A Tale of Two Trademarks

In 2013, Randy Goldberg and David Heath started a company to sell socks. In 2019, they added other items of apparel to their lineup.

In 2017, Shopify launched an app that allows you to track all your package deliveries. In 2020, they added the ability to use the app to shop from your favorite stores.

Two stories of companies growing and changing, much the same, except for one detail:

  • Randy and David chose the brand BOMBAS for their socks allowing them to easily leverage the brand to cover their new products.[1]
  • Shopify used ARRIVAL for the app they launched in 2017. The descriptiveness of ARRIVAL meant that Shopify had to change the name of the app when they added new features.

Even worse, Shopify didn’t learn its lesson: They named the new app SHOP, which is the worst trademark I’ve heard so far this year because it both downplays the feature that 16 million users are already using while also limiting the new features they can add without having to re-rebrand.


Big shout out to Julie and Cassandra for the tips that led to this post.


[1] I would still think the BOMBAS branding is still brilliant even if they didn’t have a bee as part of their logo.

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