Bye Bye Blogger

screenshot Marketing By Marlow blog

Dear Blogger,

You’ve been a reliable companion the past four-plus years. We’ve shared lots of stories — some good, some bad. 2008 was our most active year together.

But I’ve found someone new. Someone fresh and open to new possibilities.

It’s not you. It’s just time I moved on. My new partner offers more of what I’m looking for.

Try not to be jealous, but it will be hard…for you, I know. I’m sure you’ve heard of the multi-talented WordPress. She is only four years younger than you, but that’s generations in technology years. And WordPress dresses so much better — she has style, in reserves. Plus, she’s so dynamic. How can I ever get bored?

Imitation – the sincerest form of flattery?

NW Trail Alliance logo

This week, PUMP (Portland United Mountain Pedalers) unveiled a new name and logo for the mountain bike advocacy organization. The new name, Northwest Trail Alliance, sounds flat and uninspiring compared to PUMP.

The new logo, however, is what’s really unoriginal. When you borrow another organization’s logo, that’s not called rebranding. Let’s call it copybranding.

Seattle’s Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club recently rebranded and chose a controversial name– Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. Did Kris Schamp (former marketing specialist for Bike Gallery) unconsciously, or consciously, misappropriate the logo (below) that BBTC had used for over ten years?

Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club logo
The recently retired BBTC logo was created by Ross Cattelan, a long-time BBTC supporter and professional graphic designer. After I developed a concept with another designer, Ross added depth to the imagery and he created a new color palette that was used across all BBTC marketing materials (until last year when BBTC evolved to Evergreen).

Legally, Northwest Trail Alliance is not in danger of trademark violation. Its new design deviates significantly enough from the BBTC logo that it is probably not “confusingly similar.”

When determining infringement, the Court considers the following elements:

  1. Strength of the mark
  2. Proximity of the goods
  3. Similarity of the marks
  4. Evidence of actual confusion
  5. Marketing channels used
  6. Type of goods and the degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser
  7. Defendant’s intent in selecting the mark
  8. Likelihood of expansion of the product lines

A little market research and common courtesy can help ward off trademark suits.

Color Communicates

screenshot Cipalla Communications website

Project: New Website
Client: Cipalla Communications
CSS/XHTML Development: Marketing By Marlow

Even communicators must communicate. Rita Cipalla launches

  • “Your site looks great, very professional, easy to navigate.”
  • “I love the web site. Very cool– very crisp!”
  • “The vibrancy of color, the content of your test, your graphics,everything is TOP-NOTCH….just outstanding! So professional yet warm and engaging.”
  • “Very impressive website. I quickly and easily, with interest, viewed the whole thing. Very professional, to the point, and logical.”
  • “I like the feel and look of it. It says a lot without feeling heavy.”
  • “I checked your website. My, oh, my, it’s lovely. I felt like I was floating through the background images — very ethereal. The colors are great.”

“Scott was so easy to work with. He was thoughtful, good-natured and ever-so-patient with the many tweaks and edits that I made to my web site during the HTML design phase. He willingly considered each of my requests, regardless of how small, and was honest in his assessment and recommendation. I’m very pleased with how my site turned out, and I continue to get great feedback on it.”
Rita Cipalla, president
Cipalla Communications

Graphic design by Barbara Hartinger of Poetica Design

Emotional Branding

In an out-of-control world it is the most human instinct of all to want to be able to impact our immediate surroundings with things of beauty and originality: This gives us a sense of control…Finding an element of human touch reconnects us to what’s real.

from Emotional Branding by Marc Gobé.