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Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category

Throwing The Market A Curve

In Branding, Business, Naming, San Francisco, Trademarks, Uncategorized on October 8, 2010 at 3:57 am

Some of the brand name development efforts that happen at Lexicon® Branding remain in the shadows. It may be a name for a select segment of software engineers. Or a major brand’s soft drink that gets test marketed in Topeka, Kansas, and never gets any closer to a rollout. But every so often we get a chance to be part of something big, bold, and uniquely different.

Types of CurvesIn the case of Levi’s Curve ID® fit system, the brand behind several new lines of womens jeans from San Francisco-based Levi-Strauss, it’s not so much that we helped them create a name for jeans specifically built for a variety of female body shapes and sizes. Instead, it’s the excitement of being part of their audacious, in-your-face advertising campaign that’s bringing awareness to the new jeans.

Bus stop posters proclaiming, “Not All Asses Were Created Equal”. Giant billboards declaring, “For Prima Donnas and Girls Named Donna”. A newly debuted “Levi’s Girl” (Meghan Ellie Smith, @thelevisgirl) who is tweeting and posting on Facebook about her adventure as the first to be so dubbed, moving from New York City to San Francisco.

All Asses Were Not Created Equal

One of Levi's Curve ID billboards

Some brand names get a slow start, seeming more to escape from their corporate headquarters than to blast their way onto the scene. In this case, with our head office being in Sausalito, California, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from “The City”, everyone who works here is seeing Curve ID no matter which route they take to work, whether they travel by public or personal transportation.

For Prima Donnas and Girls Named Donna

We’ve often wondered why most clients wait until the very end of a new product’s development before they even start thinking about a name. To our way of looking at the process, the sooner that name creation can be involved, the easiest it becomes to conceptualize the final brand and the strategy that needs to go into launching and supporting it. In that regard, the system in most industries seems to be a bit broken, which is why we applaud our friends at Levi Strauss for choosing to get Lexicon in the mix during the early stages of developing the brand that became Curve ID.

For a brand that’s meant to open people’s eyes to a new way of buying, trying and wearing womens jeans, Curve ID as an exciting new brand has been presented in some new and eye-opening ways itself.

— David Placek

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Big Brands Urged to Set Sail in San Francisco

In America's Cup, Branding, Business, Naming, Sailing, San Francisco, Trademarks on October 4, 2010 at 10:22 pm

There’s a very good chance that when the next edition of the America’s Cup race is run, the boats will be sailing in San Francisco Bay. And Bay Area-based brands may be a large part of the reason why.


The BMW Oracle boat in the second race of this year's America Cup

Last February, during the most famous race to sail the high seas, the winner was BMW Oracle Racing. The team, backed by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, not only won the namesake trophy but also the right to choose where the next race is to take place. That won’t be until 2013, which gives the lead contending cities — Valencia, Spain; a site in Italy; and San Francisco, California — a fighting chance to make themselves pretty before a choice is made. And “fighting” is the operative word.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, “San Francisco is facing tough competition from the other locations, which are offering major public subsidies that could potentially be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a memo from the Mayor’s Office. The competition to host the prestigious event is stiff because the regatta is expected to produce more than a billion dollars in revenue for the host.”

In these tough economic times, that’s not money to sneeze at. And so it is that the America’s cup is being given very serious consideration. On Tuesday, Mayor Gavin Newsome discussed a framework of a financial and land agreement between the City By The Bay and the BMW Oracle Team. San Francisco would hand over three properties on the southeastern waterfront — Piers 30-32, 50, and seawall lot 330 for free. The America’s Cup team would also enjoy long-term rights to develop the properties.

The team, however would shell out $150 million in immediate structural improvements, seismic refitting, and whatever else is necessary to bring the area back to commercial viability.

Here’s where the local businesses, industries, and their attendant brands really stand to gain some international exposure. The city promised the America’s Cup team that they would beat the drum to raise in the neighborhood of $270 million in corporate sponsorships. And, as if to demonstrate the true power of a brand, state Democrats and Republicans are putting aside their differences in order to work together to bring the America’s Cup to the San Francisco shore. What’s good for the city is good for the state, it seems.

And in order for the city’s good name to win the day — and the running of the next America’s Cup — it’s going to take the hard work and a lot of money of the companies behind some of the Bay Area’s best known brands. From high tech to biotech, from sports marks to bike works, everyone’s going to be on the hook to help bring the America’s Cup back home.

Ultimately, the question may come down to the power of America’s brands. The other venues will be pulling equally hard for the honor of hosting the next race, and it stands to reason their home team brands will be out there, strutting their stuff. Until the boats involved are actually in competition, it’s likely to be all about “may the best brands win!”

— David Placek