The Finnish news have recently covered the change of name of Itella Corporation (the state-owned postal and logistics service provider) into Posti which is the former, traditional name of the postal company (posti = mail, post in Finnish). Posti changed its name into a more international name Itella a few years ago, but it is now returning to the all-familiar name Posti.
A company is known by its name. It is with the name or brand that a company distinguishes its goods or services from those of others in the same market. From the point of view of trademark protection, names hold special significance.
What kind of name is a good trademark?
Our trademark attorney Elina Heikkilä gives eight valuable tips for a good name or brand:
- Short or otherwise nipping.
- One which does not describe the product. Onion is not a good or identifiable mark for vegetables, but for consultation services or for a smart phone application it may go well.
- One which works in many languages.
- One which is easily pronounceable. The abbreviation ZKXC might give a futuristic impression, but it is not easily pronounced let alone remembered.
- One which holds with changing times and market turmoil.
- One which is not confusable with the name or brand of someone else.
- One which brings about positive associations.
While one considers adopting a new trademark, it is worth the effort to turn over different mark candidates, examine their possible meanings in other languages, and to make use of search engines as well as run sufficient searches in trademark databases in order to find out that the mark is not already reserved to someone else for similar products.
It’s all in the name, but a bad or a poor name may hinder running of a successful business. The more descriptive a mark is of the products, the more effort one needs to obtain exclusive rights in the mark. The harder the mark is to remember or to pronounce, the more work is needed for the mark to permeate amongst the public, so that the consumers will recognize it and start developing an emotional connection with the brand.
It is most useful to spend time and resources in selecting a good name or brand. Once the selection has been made and sufficient searches have cleared, it is recommended to secure exclusive rights to the mark with sufficient registrations.