trademark wars

Protecting the Sport of Fitness: In and Out of the Box, CrossFit Defends Its Brand

Posted by Nicole Briggs on July 22, 2014 02:04 PM

CrossFit: chances are you’ve tried it, either loved it (or hated it) or know someone who can’t live without it. The fitness phenomenon launched by Greg Glassman in 2000 has grown from cult popularity to an expansive lifestyle brand based off its strength and conditioning programs.  

Today, there are more than 9,000 affiliated gyms, and although CrossFit Inc. licenses its name to those gyms for an annual fee, having thousands of affiliated locations across the world makes it extremely hard to fish out the reals from the fakes. 

After all, part of the success of a brand could be directly related to the how well they police their trademark(s), and CrossFit's legal team is no stranger to the good ol' cease and desist letter. The brand has previously gone after Cross Gym, CrossFat, Caldera Cross-Fit, CrossFitFood and Don’t Cross Me, I’m Fit, to name a few. 

The brand has an even greater responsibility to protect its name thanks to the lucrative 10-year deal it signed with Reebok in 2010 that has been largely responsible for the brand's mainstream proliferation with branded workout gear, Reebok-branded CrossFit gyms and its title sponsorship of the annual CrossFit Games, which kick off this Friday.Continue reading...

mobile brands

Amazon Hopes to Set Fire to Mobile Market with First-Ever Smartphone

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2014 04:12 PM

By year’s end, there will be 1.75 billion smartphone users on the planet, most of whom will have a Samsung or Apple device in hand. Amazon, however, is looking to turn the tide with its first-ever entry into the smartphone market.

At a press event today in Seattle, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduced Fire, the e-commerce giant's first phone—and a pretty nifty one at that. Branded in keeping with its device naming strategy, the 4.7-inch Fire Phone will be available exclusively in the US on AT&T's network next month.

It boasts the expected high-pixel camera and ample storage (with an assist from Amazon's cloud), but Bezos detailed two new functions that will separate the brand from the pack.

Amazon Fire Phone will feature a new service dubbed "Firefly" that can recognize printed names, numbers, barcodes and even works of art in a function that will allow consumers to scan a product, and then order it directly from Amazon. The function can identity music and add it to a playlist, read an email address on a business card and even read wine labels thanks to a partnership with Vivino.

The Firefly feature, which has a dedicated button on the phone, is similar to Amazon's new Dash grocery service and its Price Check app.Continue reading...

sip on this

Brooklyn Brewery Takes Its Sips to Stockholm in Local Beer Brand Extension

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 30, 2014 06:25 PM

The brand of New York City's Brooklyn borough has been rising for years and is now so stamped on American culture that it is easy to caricature. Brooklyn Brewery, one of the fastest-growing craft brewers around, has benefited from the borough's brand rise and its latest step is giving it (and the borough) a more global reach.

According to Bloomberg, the brewer has partnered with Carlsberg, its Swedish importer, and D. Carnegie & Co. to open a new brewery in Stockholm, Sweden, that will sell their wares. Sweden is the second-most popular market for Brooklyn beers outside of the borough itself, but the new brewery won't be just serving up traditional Brooklyn brews. A whole new line of beers, Nya Carnegie, are flowing from the taps there since it opened in early April.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Pepsi Kicks the Ball Downfield with Soccer-Themed Clothing Collection

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 22, 2014 04:02 PM

In yet another timely play for soccer fever, Pepsi has launched a limited-edition clothing collection meant to capture the "art" and creativity behind soccer. 

The Live for Now Capsule Collection features clothing, accessories and electronics created by international designers including Original Penguin by Munsingwear, B&O PLAY, Gents, Goodlife, Del Toro and SHUT. 

The line, which overlaps Pepsi's "The Art of Football" initiative—celebrating soccer without being a FIFA World Cup sponsor—with its global Live for Now branding campaign, will be available at Bloomingdale's in the U.S., Colette in Paris, and Liberty in London.Continue reading...

license to thrill

Disney's Maleficent Scares Up Some High-End Brand Extensions

Posted by Abe Sauer on May 22, 2014 01:56 PM

$75: That's how much you'll be set back after springing for the "Max t-shirt" from Stella McCartney's Maleficent collection. The shirt, mind you, is the least expensive item in the exclusive line. 

But $185 "Linda Glitter Sandals" are just the tip of the Disney castle turret when it comes to the tie-ins aiming to capitalize on the upcoming film. The House of Mouse is planning for Maleficent—the gritty retelling of Disney's saccharine tale of Sleeping Beauty—to be a huge summer hit. Starring Angelina Jolie (as an approximation of how a lot of people think about her), the film is projected to pull in hundreds of millions at the box office.

While it's no surprise to see Disney's merchandising machine fire on all the usual cylinders (the Disney Store is already well stocked), Maleficent does boast some unusual—and upscale—marketing partners.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Common Score: Angry Birds Targets Education and Common Core Debate

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 8, 2014 10:55 AM

Finland's Rovio, creator of the Angry Birds juggernaut, this week announced a surprising brand extension: education. The game-maker is now marketing early childhood curriculum worldwide based on the popular app which has seen billions of downloads worldwide.

Angry Birds Playground is based on the Finnish national curriculum for Kindergarten (ages 3 to 6). According to the Washington Post, it's a mash-up of free play, physical exercise and tech tools, “a reconfigured learning environment, as well as some of the popular Angry Birds characters, to maximize learning through engagement.”

Finland wants to corner the global market on fun learning. Decidedly different from Japan or South Korea (where students routinely get top-scores on international tests), compulsory education in Finland begins at seven, the school day is shorter than in most other countries and there are no nationalized tests.

"It's not just games we're talking about here: it's a full 360-degree approach to learning, where games are just one part of it. It's not learning by sitting down and playing with a digital device," Rovio VP of learning and book publishing Sanna Lukander commented to the Guardian. "There's a real substance to it, and a healthy balance between rest, play and work.”

"We have to think about the children," Angry Birds co-founder, "Mighty Eagle" and CMO Peter Vesterbacka commented on Twitter. "Let kids be kids longer. Learn through play #funlearning."Continue reading...

what's appening

Will Foursquare Loyalists Warm to Swarm, or Check Out of Check-Ins?

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 7, 2014 04:14 PM

News broke this week that Foursquare is moving beyond check-ins by giving location-based sharing to a new app, Swarm, in a blog post titled, "A look into future of Foursquare." As the mobile check-ins leader splits its app, are they at risk of losing Foursquare's brand equity—and user base? Foursquare user Katie Conneally weighs in on the Interbrand blog. (Update: Check out Foursquare's follow-up blog post for more details on the looming changes).

chew on this

After Conquering Mexican Fare, Chipotle Looks to Apply Model to Asian, Pizza

Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2014 04:54 PM

Chipotle has been defining and redefining Mexican fast-casual food for some time now. Is there any reason to think it can't have the same kind of determinative effect in two other segments the company is eyeing for future growth?

While Chipotle has been racking up impressive sales gains and prompting desperate rivals to mimic its sustainable-ingredient positioning and other brand elements, the company also has been experimenting in earnest in Asian fare and artisan pizza, two categories where so far national brands haven't become prominent.

ShopHouse is designed to follow the same model as Chipotle, with guests building their meals as they walk the service line.Continue reading...

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