Hold My Beer

“I’m going to sell tube tops meant to be worn with a bra. I’m going to use the trademark  SEE MY STRAPS to sell the tube tops,” says a fictional entrepreneur.

“I think that’s a great idea,” says UNTUCKIT, a company that makes shirts meant to be worn untucked.

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“When you drop by my store in Soho, my window will show the tube tops worn without a bra, even though the whole point is to have people actually, you know, SEE MY STRAPS,” says the fictional entrepreneur.

“Bold decision,” says UNTUCKIT, “Our window display features our shirt tucked in.”



“I’m also going to pretend it doesn’t bother me when other clothing stores dress their mannequins in tube tops with bra straps showing and a sign that says ‘Don’t be shy! Let people see your straps,'” our fictional entrepreneur boasts.

“We aren’t at all upset about this J. Crew window,” says UNTUCKIT.

“Once SEE MY STRAPS gets going, I’m going to branch out into men’s T-shirts, shorts, slacks and shoes even though SHOW MY STRAPS seems like an odd trademark for those items,” gushes the fictional entrepreneur.

“I’m sure everyone will assume you’re being ironic” says UNTUCKIT.[1]

“And then I’m going to enter the children’s clothing market. SHOW MY STRAPS isn’t really the best trademark for that. I think I’ll go with PEE MY CRAPS.”

“Hold my beer,” says UNTUCKIT.[2]

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[1] In addition to shirts, Untuckit, LLC also has applications or registrations for UNTUCKIT for sweaters, shorts, pants, shoes, belts, and hats, sunglasses and bracelets.

[2] Untuckit, LLC has filed two applications to register FUNTUCKIT for various clothing for boys and girls.


You Aren’t Clever Enough to Get Our Trademark

Radios were once all the rage. Shacks were once a cool place to shop, but in the 21st century no one wants to shop at RADIO SHACK®.

Meet the “Radio Shack Problem“: A descriptive trademark that holds you back when markets and social trends move on.

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This ad campaign by DRESS BARN® attempted to overcome a self-inflicted marketing wound by claiming that it’s really the customers who are too dense to get it.

OVERSTOCK.COM® is spending tons on advertising to convince customers that the word “overstock” in their name is just a great big misunderstanding and customers certainly shouldn’t think of them as an “overstock” company.

Rice Krispies

2-pound Rice Krispie Treat®

A recent trip to my local IT’SUGAR® showed they’re on track to become a Radio Shack Problem. IT’SUGAR sells candy bars the size of coffee tables. They also sell tchotchkes that aren’t made of sugar. Pretty soon they’ll be running ads to let everyone know they sell both edible and non-edible chazerei.

Non-sugar Chazerai


Don’t be a Radio Shack Problem. Pick a trademark that’s suggestive so it will stand the test of time: NEST®, ROOMBA®, APPLE®, GOOGLE®, AMAZON®. Those brands will go anywhere, anytime and do anything you need them to do.

The owners of those trademarks never have to berate customers for not understanding their brand because those companies didn’t mislead their customers in the first place.


Thanks to Liz B. and Max F. for sending stuff that suggested this post.