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 local 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
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?