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  • Millennials Want Brands to Be Their FriendsMon, 10/20/2014 - 20:06

    Way back in 2010, we wrote about a study that showed that Millennials didn’t feel particularly strongly about … anything. At that time, they didn’t have much love or hate for any particular brands. Apparently that’s changed because a new study shows they’re now feeling strong connections to brands, especially those that listen to them and help them become a better person, just as if brands they were friends.

    “This generation is looking for brands that help them become something more than their regular selves. Provide a high-quality product or service that helps them look cool and Millennials will return the favor with their recommendations and purchasing power,” according to Norty Cohen, founder and CEO of Moosylvania. Millennials now favor brands that promote positivity and social responsibility.

    Featured at the top of the “most beloved” brands in the 2015 Top 50 Millennial Brand Ranking Report by Moosylvania were Nike, Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Walmart.Some of the newcomers on this year’s list include fast food chains Wendy’s and Pizza Hut, along with Sprint, Chanel, and Honda. Dropping out of the Top 50 were Facebook, Old Navy, and PlayStation, among others.

    The study highlighted that Millennials enjoy a lot of personal interaction and brand experiences. Moosylvania’s Cohen said: “Millennials are not just consumers – they’re friends. They trust friends who listen to them, are open and honest, remember their names, are consistent and stay true to who they are.”

    A study released this past summer revealed that Millennials are largely responsible for making private label or store brands “cool.” That’s because most of them are on a budget and don’t connect “cool” with luxury brands. But it’s important to remember that Millennials are responsible for nearly $1.3 trillion in consumer spending. As Forbes pointed out, that cool private label could be a $1 Burt’s Bees product or a $50 Sephora product.

    So, what’s up next up for brands? Most likely figuring out how to make friends with Generation Z (“The New Silent Generation”).

  • Don Henley Sues Clothing Retailer Over Use Of Name and Song TitleFri, 10/17/2014 - 11:42

    The music world’s Don Henley, a founding member of the Eagles, is suing Duluth Trading Company, a Wisconsin-based clothing company for trademark infringement and false advertising over its use of the phrase: “Don a Henley and Take it easy.” Take a look at the ad:

    Henley

    This case seems to easily lend itself to a multiple-choice test:

    a.) Clever marketing

    b.) Harmless play on words

    c.) Unauthorized use

    Whatever your opinion, this isn’t the first time that Henley has set out to protect his intellectual property. In 2009, he sued California politician Chuck DeVore to stop him from using his songs, “The Boys of Summer” and “All She Wants to Do Is Dance,” in campaign videos. And way back in 1999, Henley took Dillard Department Stores to court for running an ad featuring a man wearing a Henley shirt with the words, “This is Don” beside the picture, along with the phrase: “This is Don’s henley.” In that case, the court granted summary judgment for Henley.

    Henley’s also taken action against other musicians to stop them from creating remixes and mashups of his songs, but was thwarted by compulsory licensing. Rolling Stone wrote that earlier this year Henley objected to singer Frank Ocean and group Okkervil River recording a rewritten version of his song, “The End of Innocence,” and distributing it for free.

    Duluth Trading hasn’t commented on the lawsuit.

    In researching this blog post, we’ve seen just about every pun that can be created by Don Henley song titles. So what’s your favorite?

     

  • Lady Godiva at the Center of Trademark DisputeTue, 10/14/2014 - 15:22

    Most of you are probably familiar with the story of Lady Godiva. The wife of an 11th century English nobleman, she opposed the steep taxes her husband imposed on the townspeople. Her husband, Lord Leofric, said he would rescind the taxes if Lady Godiva would ride her horse naked through the streets of Coventry. She did, says the legend, famously wrapped only in her long, flowing hair. Residents cheered her protest and Lord Leofric made good on his promise.

    A great story (and visual) even though Harvard Magazine says, “A fascinating piece of history. But as it happens, most medieval scholars agree the ride never took place.”

    Historical debates aside, now a trademark dispute over the Lady Godiva name has hit the news. In Geneva, Switzerland, the Lady Godiva Pub, which has been serving authentic English pub food for the last seven years received a cease-and-desist letter from Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. asking that it stop using the Godiva name. The pub’s owner, Glen Simons, told the BBC: “We do want to fight this, but it’s amazing they were ever granted a trademark for this.” As for a likelihood of confusion with the chocolate company, he told reporters: “My pub has nothing to do with chocolates so I don’t see how anyone could be confused.”

    A Godiva spokesperson said in a statement: “In addition to our chocolates and the shops that sell them, we also have a growing line of Godiva cafes. Clearly, it is important for us to ensure that consumers are not confused by a place serving food and drink using the Godiva name and imagery when that place has nothing to do with us.”

    The city of Coventry has a Godiva café inside the 14th century St. Mary’s Guildhall. An administrator there told the BBC that the café has been around for years and has not heard from the chocolate company. But news of the Lady Godiva Pub’s situation has local Coventry residents worried. Colin Walker, vice-chairman of the Coventry Society, told The Daily Mail: ‘This is an absolute travesty. No one should be allowed to hijack the identity of historical figures for their own commercial interests.”

    The Godiva website says the company’s founder, Joseph Draps, chose the name because it “embodied timeless values balanced with modern boldness – much like our lady of legend.”

    Godiva’s ride is reenacted each year during the Godiva Festival and Pru Porretta, who has played the role of Lady Godiva in the most recent procession told the BBC: “It’s so sad to hear they are trying to keep the name to themselves. It doesn’t leave a sweet taste in the mouth, does it?”

    What other names of legendary historical figures have been the subject of trademark disputes?