Protect your Brand

We work really hard to build up a name for ourselves. We spend countless hours perfecting our blog, adding new content, putting up useful content on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Then we make some YouTube video’s all to try and let the world know we are out there.

After a while our name starts to catch hold. People know it. We call this brand recognition. Some companies are so good at branding that they have become “the” name for their particular item.

When we want a cotton swab to clean our ear out we ask for a “Q-tip”

If we want a bandage for our children’s scraped knee they ask for a “Band Aid”

If you have a runny nose you go to the store looking for “Kleenex”

At the Hockey Games they resurface the ice with a “Zamboni”

I am sure there are many others you can think of.

 

So now that you have this brand recognition how do you go about protecting it?

I had a run in with a rep claiming to be with Zamboni recently. I have a home made Rink Rake that I am selling on our img.aspx  300x300 Protect your Brandlocal Kijiji (craigslist only better)

for those of you that have never heard or seen a “rink rake” before let me explain….

You connect your garden hose to the end of it and the other end has a bunch of holes that have water flow out of it. When you wrap a towel around the end and drag the wet towel across your outdoor skating rink it will resurface the ice to be as smooth as if a Zamboni had just been driven across it.

Obviously not everyone would know to search for “rink rake” when they are trying to find a way to resurface their nice new outdoor skating rink. Everybody knows a Zamboni though, so why not leverage that brand recognition to help clear out my garage of items I no longer need?

So the ad for my “rink rake home Zamboni” has been on Kijiji for a few days now. I get an email in my inbox today that looks like this

zamboni Protect your Brand

Now this left me wondering a few different things.

First of all. Is this really a matter where Zamboni would really be worried about protecting the use of their name? After all, am I not helping spread brand awareness by using their term for a generic action? I would LOVE it if people made ads that used my name in it. I have it happen now and I see an increase in searches for me. Surely this would have a give and take effect for Zamboni too?

If I was at a game, and my children asked me when the next period started, my response would be “as soon as the Zamboni has finished cleaning the ice”. What if the particular unit being used was NOT made by the Zamboni company? What if I had mistakenly labelled a non Zamboni product as a Zamboni? At what point are we being anal about something that really doesnt matter in the grand scheme of things?

Let me put this another way…. I have bought no name brand adhesive bandages from walmart before. My kid comes in with a scraped knee and asks for a band aid. We patch the child up and send them on their way. 5 minutes later the no name brand bandage is falling off. I exclaim that those “Band Aids” are junk because they don’t stay on! Sure this is negative press to anyone within ear shot of my exclamation. Would that proclamation actually have any effects on the band aid brand of bandages? I highly doubt it.

So, as it turns out the Zamboni brand is using some sort of monitoring system. any time a new term shows up on Googles system with Zamboni in it they check out what the context the name is being used in. I am going to assume that this blog post will set off their alarms as well. I wanted to see how far they are trying to protect their name. My blog ranks pretty good as far as web positioning goes. My Alexa rank climbs higher every day, and I frequently rank 1st on google for keywords that I write about. You may have already guessed what my main keyword focus has been for this article! I am curious to see if I get a similar response to this post for the frequent use of the word Zamboni, and the Zamboni Company.

Tell me what you guys think of Zamboni’s use of monitoring systems and emails to try and get people to stop using their name on local listing websites. Paula if you are reading this post let me know you are out there by commenting below. If a small local ad was such a concern then what is an internationally read blog going to do for the company name?

Thoughts guys??

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4 comments on “Protect your Brand
  1. I found it curious that Zamboni monitored how the name is used so closely. I also agree that in regards to certain companies splitting hairs about how the word is used is unnecessary. The band-aid example really had me stop and think for a few seconds as to what an alternative name would be for them as opposed to “band aid.” I think that when the name of a company takes on an action or an item it becomes a tool for description on top of a brand, and trying to monitor the way people choose to use it as a description is pointless and a waste of time and effort.

    • Thank you for the comment Silvia. It makes me feel better to know I am not the only one that was puzzled by the protectionist email

  2. scaza101 says:

    This is the first time I found out that a company really use a monitoring system to stop people from using the brand name. I understand that the company is concern and of course about the misuse of the brand name. Your example about the “Band Aids” was actually a simple term in marketing known as “going generic”. That’s when you refer a brand as a product than the brand itself, it may not affect the company but done in the entire mass population could be deadly. Like the part about the Xerox brand that manufactures photocopying machine (sorry about this example, this is frankly observable in my country), now the entire people will say “I would like to xerox this article” instead of saying “I would like to photocopy this article.” They use “xerox” even though the brand of the machine isn’t xerox. But the name itself is part of the brand but the brand isn’t the name. The brand can be the entire company itself, the symbol and the people. Of course, letting people use your name in a form of advertisement (which is “word of mouth” by the way) is a good thing, especially if the customer is satisfied with the brand. But seriously, you can’t stop people from using the name either good or bad (not trying to pick a fight here), allowing people to use the name in a sentence, in the e-mail, in the comments, in their own words lets you know how satisfied they are in the brand and helps you monitor if your brand is going generic or not and if it needs to be done by defensive research to avoid disappearing. But if the person use the name as part of the name of their website like: zamboniweird.com, or zamboni@xxx.com well, that’s the part you can complain and tell people not to use the brand name in such a way.

    • My thoughts exactly!

      We also used to say Xerox to refer to copying something. I havent heard the term in a while though. I am thinking it was only while I was in school.

      My daughter had a package of felt marks that she left on the table after her homework was done last night. I asked her to put these “felts” away. She looked at me like I was from another planet, then says “you mean those markers?”

      I had to give her a small lesson in history to explain myself.

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