ISIS--When Your Brand Turns Evil

Isis or ISIS used to be a perfectly nice brand name–until it became synonymous with Islamic terror and beheadings.  ISIS trademark owners large and small are now rebranding to distance themselves from a now-tainted word.

Isis Mobil Wallet, a mobile ecommerce app backed by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile rebranded as Softcard in September.

Isis, the U.S. mobile [...]

Branding Scandals: Gruber-Gate and Scandal Naming Since Watergate

Watergate tops most top ten US scandal lists, which may explain the ubiquity of the ___-gate naming meme for scandals.  Gruber-gate is only the latest in a long list of scandals with “gate” in the name.

The naming -gate scandal construct got it’s start shortly after Watergate and Nixon’s impeachment with BillyGate, where President Carter’s beer [...]

Converse Lawsuit to Protect Iconic Sneaker Brand

Adweek reports today that Converse has sued 31 companies in U.S. District Court for infringing on its Chuck Taylor All Star brand design. Brands are not just about names and logos–they also encompass shapes.

Coca-Cola was a pioneer in recognizing brand design as a key asset to protect. The company’s contour bottle is one of the [...]

Content Marketing and Cheap Writers: Don't Cut Corners on Your Brand

Creating branded content is an increasingly important part of brand building. The demand for more and more content makes it tempting to hire cheap writers.  How hard can it be to write a tweet? Does the daily blog really need Mark Twain quality? ABSOLUTELY:

I offer some insight in this well-written article by Debra [...]

Adrian Peterson and Vikings Brand: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Brand sponsorship requires a rush to judgement. Though Adrian Peterson has not been found guilty of a crime, brands can’t afford to serve as a backdrop to the drama of indictments and investigations. Radisson’s brand did literally serve as a backdrop to yesterday’s press conference by Vikings general manger Rick Spielman as he discussed child [...]

Burger King Brand Damage--Does Being "Foreign" Hurt?

The “King” has a new country. Burger King becoming a Canadian brand has some people up in arms, screeching about lack of patriotism and even calling for a boycott. (Oddly, the same people complaining about Burger King benefiting from “tax inversion” and questioning its patriotism are totally fine with Google’s elaborate Double Irish, Dutch Sandwich, [...]

Too Much Spoils the Brand: Google Over-Doodles the World Cup

Google Doodles have become part of the Google brand. BBC News Magazine interviewed me about how whimsically changing the Google logo defied standard “brand police” rules about brand consistency.

During the World Cup, it seemed Google had a new Doodle every day. While some change works for Google, too much defeats the purpose. A new Google [...]

Congratulations to BattleFrog Obstacle Race Series by Navy SEALS

Working with start-ups is a special joy. Client BattleFrog Obstacle Race Series held their inaugural event May 31 – June 1 at the Atlanta International Horse Park. It was run with the precision and integrity you would expect from Navy SEALs who started the BattleFrog and who designed and built the course.

Hobie Call, one [...]

Recalls Toyota Brand vs GM Brand: GM Smashes Its U.S. Recall Record and the Idea of a "New GM"

Yesterday, GM announced yet more recalls that brought the total number of vehicle call-backs to an all-time record. The damage to an already hurting brand–see “Switchgate”–is incalculable. The idea of a “new GM” is taking a beating.

Toyota suffered similar negative press several years ago, but the strength of its brand, built over decades, helped it [...]

Bush or Clinton--Which Tarnished Old Brand Will Win?

Jonah Goldberg has an excellent analysis of political brands in “Jeb, Hillary and the curse of tarnished political brands” published in the Los Angeles Times.

It will be interesting to see which old brand from decades past people will choose–or if they will opt for one that is totally new.