Six of the Best: Misadventures and bad language edition ~ Brand Mix

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Six of the Best: Misadventures and bad language edition

All sorts of misadventures and bad language to report this week:

1) Red Eye: Abstract City (thanks to Kay)
Some sketches that perfectly capture the experience of taking a red-eye flight to Europe. I've stared at this little hole in the window too. And experienced the nuclear-powered hand dryers.

2) Duck and Cover: Keep Your Friend Close and Your Enemies Clueless: Netted
When you're overseas, you're relatively unlikely to run into people you don't want to. But, when you're at home, people you want to avoid could be lurking in every coffee shop. Netted sent me details of Avoidr, a new service to keep you safe from such missteps. Avoidr connects to your Foursquare account and then lets you choose who you want to avoid. It keeps track of where they are and keeps you updated. If no-one's out and about, you get this message: "All clear! Those asses are so pathetic they're all at home."

3) One bank’s $1 million naming mistake: The Financial Brand
A different and more expensive misstep here. Say you're a bank with a generic name that's keeps getting mixed up with other financial services companies with similar names that are failing or involved in scandal. You get exasperated, pick a new name, do a search, find no problems and launch. Only to find out that another bank already owns that trademark. That just happened to New Century Bank and it's going to cost them $1 million. A judge ruled that its new "Customer First" name must be replaced immediately. But that's not all. It turns out that Alliance Bank, the bank that successfully sued, may also have some name troubles. In light of this incident, it tried to register its name--only to find out that another bank has already registered it. Lessons here: 1) Good idea to use and listen to trademark lawyers and 2) Don't pick a generic name because, most likely, someone else is already using it.

4) What the f*'# is my social media strategy? Mike Phillips and Stedmeister (via @imjustmike)
But it can be so hard to come with new names or new ways to say things. Can't someone do that work for me? Of course! Here's a handy-dandy tool to help you write your new social media plan. A couple of examples: "Harness social currency to drive buzz." and "Provide brand ambassadors with compelling conversation hooks to enter into communities and fuel advocacy." Hey, wait. That's one of mine. Can I sue?

5) The weather is pickled: Johnson
Fantastic video of a Korean English-teacher teaching his students to swear in English. As one commenter points out, his swearing is a bit Joe Pesci.

6) Thoughts on Maslow’s Hierarchy: lunchbreath (via Steve Portigal)

Same post also compares his performance on the Maslow "scorecard" vs. his dog (His dog is doing better.)

That's it! Back soon with more stories from the world of brand strategy. More thoughts and comments also available on Twitter (@martinjbishop).

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