Tag Archives: domain disputes

Data & Brands – An Introduction To Creative Data From The Cannes Lions Festival

How do you create a brand using data?Last week was the Cannes Lions week, where some of the world’s most known brands descended on the south of France for the world’s biggest annual awards show and festival for professionals in the creative communications industry. This year Unilever; Intel; Facebook; Twitter; AirBnB; Google; Vice and more, were amongst the most talked about brands.

The world’s foremost professionals and leading thinkers were present to talk about this years’ hot topic: DATA.

What Data?

The word ‘Big Data’ is thrown around a lot with the advent of new technologies but what this is is alien to most businesses. Not every business has the capacity to filter through the vast amount of information it collects about a customer or client whether intentionally or incidentally to their business interactions or transactions. However, the use of this data has enabled the creative industry to drive complex ideas, and drive mass engagements to tell stories more than ever before.

Creative data is the data which can be used to produce highly targeted campaigns.

Tech and Global Brands

Marc Matthieu, former vice president of marketing at Unilever and soon to be Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung, said brands don’t get built the way they used to and if people think about the top brands in the world, it’s no longer Coca-Cola but the “Google’s and Apple’s of the world”, see the full article here.

What Marc says, to a large extent, is true. Technology has now become such an integral part of our lives that it has seems inconceivable that you wouldn’t just ‘Google’ something on your iPhone. What drives these companies is essentially how they are using the data that they collect to create a brand that seamlessly fits into our lives and delivers value.

Theo Theodorou, head of EMEA at xAd, says that Ad tech firms have begun making their mark for this very reason. He said that advertising technology is making its mark more than ever before because these companies are offering data driven ad targeting in location based mobile technology.

This means information provided by you through your digital interaction can be, and is increasingly being used to target you in very clever ways, wherever it is you are in the world.

While collecting ‘big data’ is all well and good, what companies are doing with that data is more important. According to AirBnB’s CMO, it is important to “work with talented people who understand how to tell a story out of data and use that story to inspire creative people, so the foundation on which the creatives are asked to work is actually robust”. In essence, extracting information and creating a story is not dissimilar to the function of a trade mark communicating brand values to customers when buying a product. To this extent, creating these stories is to create a brand and to create a brand is to create intellectual property, which is an asset and one which will require careful management if it is going to be successful.

The Googles and Apples of the world are some of the most prolific intellectual property generators developing some of the most advanced technology the public has yet to see and their success is because of successful IP strategies and management. Making your brand stand out requires more than extracting a story from the details of many, it involves a clear intellectual property strategy that allows you to create the value and continue commercialising it.

What makes your brand stand out?

In our post Brand Name – 8 Points To Consider Before You Name Your Product Or Service, we highlighted some of the elements that would help in creating a distinctive brand. For example, the data collected by a business may reveal some important details such as age demographics, shopping habits, location etc. When creating a story out of those details choosing an appropriately distinctive name to represent it is important as it will allow easy association and will help translate your product to your respective market.

Take for example the Compare the Meerkat campaign as a trade mark, it was noted that Jason Lonsdale of Saatchi and Saatchi was quoted as saying “They’ve done something unexpected and a bit bonkers, and it’s paid off. A campaign based on talking animals and a pun sounds like a terrible idea, but it works.” See the full article here.

Finding an appropriate name is half the part, however, as registering it is what will help maintain its aura. In this example, Alexsandr Orlov (the Meerkat) is actually a UK trade mark, see here.

Tech is king, but first movers win

If someone had already registered ‘Compare the Meerkat’ the campaign would have suffered immeasurably compared to what the brand is worth today.

With technology taking over every aspect of brand communication, being smart about brand strategy involves a lot more than creating innovative stories and concepts. It involves understanding the insights offered by data and the value of your intellectual property as much larger chess pieces in a commercial strategy that will help your business grow.

Intellectual Property & Food Photography – 3 Steps To Innovation

What are you doing with your food?

We all have something to say when it comes to food but the real question is what are you doing with it? Other than eating it of course, the movers and shakers of the digital age have found innovative ways to give you more than just a culinary experience.

Recently we wrote about ‘Is Posting Photos On Twitter A Breach Of Chef’s IP?‘ where we explored the relatively new phenomenon of taking pictures of the food we eat while at restaurants. Albeit commonplace, many restaurants, particularly some chefs, have seen this as an appropriation of their intellectual property.

1.       Identify your intellectual property and where its value lies

In our post ‘Is Posting Photos On Twitter A Breach Of Chef’s IP?‘ we looked at what intellectual property elements are involved in making and preparing food, as well as taking photos of it. We concluded that intellectual property will not protect your meal because of the underlying element of fixation that is required in order to be able to define what it is you are trying to protect. You can’t eat someone’s copyright nor would you expect to eat their trade mark, as Lord Justice Jacob expressed in his ruling referring to Bongrain’s cheese trade mark application.

Sombre news as it may be for some, others in the industry have taken advantage of the phenomenon, embracing innovation and turning it into profitable opportunities.

2.       Don’t do what everyone else is doing, take advantage of what it is they are doing!

In the last couple of months we’ve stumbled across some truly innovative ideas. Israeli based winery ‘Carmel Winery’ have come up with an interesting take of photographing your food with a viewing to uploading it onto social media. It is called: Foodography, and it is a project born by the “art of food image capture using a smartphone”. In essence, it involves a series of specially designed plates which (are protectable through Design law) allow you to take the most artistic image of your meal possible using your smartphone, see the how it works here.

Those of a more traditional disposition may see this concept as completely bizarre, however, it is more than just a mere gimmick. A recent article in business insider reveals that some chefs are embracing this digital phenomenon, also known as #Foodporn, and using it to their advantage. A good food shot can result in increased publicity and bookings for the restaurant. Certainly those restaurants equipped with specially designed plates that turn every amateur using their phone into a professional food photographer, and critic, wield a lot of commercial power.

3.       Go the extra mile

The trail doesn’t stop there, however. A new app developed by Google can now count the number of calories in your food through your Instagram photos. Im2Calories incorporates artificial intelligence which uses algorithms to estimate the number of calories in your food photos. Unlike the food you eat, this software is protectable by copyright and patent legislation. The real challenge is how big can you stretch your idea?

One thing is certain, the #Foodporn revolution is real and companies are commercialising it. The key is to understand where the value of your idea lies. Chances are that your winning recipe will only be half the ticket. Your appetite for innovation on the other hand extends the commercial opportunity beyond mere gustatory and olfactory senses.

Take control of your website, before you lose it

Take Control of Your WebsiteWebsites are absolutely essential to modern marketing.  Some industries are particularly reliant on them, for example travel and hotel businesses, who face fierce competition when their customers can quickly type a destination into Google to find scores of operators vying for attention.  Still, for anyone starting, or buying a business, the website is almost certainly one of the most important assets to consider.

Who, then, could take control of your website? There isn’t always a straightforward answer.  If you have any doubts, you could be in for a shock.

Doone Valley Holidays

That’s what happened to Mr Harman and his wife, who bought a holiday business, Doone Valley Holidays in 2003, based at Cloud Farm, and they invested heavily in developing their online presence.  No attention was given to the fact that the site remained registered to its previous owner, Mr Burge.

Cut to the Harmans 7 years later, when their business moved to a new address.  Despite the considerable financial investment they had made, and the length of time they spent at Cloud Farm, they had not thought to make sure the site was registered in their own names.  So, after they moved on, the former owner, Mr Burge, was able to take control of the site.  Which he did.  The former site content was no longer accessible, and all that remained was a notice:

“Doone Valley Holidays. Announcement. Doone Valley Holidays at Cloud Farm Look forward to seeing you in 2010”.

Imagine Mr Harman’s surprise when he began hearing from potential customers, that they couldn’t access the website.  Perhaps worse, although Mr Harman had taken time to let people know they would be moving, the heading mentioned above made it seem, at first glance, that the business would still be running from Cloud Farm.

Inevitably, these circumstances lead to:

  • lost business
  • considerable time and effort
  • legal costs
  • wasted marketing fees

It could have all been avoided if, at the time of buying the business, ownership of the website was given the attention it called for.

The dispute came to a head, and legal action resulted in an award of damages and interest in July this year, to the tune of £40,000.  Unfortunately, financial compensation is rarely enough to put a business in the position they might have been in, had the disruption, costs, and pressures which accompany litigation not arisen in the first place.  Prevention is better than cure.

Take control of your website

If you know the right questions to ask, a few simple steps can leave you free to build your business without worrying about waking up to find that someone else has taken control of your website.

You can find out more about doing business online, buying a business, website ownership and domain names on our website.  The full report for this case is available online here: Harman v Burge.

Preventing the cybersquatters and name squatting opportunists

It is obviously easier and cheaper to prevent cybersquatting and name squatting by pre-emptively protecting your brand and blocking your trade marks from being used by others.

For those who have missed the chance to register their business names with Facebook (see earlier post) the solution is to set up a Page and then register your company name once registration of further usernames opens.

Facebook does have a grievance procedure allowing you to report if someone’s username infringes on your intellectual property or publicity rights.

In the meantime, I noticed when I accidentally misspelt Facebook that the opportunists are fast at work buying up misspellings of Facebook user names. See here.

I predict a spate of cybersquatter and typosquatter disputes as Facebook and some of the brands whose names are registered in this way decide to challenge the registrations.