Thursday, June 29, 2006

What happens when people steal your brand?

OK, maybe "steal" is a harsh word.

But over the years I've accumulated quite a collection of commercials, advertisements and promotions from businesses, organizations and people who have used "HELLO, my name is..." (or some sort of nametag) as part of their branding.

Like this commercial for Paxil (left) from a few years back. I remember the first time I saw it. I was watching TV with my folks. Naturally, my parents said, "Oh Scotty, they should sponsor you!"


Right. Of course they should. Thanks Mom & Dad. I'll just pick up the phone and call the marketing department of that multi-billion dollar pharm company and ask them to sponsor me. (Parents are great, huh?!)

But after that commerical, it started to pop up everywhere. For example, The St. Louis CVB. www.mynameisstlouis.com

The funny thing is, I've given several speeches in the hospitality industry and many of these guys have been in the audience! (They're very cool, by the way.) And what's even funnier is, a lot of people have emailed me asking if we're working together - which we're not. Too bad.

Here are few more...

A recent press release from Yahoo!, Mark Sanborn's website for The Fred Factor and a magazine ad for the Sopranos (these were actually peel-off stickers!)














Then there's all the clothing and merchandise (the first two are from David & Goliath Tees:














Then there's my main man David Cross with a few of his fans:










And lastly, just some cool art (thanks to Isis Rodriquez and Farnsworth Blotto) :
















So, back to the original question: what do you do when people "steal" your brand?

Nothing. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Share it with the world. Because honestly, I'm not so arrogant to think I had anything to do with these images. (I'm sure the list goes on, too.) And even though I've been in touch with some of the people who created these images, I've had no luck with any sort of partnership.

And you know what? I don't care. I don't get frustrated when I see stuff like this. I know I own the word nametag, legally or not. I figure these pictures could only help reinforce my own brand.

Look, it's a big pie. We're all gonna get a slice!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Has anyone ever "stolen" your brand?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com