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Author Topic: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding  (Read 5791 times)

mouser

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Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« on: October 12, 2006, 05:58:45 AM »
Another clear smart essay by Mike Arace.  His Blog is a daily read for me.

By the way, this kind of stuff, where marketing and brand name recognition dominate decisions and success, depresses the hell out of me and makes me wonder if there isn't a better way to run a world.

Quote
Some people have asked why Google would purchase the service when they had their own well-received competitor, Google Video. Others wonder how they could justify a $1.6 billion pricetag for a website with no substantial revenue model and huge copyright violation concerns right around the corner.
The answer is simple: branding.
...
I always looked at websites based on their technical merit.
...
It doesn’t even matter if they are technically better anymore. They own the mental associations that matter, and it will take a long, long time to change that.
From a competitive standpoint, Google realized that trying to hold back the tide with Google Video wasn’t getting them what they wanted. So they wrote a check.


app103

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2006, 01:54:31 PM »
What people don't realize is that everything uploaded to YouTube, the uploader has agreed to give certain rights to YouTube and any company that might buy them out in the future...certain rights...among them to reproduce, distribute, make derivative works from your content, and profit from it... without ever compensating you for it.

That means, for example, that a small time independent band can make a music video and upload it...and YouTube can take the music out of it and sell the rights to use it to some company and the band's song could end up being used in a commercial for hemorrhoid cream.

YouTube, or any company that buys YouTube (in this case, Google) would be the sole entity to profit from this. The band would become famous for their one-hit advertising wonder...but never receive a dime for it.

Or even worse if something like this were to happen:

An artist creates and uploads a short animation featuring a really cute bird with a coin. YouTube sublicenses derivative works based on it to Disney, which makes a full length feature movie based on the bird character and makes billions on it. Then they make even more off the merchandising, the tv series, dvd's, etc. The bird becomes as well known as Donald Duck.

YouTube gets their cut. The original artist gets nothing, except maybe a mention in the credits, if he is lucky.

Is it fair? no

Is it legal? Yes, because they AGREED to it when they uploaded the video. Their agreement says "exploit me" all over it.

Be really careful when you agree to things...make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your User Submissions. However, by submitting the User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube's (and its successor's) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the YouTube Website (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.




nudone

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2006, 02:12:05 PM »
nightmare. :o

JavaJones

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2006, 06:07:22 PM »
I'm with you mouser. It's sad that branding and recognition are everything. This quote says it all
Quote
It doesn’t even matter if they are technically better anymore. They own the mental associations that matter, and it will take a long, long time to change that.
But that's the way the world works, and hey isn't a good part of that due to human nature? I mean it's the interaction of the understanding of marketing and modern technologies, but the reason it works is human nature.

So how do you change that? Do you mandate that marketing must be kept within certain boundaries? Well, we already do that to some degree (laws about libel, truth in advertising, and especially certain more regulated industries like supplements and food). So maybe that's an answer. But I don't really like legislation and eventual resulting litigation as an answer to anything unless absolutely necessary.

I don't see a clear way out besides educating people I guess. But that hasn't seem to work so far. Everyone has just gotten used to the marketing we had but remains susceptible to new forms of it, even as they remain similar to the old. Novelty has high appeal. And ultimately most of it appeals to certain primal reactions we have which will be difficult or impossible to get rid of even with years and years of learning and "evolution".

- Oshyan

mouser

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2006, 08:33:30 PM »
yeah i think it is human nature.
i try to tell myself when i go shopping - don't believe the marketing hype - don't get affected purely by brand name recognition.

Edvard

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2006, 02:12:53 PM »
Some thoughts on branding as posted at the RandomRareBits Blog :

Quote
How is communication important in branding? Perhaps...the following analogies will help us define the word...

You're at a party and see a handsome guy. You get up and straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, "May I," and reach up to straighten his tie brushing your breast lightly against his arm, and then say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Public Relations.

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says,"She's fantastic in bed." That's Advertising.

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, "I'm fantastic in bed." That's Direct Marketing.

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Telemarketing.

You're on your way to a party when you realize that there could be handsome men in all these houses you're passing. So you climb out the sunroof of the car and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm fantastic in bed!" That's Spam.

You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He walks up to you and says, "I hear you're fantastic in bed." That's Brand Recognition.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2006, 02:40:08 PM »
LOL - brilliant

app103

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2006, 08:02:59 AM »
yeah i think it is human nature.
i try to tell myself when i go shopping - don't believe the marketing hype - don't get affected purely by brand name recognition.

We all do...and many don't realize to what extent they do.

How many times do you tell someone to "Google it"?

So many product names have become the substitute for the generic that many don't even realize they are brands or trademarked names any more.

  • Brillo = steel wool soap pads.
  • Q-tips = cotton tipped swabs.
  • Cheez Whiz = processed cheese product
  • Kitty Litter = cat box filler
  • Band-Aid = plastic adhesive bandage
  • Velcro = hook & loop tape
  • Post-It Notes = sticky notes
  • Scotch Tape = clear cellophane tape
  • Duck Tape = duct tape
  • Minute Rice = instant rice
  • Oreos = chocolate sandwich cookies with white cream
  • Coke = carbonated 'cola' beverage
  • Saran Wrap = plastic wrap
  • Windex = ammonia based glass cleaner
  • Escalator = moving staircase
  • Allen wrench = hexagonal screwdriver
  • Crock-Pot = slow cooker
  • Granola = oat and fruit mixture
  • Hula Hoop - toy ring
  • Linoleum = vinyl floor covering
  • Touch-Tone = dual tone multi-frequency telephone signaling
  • Yo-Yo = toy
  • Lava lamp = decorative light
  • Spam = canned pork product
  • Ace bandage = cloth elastic bandage
  • Alka-Seltzer = multi-purpose effervescent tablet
  • Novocaine = local anesthetic
  • Tylenol = pain reliever
  • Advil = pain reliever
  • Aqua-Lung = Scuba equipment
  • Breathalyzer = breath alcohol analyzer
  • Bubble Wrap = air-filled plastic packing material
  • ChapStick = lip balm
  • Ethernet = IEEE 802.3 LAN protocol
  • Fig Newton = soft cake-like cookie filled with fig jam
  • Jaws of Life = a rescue tool
  • Jell-O = gelatin dessert
  • Kleenex = packaged folded facial tissue paper
  • Laundromat = self-service laundry
  • Magic Marker = Felt-tip marker
  • Phillips Screwdriver = screwdriver with a cross-pointed drive hole
  • Play-Doh = commercial plastic modeling compound, clay-like
  • Pop Tart = breakfast toaster pastry
  • Rollerblade = inline skates
  • Speedo = tight-fitting swimsuit
  • Swiss Army Knife = a clasp-knife with multi-functional blades
  • Thermos = vacuum flask
  • Vaseline = petroleum jelly
  • Windbreaker = light jacket
  • X-Acto knife = sharp precision craft knife with short replaceable blades
  • Zamboni = ice resurfacing machine

In the end, regardless of what brand of the actual product you use, in cases like this you still call it by its most recognizable brand name.

Could that be considered a success by a company? or perhaps a bit of a failure at the same time, since you call the competitors product by their brand name and buy the other product any way.

And then there is the risk that your trademark on your brand could be taken away and the term made legally generic, as in the case of 'aspirin' or 'bikini'

JavaJones

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2006, 01:33:26 PM »
Actually according to Wikipedia Georges de Mestral, the inventor of Velcro, did actually name it Velcro. So although you could say "velcro" is a form of "hook and loop tape", that would be like saying an automobile is a form of wheel and engine transport. ;) I think "duck tape" is also just a misconception/mispronunciation and although a brand name by that name does exist, I think it followed the pronunciation issues, not the other way around.

I did find out about a lot of new ones I hadn't expected, like novocaine, granola and escalator (the first is still trademarked, the latter used to be but aren't anymore).

Not surprisingly Wikipedia does have a rather comprehensive and info-packed page on "genericized trademarks". What's interesting is it seems like ultimately trademark owners don't have much ability to defend a trademark that has come so fully into popular and generic usage. As you said app, I wonder then if such trademarks are really effective anymore - I suppose Kleenex and Q-tip do really solidify those brands as "the" brand in their respective markets, but as you also said people refer to other company's products by the same names. Interesting stuff.

- Oshyan

Carol Haynes

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2006, 02:24:42 PM »
In the UK vacuum cleaners are pretty well known as Hoovers ... (just another one)

Deozaan

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2006, 03:22:41 PM »
I think that several of these items in the list are actually named what they are normally called.

A lava lamp is a lava lamp, isn't it? I mean, I know it's a brand, but it's also the name of the light that heats up the stuff inside and it kind of looks like lava, right?

I use Q-Tip for cotton swaps on a stick, Kleenex for facial tissue, and Saran Wrap for plastic wrap.

And I don't think I've ever heard of a Yo-Yo called anything else, or a Hula Hoop. Isn't an escalator an escalator? The flat ones I've heard are called moving sidewalks. And what about SPAM? For one thing, I've only heard people say SPAM when referring to the canned pork stuff (or junk e-mail, which shouldn't be capitalized--this differentiates it from the branded meat product). I never really thought about it, but I suppose other brands make SPAM-like products. I can't recall seeing them on the shelf at the grocery store, though.

I thought Kitty Litter was the generic term. Brands would be Tidy Cat or. . . something else (I haven't bought kitty litter for about ten years).

I don't think I've ever seen another brand of Zamboni than Zamboni. Of course, I haven't been to many ice rinks in my life.

Also, duct tape is duct tape. People just don't pronounce the T so they think it is Duck Tape. Of course, as was mentioned, there is now a brand called Duck Tape, and I also agree that it was branded such because of the mispronunciation.

Oreos mean Oreos to me. Any other chocolate/white cream sandwich cookie just isn't an Oreo.

I think most people call pain relievers whatever brand they usually use. "Have you got a Tylenol?" Most of the time I just use the chemical/drug name, Acetominophen. Did you know that some Tylenol actually has aspirin in it?  If aspirin can kill you, it's important that you get acetominophen instead of just asking for Tylenol. But hopefully you already knew that if aspirin can kill you.

Novocaine is a specific drug and I've never heard it a general anesthetic called Novocaine.

Also, what is the correct name for a phillips screwdriver? It's certainly a lot easier to ask for a phillips than a screwdriver with a pointy cross shaped head.

shortened list
How many times do you tell someone to "Google it"?
  • Q-tips = cotton tipped swabs.
  • Kitty Litter = cat box filler
  • Band-Aid = plastic adhesive bandage
  • Velcro = hook & loop tape
  • Duck Tape = duct tape
  • Oreos = chocolate sandwich cookies with white cream
  • Saran Wrap = plastic wrap
  • Escalator = moving staircase
  • Allen wrench = hexagonal screwdriver
  • Hula Hoop - toy ring
  • Yo-Yo = toy
  • Lava lamp = decorative light
  • Novocaine = local anesthetic
  • Tylenol = pain reliever
  • Advil = pain reliever
  • Jaws of Life = a rescue tool
  • Jell-O = gelatin dessert
  • Kleenex = packaged folded facial tissue paper
  • Phillips Screwdriver = screwdriver with a cross-pointed drive hole
  • Pop Tart = breakfast toaster pastry
  • Rollerblade = inline skates
  • Swiss Army Knife = a clasp-knife with multi-functional blades
  • Thermos = vacuum flask
  • Zamboni = ice resurfacing machine

« Last Edit: October 17, 2006, 03:33:07 PM by Deozaan »

Edvard

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2006, 03:53:07 PM »
And Band-Aid even changed their jingle in an attempt to head off this kind of "Genericizing".

From : "I am stuck on Band-Aid cause Band-Aid's stuck on me"
To:    "I am stuck on Band-Aid brand cause Band-Aid's stuck on me"

Quote
What's interesting is it seems like ultimately trademark owners don't have much ability to defend a trademark that has come so fully into popular and generic usage.

True, http://www.devicelin...ve/03/03/mchugh.html (read especially the section on "Generic Use")

And on the flip side, does anybody remember the time when Linus Torvalds was forced to trademark the "Linux" name because somebody trademarked it and was demanding money from everybody (aw Bullwinkle, that trick NEVER works!). After trademarking it, he was informed by the proper authorities that he was now *obligated* to enforce conditions of its use and had to demand compensation or acknowledgement from those operating under some version of the name "Linux". Read Linus' kernel-dev post mirrored at Slashdot

*whew* glad I don't own any trademarks...

Deozaan, FWIW-
Yo-Yo (I knew this, but Wikipedia explains it better...)
I've seen SPAM-like stuff selling as "Potted Meat Product" and "deviled ham" would be an even more generic term, although Underwood might have a problem with that.
The proper name for a Phillips screwdriver is exactly that, and the needs of mass manufacturing put his design in the limelight over the Robertson. See http://inventors.abo...ns/a/screwdriver.htm

EDIT: oops I was wrong... From the same site:
Quote
Cross-head, or Phillips screw has an X-shaped slot and is driven by a cross-head screwdriver, designed originally in the 1930s for use with mechanical screwing machines, intentionally made so the driver will ride out, or cam out, under strain to prevent over-tightening.

So, cross-head it is!!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2006, 04:00:11 PM by Edvard »

JavaJones

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Re: Mike-O-Matic on GooTube and The Power of Branding
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2006, 04:00:38 PM »
Yes, there is an issue with some of these in that yes they're brand names, but there isn't necessarily a generic version of the product.

I don't think "Lava Lamp" works for example because the original inventor called it "Astrolight" or "Astro Lamp", and the people who bought the American rights for it called it "Lava Lite" (which is the registered trademark). Lava Lamp does appear to be somewhat generic.

According to the Wikipedia page Yo-yo doesn't really qualify either, even though a company with the name "Yo-yo" in it did make Yo-yo's. This is similar to how "Motor" isn't trademarked just because General Motors Corporation has the word in its name.

However again according to Wikipedia "Cat Litter" is the proper name for the brand name "Kitty Litter".

Likewise with Hula Hoop, which is an interesting one because apparently the inventors couldn't patent it since very similar hoop toys had been in use for 1000's of years (made of bamboo and whatnot - which is where they got the idea). However they could protect their "Hula Hoop" trademark and thanks to their head start and good marketing efforts no one wanted any other brand of "hoop toy". Nice. :D

Zamboni is named after the inventor, but is also definitely a trademark, although a genericized one now. The general term is "ice resurfacing machine". As evidenced by Olympia Ice Resurfacing Machines.

Oreos are definitely Oreos and anyone calling any other cooke the same is just contributing to the genericizing of that name. I'm actually surprised people in the south call "soda" "Coke". Coke is a much more specific brand name to me. But language is all about use, that's one of the fascinating things about it.

Novocaine is not actually the proper name for the drug and is in fact a brand name. The name of the drug itself is Procaine. Of course the original inventor did also create the tradename Novocaine, so it's kind of a fuzzy one.

Oh and when I tell someone to "Google it", I really do mean that they should look it up in Google. So far as I've seen other search engines continue to be largely a waste of time. :D

- Oshyan