If Your Trademark Sucks, Blame the Customer

You’re starting a business. A business where image matters. A lot. Should you pick a trademark that helps you build the image you’re trying to create?

For those of you playing at home, the answer is coming up on your screen:

YES.

Because then you won’t have to run an ad campaign that’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but is actually condescending and, well, stupid. Like DressBarn’s ad campaign that plastered the NY subway system in October of 2015.

IMG_1311

When DressBarn® started it was probably trying to connote “great clothes at lower prices.” Maybe the trademark was funny, ironic, and timely then, but it doesn’t seem to be working for them now, which is why they have an ad campaign that says:

“We picked a trademark that communicates the wrong message. We hope you’ll shop here anyway.”

Judging from the ad, I’m guessing its marketing research showed that its brand is actually driving customers away. Instead of creating a valuable asset out of nothing, DressBarn created a liability that it now has to overcome just to get back to zero.

Isn’t the point of a trademark to bring customers in?

Sigh.

I wonder if DressBarn and Radio Shack used the same marketing agency.

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