Are Pseudo-Brands Really Brands?

One of these things is not like the other. Actually, quite a few of them are very different. But all of them claim to be “brands.” I know this because they are names of various things being sold on Amazon and yes, these names are registered in the US Trademark Office.

Illustration by The New York Times

But are they really “brands?”

Welcome to the world of “Pseudo-Brands.” You see, Amazon likes products that are branded. And some manufacturers do not want to put any effort into developing a brand name that has meaning. This is how you end up with a name like MAJCF for winter gloves. The manufacturer needs to get a name through the US Trademark Office and the easiest way to do that is to make the name non-sensical (so there are no potential trademark conflicts).

A recent New York Times article exposed this new wave of “branding.” Here is the article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/11/style/amazon-trademark-copyright.html

Of course, as a professional name developer, this is an affront to my core beliefs. Yes, there is extra effort in developing a great brand name that communicates meaning, and yes getting it through the US Trademark Office is often difficult. If it were easy nobody would hire me! But I can assure you, developing a real brand name is always worth it!

Pseudo-Brands only confuse. Real brands matter! Invest in your future and develop a real brand!

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