Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Different Take on Orphaned Works -- Orphaned Brands!

I received a press release last week from the team at CoreBrand. They focus on brand power and strength and its impact on a company's value. They wrote to tout a new service call Brandvault that will allow marketers to purchase or license once popular but now defunct corporate and product names. Names include Shearson, Allied Signal, Breakfast Mate and Handi-Wrap.

The company claims that "BrandVault offers marketers a turnkey collection of 120 out of use brand names that have been revived and newly trademarked in a wide range of consumer product categories, all ready for re-launch."

“This is a rare opportunity to acquire a classic brand that has been pushed aside through a merger, or some other quirk of business, yet retains tremendous brand equity,” said James Gregory, CEO, CoreBrand “The astronomical cost of creating a name from scratch includes; research, name development, and legal research, just to get to the point of having a name without any value. Those steps can be eliminated. These names exist and they are already legally protected through the trademark office.”

While I think this is a clever business that has been thoughtfully constructed, I'm not sure if I would use this if I were a brand manager. It has the same feel of company that went public via a shell corporation rather than going out in a traditional manner. I also think it could serve to confuse the public like when the Pets.com sock puppet went to work for someone else after the bubble burst.