We’ve been involved in a lot of naming projects for companies, probably in the 100’s, and had yet to have an instance where the attorney rejected a name – until now.
When we create names for our clients, we always go through a preliminary trademark search with the USPTO and spend a good amount of time on Google to see if the name is available.
Naming has gotten harder; there are so many protected names out there that the challenge is greater than ever to find a name that is completely clean (where no one has a similar name even close to your selection). It’s rare to come up with a name where nary a soul is currently using it (if a company has been using the name, they have the right to the name even if it isn’t trademarked.)
Our project was to rename a terrific convenience store brand that has really taken the category to another level. Along with the standard “needs” a convenience store offers, this store is loaded with delicious Boars Head sandwiches, gourmet soups, craft beers, and a major selection of wines all the way to Dom Perignon and Cristal champagne.
We came up with the name “Take Five” and the client loved it, but our trademark attorney was concerned that the candy bar company with the same name (even though it is a different category from a store that sells grocery type items) could object and we didn’t want to risk a legal battle.
So we created a new concept and what we thought was – where do you have high quality things like your favorite wines or beers, along with some essentials right at your fingertips? Our answer was in the basement of your house. Or “Downstairs.”
We instantly created a brand identity an ad campaign and the URL getitdownstairs.com to sell the idea through, because once the client had fallen in love with Take Five, we knew it would be an uphill battle to get them enthusiastic about a completely new name.
We presented the name Downstairs with the tagline “steps beyond convenient”, and the rest is history.
When inventing a name, you have to really be able to think in a lot of different ways. And because it’s hard to find a name that is completely available, you have to explore and go places where no man has gone before – like Downstairs.