so no wonder a leather purse costs around $500 these days.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today announced the launch of a new integrated interactive branding campaign. The tagline of the campaign "Media More Engaging" focuses on how interactive advertising combines three crucial campaign elements: audience, experience and effectiveness.

Beer for all. There is beer for dogs, kids and even beers are that is certified kosher, like HE'BREW, a Jewish-themed label from Shmaltz Brewery (http://www.shmaltz.com/). Billing itself as "The Chosen Beer," the half-jokey, half-serious gourmet kosher microbrew has a boozy rabbi cavorting on the label. There is also Layla (http://www.laylabeer.com), a dirty blonde lager with the tagline "Israeli for Beer".
November 29, 2006
 
Corporate Chickens. KFC implements new store designs and will continue to use the famous "Finger Licking Good," and "11 Secret Herbs and Spices" as taglines. The Colonel, an icon known around the world, will appear in a red cook's apron, rather than the iconic white suit.

Verizon Wireless, YouTube ink video content agreement. With the ability to upload videos to YouTube directly from your cell phone, maybe Verizon's new tagline will be "Can you see me now?".

Acronym awareness. Working in the computer industry you develop a habit of talking in acronyms. I’ve often found it amusing how the acronym over time becomes the proper name for the thing it identifies–that there come to be a set of people who know the acronym and the thing it identifies, but who don’t know what the acronym is a short form of.

New Beverage Product Names Focus on Health and Wellness. An excellent article in Drinks Business Review Online alerted us to some truly interesting drinks that ought to help us all survive the usual overindulgence that comes with the season. Content Stampede Brewing's new beer brand, 'Stampede Light', is one of the first brands to mention hangovers in its marketing. The reduced hangover claim stems from Stampede Light's added vitamin B content, replacing vitamins which the company says are lost after drinking alcohol.
November 28, 2006
New supermarket format store introduced for pharmacy. Life Pharmacy introduces new supermarket format store under SupaChem™ brand. The SupaChem pharmacy combines traditional pharmacy service and healthcare with supermarket accessibility, convenience, scale and value. This is reflected in a three-part brand proposition: value on pharmacy lines; a multi-tiered pricing structure; and professional dispensary and consultation services under the strapline “SupaValue. SupaPrice. SupaCare.”

Why Rename Everything?. So many things get renamed these days, and often for no reason at all!

Your World. Your Chance to Make it Better. That's the AmeriCorps tagline used at the the signature on AmeriCorps employees emails. The tagline is strong -- short, sweet and memorable but not found anywhere else in their marketing materials, including their website.

Zune Beam Your Beats. Microsoft is rolling out the Zune mp3 player with a focus on sharing music files between users. The two taglines, “Beam Your Beats” and “Welcome to the Social” attempt to convey the collaboration possible through blue tooth connectivity.

Digg Sends Cease and Desist to DiggDot.us. DiggDot.us came up with a simple solution to the problem: they scrubbed out the “i” in the logo and renamed the site “DoggDot.us”. It seems unlikely that Digg will pursue any more action.
November 27, 2006
The Jedi Religion and How to Start A Religion. Last week, two self-proclaimed Jedi Knights appealed to the United Nations to recognize their faith as an official religion and accordingly rename the International Day for Tolerance to Interstellar Day of Tolerance.

Time to Rename the Cell Phone? They're not just for making calls, and they don't have a lot to do with cells. Maybe it's time to name the ubiquitous gadget something else.

USATODAY.com - Cingular will be sold under name of AT&T. SBC, which closed its merger with AT&T on Friday, plans to sell Cingular Wireless under the fabled AT&T name.

Timing Could Be Everything. New Itsu restaurant with a tagline of "health & happiness" awaits opening in the World Financial Center at Battery Park in New York City.

Tasmania Tackles Homophobia.The advertisements detail the negative effect of homophobia on families, businesses and the gay and lesbian community, using taglines such as “Names will always haunt us" and "Homophobia stops with you".

From Happiness, to Happy Feet, to HappyNews. "Real News. Compelling Stories. Always Positive." That’s the credo of Happynews.com. Have a happy search. That’s the tagline for the search box. Report happy news. That’s the challenge on the left side bar. In contrast, Unhappy News. And the list of the major news stations follows.

Christmas Crackers. The Beeb's strapline "The One to Watch this Christmas" has never been more true than this year, with a cracking line-up of goodies on all Auntie's channels: terrestrial and digital.
November 22, 2006
Complaints fail to derail Virgin ad. The ad that features a Virgin train being "attacked" by a group of Native Americans on horse back. Their attack fails and, at the end of the ad, one of the Indians is shown serving drinks on the train. The strapline at the end of the ad stated: "Man who go on big train have big idea." Despite 83 complaints that the ad is racist and offensive Virgin is not pulling the ad. Their ad agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R, released the statement that the ad "was meant to be a light-hearted "affectionate homage" to the cowboy and Indian film genre that kept with the brand's theme of making ads in the style of classic films."

eCourier.co.uk appoints Head of Happiness as part of the result of a major rebranding for the firm which introduced the strapline: "Don't worry, be happy."

Outer Beauty?. Remington is challenging the 'inner beauty' wave of advertising pioneered by beauty brands with a campaign using the strapline 'It's what's on the outside that counts'.

A SPICY sausage known as the Welsh Dragon will have to be renamed after trading standards’ officers warned the manufacturers that they could face prosecution because it does not contain dragon. Blogger asks "Do girl scout cookies contain real girl scouts?"
November 17, 2006
Next, who isn't intrigued about growing old, as we all, hopefully, have to? One guy who's cheerfully there already is Pete Lustig, an e-marketing manager, aged 84, in Illinois. He shares the journey and time traveler tips in his lively Late Life Crisis blog. It bears the tagline, "Too soon we get old; too late we get smart," so here's where I go in search of some short cuts to the smarts, before it's too late.

Virgin Atlantic Gives Short Shrift To BA’s New Clubworld Seat. The campaign includes a picture of BA boss Willie Walsh in the new BA Clubworld seat with the strapline “Sorry Willie…still 7.5 inches too short”, illustrating how much the Upper Class Suite is longer in length.

‘Can Superman Rescue Ben Affleck’s Career?’ How strap line for an article in the Guardian should really have been titled 'Can a Supername Rescue Ben Affleck's Career?'.

Woman with heartburn sues Coke and wins. How’s this for an ad slogan: “Things go better with (a reasonable amount of) Coke”? Coca-Cola may have to think twice about certain taglines now that a Russian woman has sued the company, and won, for allegedly getting heartburn from signature product.

Thetruth.com tries to convince smokers to quit with guerilla marketing campaign. Using the tagline on stickers they hope get plastered around on cigarette ads: 'Contains Urea'. Urea is constituent of urine, and apparently is contained in cigarettes. Urea, is universally known as carbamide, as recommended by the International Non-proprietary Names (rINN).
November 16, 2006
Auburn. Minnesota to vote on name for New Elementary School. Students and staff members will also get to vote on the new name. Since the start of the school year, students have been working to put this election together. Four finalists are being suggested.

Could UNCC get a new name? Members of the UNC Charlotte Student Senate debated last week whether to endorse changing the school's name to the University of Charlotte, but the discussion could be moot.

SBB Mutual is now CIMB Wealth Advisors. Re-branding exercise would also involve the setting up of a training and development centre for its agency force. Under the exercise, there would also be a re-branding of its 35 offices nationwide over the next few months.

Re-Branding Church: Queer Eye For The Big Guy. This week, Canada's largest Protestant church announced a $9.3 million image makeover that targets 30-45 year-olds with ads featuring suggestions of whipped cream sex and gay marriage. Though some may find it encouraging that The United Church of Canada is taking such an open stance on sexuality, it remains to be seen what kind of parishioners they'll attract with their bobble-head Jesus dolls or how many will stay when they discover there's actually no Jello wrestling in the pulpit.

Oxford professor Timothy Garton Ash longs for jihad. He puts forward what seems to amount to a simple re-branding of the war on terror, as if use of the term "war" itself begat the violent nature of the enterprise. Ash explains, "it wasn'ta good term to start with.
November 15, 2006


TV Land Unveils Original Programming Slate of Pilots and Series. The third installment in the successful annual "100 Most" franchise, this year's five-part special, 100 Greatest TV Quotes and Catchphrases counts down the most unforgettable TV quotes and catchphrases ever said on television. From "You're Fired!" to "That's Hot" to "Dy-No-Mite," 100 Most Memorable takes a fun look at those verbal barbs, taglines and exclamations that television has fed into pop culture for years.

Dentist goes on the air using radio commercials to reel in patients, voicing the 60-second spots himself. ''I can make you smile again'' is one of his taglines, as is `I'm talking to you.'' Most dentists shy away from advertising but this strategy has really been successful for this doc.

A trifecta of poor design (and marketing). Where Apple lets the iPod speak for itself, Microsoft has a barrage of marketing photos and taglines designed to make you think it’s cool. This will never work with the intended demographic, which is presumably exactly the same as the iPod demographic. “Welcome to the social”? “Release your inner DJ”? It’s painful.

The UK's Network Rail is using direct activity to drive consumers into shops located into shops located within its stations in the run up to Christmas using the stapline "Time to shop", will direct consumers to a dedicated website, which will go live later this month.

Starbucks launches cashless coffee. Unveiled with the strapline "Starbucks Card - great coffee now has its own currency", the Starbucks card can be used at outlets in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and Thailand by people on holiday or business.

'Christmas' Returns To Major Retailers Walmart's not acknolwleding they made a rather BIG mistake but re-naming The "Holiday Store", "The Christmas Store" is being welcomed by most shoppers.

Fast Food Nation "steals" line from The Simpsons At the end of the promo ad for Fast Food Nation, the tagline for the movie flashed across the screen: "Do You Want Lies With That?".
November 14, 2006
Japanese Knotweed Solutions is the UK's leading invasive weed treatment company. The new HQ has been re-named Itadori House - "itadori" is Japanese for "strong weed".

The Philadelphia Phillies' Triple-A affiliate will be named the Lehigh Valley IronPigs when the team begins play in 2008. The name resulted from a naming contest. IronPigs which won by a 2:1 ratio, reflects a name that bonds the Lehigh Valley's steel-making heritage. The name comes from the term pig iron, which is the term used to melt down iron to make steel, is one of the strongest metal alloys known to earth.

Portland, Oregon's new, PDOT’s “Hub” Project (aka Travel Smart) has a new name, a new logo, and a new plan. Now calling their work “SmartTrips”. A program that is meant to encourage people to take less car trips by making it easier for them to choose transit, walking, and bikes.

Snoops Dogg's canince apparel line is now sold at Amazon. So G-up up your dawg with some Snoop stlyle and check up on some of the possible taglines for this bow-wow line.
November 13, 2006


Remington is challenging the 'inner beauty' wave of advertising pioneered by beauty brands with a campaign using the strapline 'It's what's on the outside that counts'.

Gingerbread House Festival. All proceeds from the festival will go toward the Boy Scouts of America, Learning for Life ethics program and the Utah PTA Art Education Fund. Festival planning committee member John Pilmer pointed out that the goal of the festival is said best in the tagline, "Build a house, build a child."

Festival planning committee member John Pilmer pointed out that the goal of the festival is said best in the , "Build a house, build a child." “Lunatic fringe,” “head case” and “one-eyed pinhead” might sound like insults from the schoolyard, but they are actually names that scientists have given to genes. The names are causing problems for doctors who have to counsel patients about genetic defects with names like “sonic hedgehog” and “mothers against decapentaplegia.”

New York Mets organization comes to terms with CitiGroup Inc. in renaming the new stadium.

Saturn in the 90's had the tagline "A Different Kind of Car Company," and that definitely seemed in line with the community Saturn was building. Now, not independent of GM, Saturn customers have seen nothing new and the company has become lax in maintaining connection with its initially very passionate customer base. Saturn's tagline is now "Like always. Like never before," and it will be interesting to see if car buyers... well, buy it!

November 8, 2006

Green Orange, the executive search firm changes its name but maintains the same focus. The merger of Green Orange Executive Search and Search Pacific has created a new regional headhunter, under a new banner. Following the announcement of the March merger, the firm has officially re-branded itself as The Laurus Group and doubled its headcount through the process.

Kodak ad with the strapline "Catches everything in low light. ELITE Chrome 400,’ shows animals who are capable of viewing things, even in extreme darkness, to depict the unique quality of the camera.

CodeSniper What's in a name? The power and peril of product naming. A good product name can describe, define, and identify your product, it can energize customers to buy, attach an ideal, culture, or image to a widget (think iPod), and it can even make your product memorable or seem unique amongst a sea of identical products. Of course, the corollary is that a bad product name can mislead customers, plant negative connotations, subject the product to parody and ridicule (remember Microsoft Bob?), set too high or too low expectations, and generally lead to disappointment when the name doesn’t match the product.

NTL, will re-brand itself Virgin Media, the company said Wednesday. NTL earlier this year acquired Virgin Mobile, a UK mobile phone operator in which Richard Branson's Virgin Group was a majority shareholder. Analysts said at the time of the acquisition that the Virgin brand was one key reason why NTL bought the company. NTL, which is headquartered in the USA and has a large US shareholder base, has been dogged by one of the UK's worst customer service records.

Kodak Ad: Catches everything in low light. The ad is showing the animals who are capable of view things even in extreme darkness depicting the unique quality of the camera. The presentation of the ad is apparently thought through, simple and really communicative. The strap line of the ad is ‘Catches everything in low light. ELITE Chrome 400.

As if dominating everyone on the PGA Tour wasn’t enough, Tiger Woods is now going to take a swing and create his own golf course design firm, “Tiger Woods Design."

November 7, 2006
Prince is setting up home in Las Vegas after signing up to headline Club Rio nights every Friday and Saturday for the foreseeable future. The club will be renamed 3121 after Prince’s most recent album for the late-night concerts, which will begin later this month.

Do our names define us? The tale of one Jewish-American family's search for identity. How an extra "n" in a name can make a huge difference.

Carlton Screen Advertising is to launch a marketing campaign to promote the benefts of the captive nature of cinema advertising on audience with a strapline, "All of the attraction, none of the distraction".
Children's food campaigners argue that Burger King's ad's strapline "are you man enough?", questions the masculinity of boys who do not consume food excessively high in saturated fat.
Promotional transparent umbrella with clever tagline "Hair you want to show off" is finally a great product selection with a tagline that makes sense.
Samantha Thavasa to open U.S. store on New York City's Madison Avenue. Thavasa is a brand name named after "no one in particular." Nicky Hilton, the Hilton name that is not as recognized as her sister Paris, designs bags for the company that caters to the uber celebrity.

Imelda Marcos has given her name to a new line of jewelry designed by her kids called “The Imelda Collection”.
November 3, 2006
Naming pickle. A company naming dispute between two New York City pickle peddlers is headed to federal court.

Australian pop star Kylie Minogue returns to the stage on November 11 in Sydney to resume the tour she was forced to abandon last year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, her record label said on Wednesday. The tour has been re-named the "Showgirl Homecoming Tour".

Do people realize what t-shirts with taglines actually say?. Universtity of Dayton student is concerned about students donning Abercrombie & Fitch shirts that reads: Who need brains when you have these? Or an American Eagle shirt that blairs: Awkward mornings beat boring nights.

The National Irish Lottery has a new strapline 'Think Bigger' for their new ad campaign. What is less heavily advertised is that the pick of numbers is now six from 1 - 45. The odds of winning are now 1 in 8145060.

Comet’s latest strapline: “We Live Electricals”. What? What does that even mean? It’s not even a sentence, as far as I can make out. Surely adding industry-speak to a public ad campaign can only serve to alienate your potential market.
November 2, 2006
Co-operative Insurance (CIS) is set to bolster its new ‘green’ Eco motor insurance by unveiling a national television campaign which will feature images of CIS’ innovative Grass covered Car accompanied by the strapline, ‘now you can get green car insurance that doesn’t cost the earth’.

It appears US citizens have been segmented and tagged as consumers along neighborhood lines. Carnegie Communications has conducted a geodemographic analysis and has determined 66 different market segments, or "clusters". What have you been dubbed? A "Shotgun & Pickup" perhaps? IT hub Bangalore renamed (back to) Bengalooru, which translates to 'town of boiled beans'. Move seen as a bid to appease locals upset at the influx of outsiders.

Bud Light Beer television commercial filmed expediently to stick to the tagline ‘Always worth it’.

John Mellencamp has done more rebranding than just taking the "Cougar" out of his name. Seems that his stance against corporate greed has faded as he aligns his new song "Our Country" with the new General Motors, Our Country. Our truck” campaign.

"Circle K rebrands to Stripes," the Texas Susser companies decision to end its relationship with Circle K should be complete by the year’s. The new Stripes brand is Susser's own creation. The company raised $107 million in an initial public offering this week. The change over will be slow due to federal rules that prohibit promoting a new brand during the process of an initial public offering.
November 1, 2006

On-line dating sites, such as Match.com, let you choose a long screen name and long personal taglines. Just what do you have to say for yourself?

Premium dog food launches and is named after fictional vet called Wainwright. The brand is particularly aimed at dogs with food intolerances and is tagged as "dog's best friend".

Google purchases JotSpot. There’s also no confirmation as to what the new name will be, but suggestions are afloat.
Beverage makers try to find refreshing drinks that do not (like those of yesteryears) have to be re-named to cover up the use of illegal drugs.

Glenfiddich, the family-owned Scotch whiskey brand looks to increases holiday sales. New marketing campaigns, include the strapline "inspiring great conversation since Christmas Day 1887".

Premium Bonds celebrates it's 50th in London. Cake celebration due to parade through Trafalgar Square announcing "saving with a thrill". What's exactly going to come out of that cake?

October 31, 2006
Americans blame Cookie Monster for obesity in children. Producers change Cookie's tagline to "Cookies in Moderation!" [Tate sez: Picture the Cookie Monster stuffing cookies into his mouth in moderation... Doesn't work, does it? If this is true then we've just killed off an American icon with an overdose of Political Correctness.]

Second Helpings, a group that rescues prepared and perishable food from stores and restaurants has updated its image and has renamed its newsletter "Peas and Carrots," followed by the tagline, "Little Bits of News That Go Great Together." The group's new logo features a chef lifting a pot with heart-shaped steam rising from it. [Tate sez: Nice... it's okay to have "second helpings" if it is for charity? Where's my moderation now?]

Millionaire Fair an exhibition opening in Moscow this weekend. Organizers estimate the fair has attracted some 10,000 visitors every day -- fulfilling the event's unofficial tagline "Millionaires of Russia unite!". Ironic nod to an old revolutionary call for the world's working proletariat.

Bikini Ban. An appealing Britain ad campaign showing a Latvian model photographed in a bikini in Eilat, the Dead Sea and Tel Aviv. The photo taken on the Tel Aviv beach includes a tagline reading: The 24 hour Mediterranean city, Tel Aviv. Ads pulled by the Tourism Ministry as not to offend orthodox sentiments in cabinet.

Van delivers tire service to your car. The tagline on the back of the truck is usually what catches people's attention: "Notice: Driver carries no old magazines or burnt coffee."

Hachi Tei Restaurant uses Pelicans, Shark and Walrus' to go for the obvious. Restaurant uses strap line: ‘For those who like their sushi really fresh’.

Patt, White GMAC Real Estate office has changed their name to Pocono Advantage Real Estate. Now they can not even be located in the forest of Pocono related sites.
October 27, 2006

Hell.com domain up for sale. It is estimated that the name will sell for over $8 million. It is assumed that people will just about pay anything to tell their customers to "Just go to hell.com."

Magners cider advertising campaign with its 'Time Dedicated to You' tagline hopes to continue the trend across the UK of drinking cider over ice. The hope it is believed is to abolish the image of cider as the lowest common denominator in the world of booze.

Hot Dogma, Pittsburg, PA, legally forced to relinquish its name due to copyright infringement with Miami, FL, Dogma Grill. They will not be shutting their doors forever but instead will rename to Franktuary.

Lightborne Design & Animates creates new campaign for Hasbro, with ad agency Wondergroup to make robotic "pets," I-CAT, I-DOG, and I-FISH come to life. The commercials will show the toys' unique abilities to move and groove to music. The spots conclude with nifty taglines such as: "Cat scratchin' the beat," "Beggin' for the beat," and "Swimmin' in waves of music.".

"It may be Carlsberg that uses the advertising strap line 'It's so good that the Danes hate to see it leave,' but it seems Heineken is pretty keen to know where its beer is going too." IBM tests "Beer Living Lab" will NOT be a study of college age drinkers, but will trial a wireless tracking system of cargo shipments of Heineken beer from Europe to the United States using satellite and cellular technology.

Sam's Club, hopes that it's new 'affordable luxuries' sales effort brings in new business. The Wal-Mart warehouse unit now will add to their product assortment, extravagant diamond jewelry and a 2.6 million dollar jet. Refreshing their logo and eliminating the tagline "We're in business for small business," analysts question if the move is headed in the right direction.

October 27, 2006 | Tate Linden
What do you do if, after giving your business a try for two years, your leader resigns and a division of your business undergoes "voluntary administration?"

Well - if you're Retail Cube you try renaming yourself to something forgetable. Something like (okay, exactly like) RCG Ltd.

Let's see. How easy will it be for people to find this company? Well, a search in Google finds more than 3 million hits. So at least we know they'll find something.

Who uses the name already?
October 26, 2006
Ottawa, Canada. Michael Ignatieff has indicated his willingness to recognize Quebec as a nation within Canada. Is a new name needed?.

DispenseSource® changes name to Nexiant. New name reflects strategic mission of company and growth from a small, five-person operation to a fast-moving, multi-million dollar business.

Local Iowan Millstream Brewing Company looks for new beer name for their best-selling beer.

Mbabane, Swaziland. Chicken Licken outlets close, to re-open, however, under a new trading and company name altogether. The closure came into effect after Chicken Licken-South Africa failed to supply them with some products such as the popular 'Hot Wings'. Owner of four franchises feels bad that there will no longer have Chicken Licken in the country.

Intercontinental Hotels Group Plc. is setting up a joint venture with Japan's All Nippon Airways Co. to manage hotel business in Japan. The venture, to be called IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan. TelePlus Enterpises, Inc. re-brands to TelePlus World, Corp. Change reflects companies focus on their operational objectives, which are to deliver wireless and telecom services to market niches in select markets in the United States, Canada and abroad.
October 26, 2006 | Tate Linden
Finally, someone out there is starting to talk sensibly.

I'm guessing that no one East of the Mississippi has a clue what GVRD stands for. And that is a problem - especially when the folks in the GVRD want our tourism dollars.

If you are a frequent reader of this site you know that we strongly advise against using acronyms for your full name since they dilute your identity. Very few people can pull this off in their own identities - JFK, LBJ, and MLK seem to have posthumously claimed ownership. And a select few cities have done it too - NYC, LA, DC. These people and cities effectively own the initials and there is no confusion as to who or what is being referred to when they are used.

When other cities and people (and companies) try to use initials, however, things can go badly.

At a meeting of Governance Greater Vancouver Regional District someone evidently raised the point that the name is a little awkward. The mere fact that twice as many people are using the acronym on the web (as compared to the full name) should've indicated that the name is ungainly.

Yep. We agree that it is awkward. And we and our tourist dollars would have no clue where we should bring our money if we saw an advert showing our dream vacation was in GVRD.

The proposed solution
October 25, 2006
Washington, DC Communities Get New Name "The Yards". Many question whether the new name would be confused with Baltimore's Camden Yards. Mayor Williams says: "You know you have the birthplace of the United States Navy right on this site. So, if anyone is entitled to use a nautical expression, I think they are."

Alienware celebrates 10th anniversary. Still, "truly believing that the stars really are the limit. After all, they didn’t name the company ‘Alienware’ just because it sounded cool.”

Glendale Arena renamed Jobing.com Arena, a company which hosts career fairs and allows people to post resumes and search for jobs.

New Delhi, India. Reebok's tagline 'I Am What I Am', and sub-brands Fish Fry and Scarlett Johansson's, 'Scarlett "Hearts" Rbk', help make Reebok out sell competitors.

Drug Free America Foundation launches national "'True Compassion' campaign. With vigorous taglines such as 'It's Not Just Alcohol Anymore;' 'Still Think Drug Abuse is Somebody Else's Problem;' and 'Now That the Smoke Has Cleared'.

National Recycling Awards, adverts feature London’s famous landmarks buried in rubbish with the strap line ‘Just when will you start recycling?'.
October 25, 2006 | Tate Linden

According to a group of doctors in London,

"The term schizophrenia should be abolished as it has become incorrectly assigned to a range of disorders and has stigmatising connotations within society."

Schizophrenia appears to be headed the way of countless afflictions that have somehow become more deeply meaningful (and offensive) than initially intended. While the article sites the factual incorrectness of the term schizophrenia, this doesn't address why the name should be changed. If people are misdiagnosing the problem isn't in the name, is it?

Consider: You are sick and you go to the doctor. Doctor says "You have a cold" but in fact you have the flu. Do we change the name of "cold" to something less confusing so that doctors don't mess up?

Okay... maybe that isn't the best example. Perhaps colors would be better. If I call something that is obviously red another color (say, "blue") you wouldn't consider renaming red to something else so that I stop calling blue "red."

That seems to fit a little better. It points out that the incorrect assignment noted in the quote above isn't the issue.

The real issue here with the name is that

October 19, 2006

If it is named and notable it is probably here:

"Colour, like no other" is a pretty apt description of what Fallon has created for Sony Bravia. It's like that movie "Colors" from way back when, only with the actors portrayed by exploding paint.

Tagline "Set yourself free" used by Sony's Vanguard MMORPG seems a wee bit counterintuitive, given the number of intervention groups there are for MMORPG addicts. Perhaps they were suggeting being free from showering, daylight, and socializing with real people?

Sarah Lee's slogan "The Joy of Eating" focuses in on "how food plays a central role in our lives." Evidently the hunger-striker market was worth losing.

The digital-tv and broadband company UPC Norway changes its name to Get. ... We actually like the name, but boy does that sentence look strange. We are dying to ask "To get what?!"

Travel consulting firm gets a new name:

The Advito name links the concept of “advice” with “ito,” a form of the Latin root for “journey” or travel. Together with Advito’s strapline, “Good advice travels far,” the name perfectly expresses who Advito is and what its consultants deliver.

  • Okay... but how do you say it? Advice + Ito = "Adv-eye-tow", right? Or is it "Adveeto? Or perhaps Ad-vih-tow? We could use some adveesing ourselves.

Not to be out fake-Latinized, Diagnostic Ultrasound Corp changes name to Verathon Inc.

The Verathon name is a unique fusion of two ideals that embody the company’s mission and beliefs. Veritas (from the Latin for “truth”) reflects the company’s commitment to being true to the needs of patients and health care professionals, and Marathon describes the company’s passion for enduring achievement over the long run.

We're pretty sure you're going to figure out what we don't like about Verizon's latest press release (Hint):

The spin-off will result in a new public company that will be separate from Verizon and that will be called Idearc Inc. (pronounced EYE'- dee-ark)

AllTheRage renames to ATR warehouse, thus averting widely predicted acronym shortage.

October 17, 2006
Dementia centre gets new name - New Tyne. (Yes it is a bit offensive, but one has to wonder if clients notice.)

Horizon Technology renames five divisions to clarify their holdings. Interestingly, Clarity used to be their name...

"With the development of Bilfinger Berger into a Multi Service Group, the name Rheinhold & Mahla AG was changed in October, 2006 to Bilfinger Berger Industrial Services AG." Okay... not only did we not understand this, we're strangely amused by the word "Bilfinger." How do you get through your pre-teen years with a name like that?

Guardian Newspaper, which comprises The Guardian, Observer and Guardian Unlimited is to be re-named Guardian News and Media. We wonder if this is the beginning of a trend... Can you picture the WSJ as WSJaM? Is it really necessary to say that you have a website in your name? We vote "No."

Following on our pithy Acronymic naming, a company tells us we're misguided. Or maybe it is just the company owners that are misguided. We like the core message, but take offense that we can't name our own damn company. Company owners should not read this article.

Florida Grand Opera has scored hits with ads boasting catchy taglines such as: "Super Human" - referencing the athleticism required to stand on toes for... like... hours.

Looking to help customers better differentiate among its various versions of Linux, Novell said today that it will now call its free, open-source version 'openSUSE'. We say the name Susie will become much less popular with chaste women.

Cocaine. Because everyone wants that energy boost, and associated weight loss from not eating and having their teeth fall out. Hey... are you thirsty?

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are not representative of anyone working for or against Stokefire. We're really just trying to make names and taglines cool, and that's pretty darn difficult on some days.
October 16, 2006


The Media Vault breaks out to be the first Hewlett-Packard product to steal the company's new tagline"- "Computing is Personal Again.

Naming your business after your kids, or your dogs, may be cute, but probably only to you.

Wyndham Worldwide announces rebranding of timeshare resorts to run with the 'Wynd'.

Is India game? Xbox 360 global tagline is, 'Jump In' may need a 'jump start'.

CarMax enters the used car race with new tagline: "It's amazing no one's thought of this before."

Miller High Life Beer ad with 14 kt tagline hopes to reposition the beer as a man's man beer. As for the seasonal chocolate beer? We wonder if men will have the craving.

How using acronymns to identify your business does not lend itself in creating initial success.

Binge drinking takes a deep beating with new strapline.

Malibu, CA residents try to dodge De Butts.
October 12, 2006


We scour the web for branding stories so you don't have to. And because it's our job.

Truck ads exhort men to be aroused. By trucks. Beer-company women are nowhere to be found.

Chinese company tries new formula for success: Take existing powerful American brand, translate to local language, put the word "new" in front of it, wait for money to roll in. If this works the strategy will multiply like... bunnies.

Amadeus gives us a program guaranteeing best available rate for hotel rooms. The name? "Best Available Rate." See, the right field can provide names sometimes...

'Texas Forest Country' name being touted to attract retirees. Little Red Riding Hood expected not to visit as often.

We stand corrected. Patrick Ramsay's tagline "Wines you can swear by" is an effective use of profanity. But we're not sure that "Arse" is really swearing on this side of the pond.

Microsoft cares about your family. "Saftey is no game" campaign gets real. We anticipate even more eight-year-olds will keep the virtual world safe by upping their quotas of gangsta and pimp killings. If only GTA citizens would say thank you.

We bow our heads and thank the 911th United States Army Technical Rescue Engineer Company. Sure it's a mouthful, and will inevitably be shortened to 911 USATREC... but when you risk your lives for your country you can name yourself whatever you want.

PalmSource - the spinoff that made the Palm Operating System was acquired by ACCESS. Since resistance is useless PalmSource prepares to be assimilated. PalmSource shall henceforth be named... ACCESS. Of Borg.
October 12, 2006 | Tate Linden
Apparently so.

Business naming firm Dynamo [site down at time of post] stands to earn this much for the sale of the domain name Wiki.com - a registrar of wiki sites.

We at Stokefire are amazed at the value placed on the domain by John Gotts. We think there's a bit of a disconnect here. When people are trying to build websites they don't go to websites.com. When people want to buy pizza they don't go to pizza.com. And when was the last time you went to
October 11, 2006


ABC World News drops "Tonight" from name. Nation tries to tune in yesterday, tomorrow, and this morning but fails to find Charles Gibson anywhere.

Halloween Action Committee makes effort to rename Halloween to "Freakfest". We say that the name Halloween Action Committee is no Prince Charming itself.

Eric’s Family restaurants change their name to Love & Hunger. We thought Hooters had a lock on that. Oh... nevermind. That's lust.

A new brand of baby food starts with all the different foods mashed up together already - saving your kids all sorts of time. We're hoping that "peas with mint and fruity rice pudding" are two distinct offerings, but even so... peas with mint? Naming content: What's a Piwi?

Snatch Master as name for a data mining tool? Why are you laughing? No, really. Why?

MacAddict wants to re-brand as Mac|Life. Because when was the last time you used the | key anyway?

Can Kohl's target Target? Uninspired minds want to know. And as far as cage matches go, we think "a battle with J.C. Penney for middle-income clothing buyers" is something we'll not be watching on Pay-Per-View.
October 10, 2006

Leo Laport, "Podcaster Of The Year", presumably wishes his new title was "Netcaster Of The Year".

Hotel Istana rebooks rebrands itself to fly business class.

Banks spend less on advertising this year as BB&T doubles it's media spending– a buck to the market trend, but what's with BB&T's new 20 million dollar branding effort: "There's Opportunity Here?" Is it worth the money?

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the most excited of them all? Mirror Mirror Imagination Group that's who (key the theme music!) The world's only beauty and lifestyle futurist agency implements new Brand Excitement division (in addition to their Crystal Ball Trend Surveillance & Navigation Tours). We like the concept, but wonder about the implementation...

Can astrology be used to name a store? We call Bullfish on it. What do you think?

Staying with the profane theme: EFMARK-Bantek dropped the F-bomb and went for "The Value of One" a.k.a. Pendum, Inc. Sounds almost Pen-smart...

October 6, 2006

We will be out doing some research for our blog (as well as relaxing) the next few days. We'll be back in on Tuesday to blog back in. Until then here are some stories we found in the branding world today.

Shaw Enough: Shaw Communications re-brands its subsidiary companies and changes Cancom Tracking to Shaw Tracking. Why? Find out why the Shaw brand is on course to drive this new commercial vehicle communications business with this strategic brand alignment.

Whirlpool Canada gives Maytag a welcome home. Where has that iconic repairman been?

Babies "R" Us looking to grow into SUPERSTORE with their sibling, Toys "R" Us. Look at the steps that got them up and sprinting ahead.

JC Penney throws a few cents in to increase their refined brand assortment by adding Liz Claiborne's, Liz & Co. women's fashion line, and CONCEPTS by Claiborne men's line.

October 5, 2006 | Tate Linden

Today's links to stories on names, taglines, and branding.

It's a good thing that everyone agrees on what a name should be - especially since evocative, easy to say, descriptive, creative, web-available names are so easy to come by.

Think to yourself about counterfeit branding. Okay, how many of you thought about cows? Forget about fake Coach purses - how about fake Bessie?

Thinking about naming your firm after yourself? Great, but what happens when you leave?

Recruiting firm brands itself after the color of the lumps most people get from employers.

Can rebranding be as easy as putting an umbrella in your drink? Conservatives seem to think so.

mad.co.uk hates branding, but we're too cheap to find out why.

If we're ever traveling in South Africa we're going to have a really hard time figuring out where to have our tires changed. National chain rebrands and gets a new tagline. We wonder... what exactly is a "Fitment Professional"?

Japan says Light and Mild Cigarettes may be illegal because the terms are descriptive... Excuse me... Not descriptive... Deceptive. Unfortunately "Cancer Sticks" is already taken.

Canada and Australia discuss branding on an international level. If you read it backwards it says "We're not American."

October 4, 2006 | Tate Linden

Durham gets a new tagline - "Where great things happen." Citizens everywhere check their history books to figure out what the heck actually happened in Durham. Kevin Costner gets an unexpected PR boost.

NVIDIA Renames the 570 SLI and 590 SLI Intel Editions (because adding about 100 to a name just makes it seem that much better?)

Ask gets Asked about Jeeves and why they did it without the butler.

New South Wales Prime Minister Brands Government as "Most Incompetent." While we like the ambitiousness of "most", we're not so sure that this will help him in the polls.

Brit Says "No" to Brands, Gets Really Bad Breath.

School District rebranding held back for a year.

Toshiba to lead innovation except for when it comes to taglines

Travel expert Simon Calder learns the importance of naming when he mixes up Luftwaffe and Lufthansa. One of those two organizations may not be amused.

Palm splits in two and renames self. Now must legally say "Give me two-and-a-half" when giving kudos.

September 29, 2006 | Tate Linden
[Ed: After an hour of typing the original post was eaten by the Internet Explorer gods. This is but a pale and uninspired imitation of the original creation.]

Here's the gist of what I wrote about: Virgin Airlines created Premium Economy - but called it Mid Class in 1992. Enter unremarkable results. Then... in 1994 they renamed it Premium Economy. Success! (If I was patient I'd put back the half-dozen links I had to the history of the change here... I am currently not feeling patient.)

The model has been copied by countless airlines. Singapore, ANA, bmi, SAS Airlines, Air New Zealand, and United all use the name, but the American companies haven't been adding to the equity of the concept.

The US airlines - especially United - have taken the term and bastardized it so that
September 27, 2006 | Tate Linden

Apple is starting to look an awful lot like a mega-corp. Remember all those stories about McDonalds, Disney, and Microsoft coming down hard on defenseless non-profits and day care centers that either use part of a name or a visual likeness one of their characters? Now it is Apple's turn...

This is pretty odd when you consider that this is the same company that released "Sosumi." They went from challenging the establishment to being the establishment.

The latest? Apple is going after a startup firm for using the term "Pod." Even when "Pod" is part of a larger word...

This smacks of the trouble Apple got into when

September 22, 2006 | Tate Linden
About two months ago we heard about this story - but we didn't know what it entailed. Back in July Coles Myer said they were preparing to rebrand and rename their company. What they didn't say back then was that Coles Myers is spending $900,000 per month on the project. And now the project has lasted five months, leading to a $5 million bill.While we haven't seen any official press releases - The Australian News says Mccann-Erickson and Futurebrand are leading the project.

One may wonder how the company is paying for this. Perhaps the "retrenchings" of about a dozen marketing general managers (saving $3 million) and 2500 other employees (saving an undetermined sum) is part of it.

Here's the problem with this
September 18, 2006 | Tate Linden

We're not actually sure that this was a direct consequence, but the timing sure seems to link this up rather nicely.

Stingray Brewery is renaming to The Cayman Islands Brewery. (Release found here.)

(For those that don't know, Irwin was killed by a Stingray off the coast of Australia in recent days. He will most assuredly be missed - and we could easily see him tipping back a pint of Stingray brew up in the clouds. Hair of the dog, and all. Rest in peace - or perhaps perpetual child-like amazement, Steve.)

Regardless of the cause, this may be a decent name change. Sure, Stingray has some strong imagery (though

September 14, 2006 | Tate Linden

Based on this press release, Stokefire is tempted to put out daily press releases stating "Yes, we're still Stokefire."

What happens when your government tells you to change your name - and you refuse? Probably something a lot like this:

September 13, 2006 | Tate Linden

We applaud a challenging and novel rebrand effort when we see one - and we'd love to have been in the creative sessions that led to this. While we're not sure it will get men pouring into bingo parlours, it certainly has an appeal to it.

Bingo4Him.com appears to be a creative attempt to pull in a younger audience to a game currently marketed to the retirement crowd. Among their reasons the virile men should play are:

September 12, 2006 | Tate Linden

We at Stokefire HQ often wonder about the many associations in our area. All of them are doing their best to represent their constituencies - but so few of them are doing one easy thing that could help them spread the word. Instead of telling people who they represent they hide their allegiance in a jumble of letters.

If the MLA knocks on your door would you know who they're representing? We wouldn't either. And the same goes for ICRA, FAB, and until today, the ECCA.

Why?

September 6, 2006 | Tate Linden

In an apparent effort to make the glass half-full, Canada's government... wait. Nix that. "...Canada's New Government" begins its sixth month in office.

I'm a little perplexed here. If I go to buy a car and note that it is six months old and has five thousand miles on it I'm certainly not going to consider it new. Not even almost new. In fact,

June 1, 2006 | Tate Linden

William Lozito over at Strategic Name Development talked about Edmonton's new campaign. Simply put, he didn't like it. The slogan is "Edmonton - It's cooler here." To unjustly distill his message down, he posits that since people already know Edmonton is cold (uncomfortably so, even) there's little point in reminding everyone of this fact.

I'm of a different mind than William on this one. It isn't that he's wrong, per se. I just think that the slogan isn't aimed at him - or at anyone in the North.

May 24, 2006 | Tate Linden
We at Stokefire have been in the market for a nice economical vehicle that not only can get us to where we need to go, but can do so with a bit of panache. While the SUV is great for driving clients and consultants to meetings, it isn't so great for driving solo to work, nor for finding parking spaces in DC after 8:30 AM.

VW Garageinator

I've been looking at a couple VW models and at the Mini - and was leaning towards the Mini until I saw the picture of the VW garage (courtesy of weBranding and The Cool Hunter.) Can you imagine how powerful an experience getting your car from the "Garaginator" (my term, not theirs) would be?
May 19, 2006 | Tate Linden
I just got back from the awards banquet and it was quite a show. Great to see so much support from the community - there were 29 sponsors of the event for 16 entrants. The event was hosted by the Community Business Partnership and is part of Business Appreciation Week (an event sponsored by Virginia's Department of Business Assistance.) Lots of people there, and some great concepts were presented.

The three equal winners were
April 13, 2006 | Tate Linden

I only occasionally think about it, but when I do I'm grossed out. Grabbing a can from a vending machine, popping the top, and then putting the thing against my mouth isn't exactly the smartest thing in the world. I've witnessed vending machines being filled and it isn’t pretty. I’ve seen cans dropped on the ground, rolled behind the machine, held by grimy gloved hands that have just been wiped across a sweaty man-brow – all the sorts of places where I would not normally want my lips to touch. But after all that contact with the can I’ll still tilt it back when I’m thirsty.
I used to take a paper towel and wipe the top before I drank, but that didn’t fix the problem. I’d end up with a towel covered in a grayish film that would’ve otherwise ended up on my lips, but no matter how long I rubbed I’d still get more off, so it seemed pointless unless I actually washed the whole thing off with soap and water, and then you gotta wonder how much trouble you’re really willing to go through to get a few gulps of sugar water.
Americans are apparently behind the times. Brazil, Estonia, and Spain (among many others) have already found a solution and have it widely implemented. They prevent the lid from coming in contact with anything untoward by using a “lip cover” as seen on the Strange New Products blog. So, why isn’t that in America?
My gut reaction (with absolutely no research behind it) is that America is not concerned about keeping our bodies protected from germs and the like. We’re happy to use dry paper to wipe our behinds, which is pretty darn gross if you think about it. We are willing to stick our hands down the drain to clear a clog of lord knows what. We’re willing to have corporations pollute land (think Super Fund sites)… all of this because… We’re a nation of people who would rather clean up and/or protect ourselves after the fact.
Do you put on rubber gloves to shake hands during cold season? No, you carry around alcohol-impregnated gel to squirt on your hands after each contact. Do you wear a filter mask during allergy season? No, you take a pill when you get a runny nose, and carry around pockets of tissue. And Super Fund sites? We believe we can eliminate just about any contamination to the point that we can eat dinner off the formerly deadly soil.
Is this a sign of immediate gratification run amok? Are we too lazy to want to squat over a bidet and really get our stuff clean? Why can’t I get my soda with a lip protector without traveling to Europe or South America?
I’ve been reading all sorts of articles written by folks in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere saying that the typical American (and thus the American identity or brand) is always in a rush somewhere. We don’t want anything else put between us and our goals, be it extra clicks on a computer or an additional wrapper on a can of beer. Are they right?

April 10, 2006 | Tate Linden
I just read the Wall Street Journal's ego piece on Armani. I think he's dissing me personally... or if not personally, he would be dissing me personally if he knew me, or knew of people like me, or saw that I had a Ficus-naming contest.

Anyhow, he provides five tips in the article (for which you will have to pay to read) and the last one is:
"I can't accept men wearing sports jackets in a board meeting. Sports jackets are for weekends."
Dangit! All I wear are sports jackets (except for on weekends.) I'm guessing he won't approve of my jeans, broadcloth shirt, and leather shoes, then. Nor will he enjoy my acute lack of anything resembling a tie around my neck.

Personal note to Giorgio - Yeah, most boardrooms probably call for a matching ensemble suit/tie combo. Not all of 'em do though. Mine? No suits, please. Sure - if you want to be seen as a conformist then by all means. Even in one of your suits I'd still think that a guy would be out of place. Classy, probably a tad too warm, maybe thirsty too, and likely better looking than all of us - but still completely out of place.

Also - your first comment that "Polyester is a fantastic fabric" makes me feel a little better about disagreeing with you. I've tried polyester and, frankly, was not particularly impressed. Especially poly shirts... I mean, come on. You tuck 'em in and before you can get your hand out the tail has already removed itself from your pants, and done so in such a silky and quiet way that the only way you'll find out is after you've passed by the cute receptionist who blushes at your predicament.

Hypothetically speaking this type of event would have been before my non-hypothetical marriage, of course. That is, if this had happened at all, which I am most assuredly not really saying it did. Not.

That is all Giorgio. Rest assured I could have gone on far longer, but feel you have been suitably upbraided for now. Be glad this one was just between us.
April 10, 2006 | Tate Linden
I never owned a Barbie, though I think my older sister did. I was a big fan of the 12” G.I. Joe figure with real clothes, velour-covered head, and clunky plastic boat with plastic guns that only made noise when you went "ptchoo ptchoo" with your own mouth, however. Unfortunately, G.I. Joe is not the subject of the blog today – though I will take a moment to internally reminisce about the old days. Ahhh… Good times.Alright. The brand I’m poking today is Barbie. I guess this is the first official poking via the blog, since my Realtor rant wasn’t really against the brand, but against the practices of the individual practitioners under the brand heading.

So, why Barbie? Because she was written about in Harpers Magazine this month. (Sorry, no direct link to the article because they apparently want you to buy the magazine and not freeload.) You can see comments *about* the article here. The portion of interest to me begins near the top - where Barbie begins to lose limbs.

Why would girls around the world (or at least in Bath) be ripping apart this doll? Oddly (or perhaps unsurprisingly, given the nature of this blog) I believe it is branding. The probable purpose of the doll was initially to act as a visual role model – always proper, always high-heeled, always skinny. Barbie could not physically do anything wrong – she couldn’t bend enough to get nasty. Bad things started happening for Barbie somewhere around the 70s (but don’t quote me on this – I was only just gaining consciousness then) when ERA started to mean something outside of baseball. Women did not want to be represented by the skinny stiletto-heeled darling. I even remember the day in the mid-seventies my own mom talked to my older sister about Barbie and how she wasn’t a real representation of women. My basic takeaway from the conversation – that Barbie was a bimbo and not someone she should try to emulate (or whatever word a six-year-old would use instead of “emulate”.)

The reaction from Mattel/Barbie was rather predictable. “Let’s get us some positive role models!” They made Barbie good at math, an astronaut, a teacher, a college student (attending at least a dozen schools, no less,) a world traveler, and more. Interesting concept, but Barbie wasn’t really ‘built’ for the types of activities she was dressed for. Sprinting, perhaps (since heels don’t touch the ground in that sport) but I’m guessing that even in low-gee environments she’d need to stand flat-footed eventually.

I’m going to stop the brand poking at this point today to ask a question. Who is Barbie really marketed to today? If the backbone of branding is based on specialization, then we should be able to identify a limited set of target consumers/buyers for the brand. Any ideas?

My guesses:
  1. Obsessive-compulsive collectors. People that want to own every piece of clothing and every doll available. I submit the inclusion of Barbies themed with Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, and other collector-desirable brands – as well as tie-ins with popular collectible trends such as troll dolls and pogs.
  2. Beauty-queen moms. Former pageant types that want to convey the importance of looking good to their daughters. Why else would there be so many hundreds of Barbie's dressed in glittery stuff, while no well adjusted five-year-old would wear such a thing outside of the talent show circuit?
It is rather strange to think that with one core product (a single plastic doll) Barbie may have diversified its offerings to the point that it can no longer effectively market to the core (originally targeted) user of their product. They’ve spent so much effort trying to appeal to every possible consumer that they’ve alienated just about everyone except people that like to collect everything.

As for the violence aspect mentioned in the article... I was going to write today’s entry entirely about that, but about two paragraphs in I realized that the violence was not necessarily a function of the brand focus, but in fact a function of the company's inability to create products for the end user. It is the lack of focus on the right market that (in my opinion) is causing the girls to rip the dolls to shreds.

Why treasure something that doesn’t represent what you want to be, is completely disposable, and comes apart in seconds, but is presented in a box dressed exactly the way you are? It’s about as genuine as me dressing up in heavy chains, a muscle shirt, and pants that say to the world “I just wear a belt to keep my waistband above my knees.” No one would be fooled into thinking I was a gangsta. The little girls aren't fooled either...



Obscure closing thought: It doesn't matter what sort of fun and colorful label you put on a hot cup of coffee, nor how much an adult may like it - if you give it to a kid they're not going to use it the way you want them to. A sip, maybe two - and then the coffee will be poured on the carpet - or more likely on the little brother. Give them grape soda and, barring a visit from Murphy and his law or sibling rivalry, you'll have to surgically remove the kid's tongue from the bottle after they try to get the last drop. At the core of the brand there's got to be an identity that connects with the target - and Barbie just doesn't have it today.