Verbal Identity with Rob Meyerson
Rob Meyerson is the principal and founder of Heirloom, an independent brand strategy and identity firm. His specialities include brand strategy and positioning, naming and messaging, brand architecture, qualitative research, and organizational change.
In this episode, we discussed why IP is not included in branding projects and covered:
- The lack of job training for brand consultants and the culture of learning by doing that prevails
- Checking company and product names
- Building distinctive brand assets, versus the simplicity in design approach that prevails
- What to consider when naming — what makes some names stronger than other names
- Whether the legal dimension is a limiting factor that constrains the creative process
- Positioning — does that impact your name choice?
- IP’s role in managing competition
- The negative reputation of lawyers
Shireen Smith: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Brand Tuned podcast. So, I'm Shireen Smith, a brand tuned. And my guest today is going to be Rob Meyerson of Heirloom. This is a branding firm that is based in California. And he's the founder of bird, we're going to be discussing the fact that IP is often not included in the branding projects that certainly I come across in the UK. And I want to sound him out and see what it's like for his branding agency. Over in the US do they include training in IP for designers and marketers, which is certainly something that's not included in my experience in the UK. You know, 10 years ago, when I wrote my book, legally branded, it was because I was somewhat surprised that IP wasn't understood by many designers and marketers I came across. And now that I've written my new book branch, and the story isn't actually very different. So, I've decided to devote this series to looking into whether IP needs to rebrand what is the problem.
Shireen Smith: So, welcome to the brand-new podcast. Rob, tell us a bit more about your background what you do.
Rob Meyerson: Sure. Thank you. Happy to be here. And thanks for inviting me to join you on the show. I'm a brand consultant. I've been doing this for over 15 years, both mostly on the agency side. So doing brand strategy, I was a strategist, worked my way up to strategy director leading teams of strategists to do brand positioning brand architecture, messaging work for clients in the United States. But then I lived in Asia for some time and worked with clients in China and Southeast Asia. And then I also started doing a lot of naming work and what we call verbal identity. So again, messaging and voice as well as naming. And so, when I got back to the US after my time living in Asia, I joined Interbrand, and was their head of verbal identity in San Francisco. I then went over to HP on the client-side and ended up naming and brand architecture for them. And now I am out on my own, through an agency called Heirloom that I set up, doing the same kind of work naming brand strategy, we do visual identity design, as well, and pretty much full service, branding, and brand identity. And that's where I am now. And some of the listeners and viewers may also not be from a blog and podcast that I started called how brands are built.
Shireen Smith: Great, so obviously, working for companies like Interbrand IP, intellectual property was definitely taken into account. But in my experience, it's the marketers and designers are not trained in IP, you know, so you have brand management courses with no, nothing at all in them about IP. And a lot of designers and marketers I've come across, haven't actually understood IP, it's taken me a while to realize that the reason is they're not trained in it, and how to upskill themselves. So, I wonder what you think of that? I mean, are they trained in IP over in the States?
Rob Meyerson: No, not in my experience. So that's, I would, I would preface it by saying that to be perfectly honest, there isn't a lot of on-the-job training for brand consultants at all, which I think is really unfortunate. A lot of it is learned by doing, learn through experience, read case studies, you know, learn from your manager on the job, but there's not a lot of formal training in my experience. So, IP is like the furthest thing from people's minds because they're not even being trained on the on the services that they're supposed to provide to clients. The only place where I think there's a little bit of an understanding of IP is in naming, for obvious reasons, it's a necessity. But even there, it's really more kind of on-the-job. experience you work with a trademark prescreen or, or sometimes directly with trademark attorneys. And so, as you start presenting names to clients and things like that you learn a little bit about How trademark law works, hopefully. But that's really it. So outside of namer’s inside of agencies and not going to clients, I don't think there's a whole lot of IP training.
Shireen Smith: Right? In my experience, often, agencies will choose a name for the client, which they've cleared to some extent themselves. And then they give it to the client and say, ask your own lawyers to check it. Is that how it works? So, you know, in your experience,
Rob Meyerson: Yeah, sort of agencies shouldn't be presenting. Well, nobody should be presenting names really, that haven't gone through at least the bare minimum of trademark prescreening. So, I mean, frankly, even a Google check can often tell you whether or not you could realistically use a name. But of course, you can do quite a bit more than that on, for example, the US Patent trademark offices database, which is freely available, and that's pretty quick and easy to check before you present any names. So usually, the way the process sort of ends or starts to come to a conclusion is, rather than handing over a single name and saying, now have your lawyers check it, it ought to be a handful names. So, and I use that purposely loosely. So, three, four, or five, six kinds of depends on the situation, how, how treacherous the trademark landscape is, but you want to have that small number of names that the client is happy with? Oh, sorry about that. Let me turn off that a lot. And have them go to their own attorneys to get a deeper sense of which names are sort of safest to use or are the best from a legal standpoint before they make that final, final decision.
Shireen Smith: So, when you commit to a naming project, do just agree that the name is going to be available in every jurisdiction? Or do limit the naming to say, availability in the US how to deal with?
Rob Meyerson: It depends on what the client needs, but we do try to address that up front. You know, where are you going to be using this name, understanding that you may be growing outside of your current geographic area in the future, you know, trying to think into the future a little bit about where you might need to be able to use the name. And so, we try to do the checks. Whenever we do prescreening, we try to do them to match whatever Geography The client has specified. And that goes for legal, but it's also a question we asked about linguistics, making sure that the name makes sense and doesn't mean something offensive, or is impossible to pronounce in whatever those countries and cultures and languages are that they're gonna be doing business.
Shireen Smith: Well, some names are really very difficult to check if they have some sort of meaning and tend to be used a lot by other brands, you know, whereas if it's a totally distinctive name, it's very easy to do an international check on a name. So do consider that when you're choosing names that if you're using a name internationally, then it's got to be relatively simple to check it internationally, or what.
Rob Meyerson: I kind of so I typically will work with a trained trademark pre-screener, I work with one who is an attorney, and another who isn't. But both of them have decades of experience doing just this kind of work. And to be perfectly honest, I like kind of leaving it up to them to make some of those judgment calls because of their experience and expertise. And then I just sort of, you know, sometimes I'll have a conversation with them if I need to understand a little bit more, or if I want to push back on something, because it seems like maybe they're being overly conservative. But generally, I sort of go with what they recommend. And there is I do find that it seems like they're kind of too, you know, will present things that seem like they are likely to be available for that are sort of gray area there. It's amazing. And those maybes seem to mute you know this better than I do, but it seems to be either. It's a pretty distinctive name, but maybe there's one or two other people using something similar that just maybe is a concern. And it's kind of hard. It's a judgment call that we want our clients to ask their lawyers about, or it is a name that is being used by everyone. So, it's so I guess the neighbors? Yeah, they refer to it as a crowded field. And they said that it's being used by so many people, that it's hard, it would be hard for any one company to claim that they owe, and therefore, maybe it's kind of safe for us to use it. And we're, we're typically, it depends, but a lot of times we're more concerned with, can we use the name without getting sort of in the hot water, legal hot water, then can we register and own this name as a trademark ourselves? Now, sometimes, of course, we want the ladder as well. But for a lot of projects, it's really just, you know, it doesn't matter so much whether we can own it, we just want to make sure we can use it without somebody else coming after us.
Shireen Smith: Really, would that be a fit of products or something? Because I would have thought, you know, essentially, when a business sells the brand alone, which might be on administration, if it goes insolvent, the what's valuable is often the brands and that's what changes hands, and usually you would want trademark registrations to show ownership, you retain value really.
Rob Meyerson: Right, yeah, I should have been more specific for a company name, you typically want to be able to own and trademark it for, I guess, from a pure number’s standpoint, for sort of obvious reasons. There are a lot more products and features even or programs or services that require naming than then companies, because every company might have a dozen products. And so, from a number standpoint, a lot of times if we're just naming, you know, 12 services that they offer to their customers that, frankly, are somewhat, you know, similar to their competitors, that it's more just kind of call it that but you write for a company name. Yeah, we typically want to make sure that can have some rights to.
Shireen Smith: Well, I've been looking at loss at this distinctiveness that Byron sharp talks about that essentially what lasts is distinctiveness rather than differentiation, which is really about how the law can actually protect things. So if you have symbols, which is sort of just in a circles or whatever, but lots and lots of businesses have, that's again, going to be something that isn't going to cause you a problem to use, but it's going to be very difficult to stand out with, you know, using a brand identifier that's not really that distinctive. You know, so distinctiveness really matters a lot in terms of the law and being able to stand out. And one reason I'm a bit surprised that people create brands without taking account of the legal dimension, is that you don't know if it's going to be protectable. Like, in my book, I gave the examples of Cheerios, they tried to register, I can't remember, Mills something Mills, they tried to register the color yellow that they'd been using for 45 years. They couldn't because it's an industry color. So, when and the whole industry is using a term that's generic, or that needs to be used in that industry, or using a color like white for milk, then it's not going to be possible for one company to monopolize that word or that color. So, it's again about understanding distinctiveness in law that determines whether what you're creating is going to be valuable for a brand or not. So, to me, it's really very much part and parcel of branding IP. And yet, I'm surprised that it's sort of treated as if it's something over there that you don't need to worry about unless you're highly successful and want to protect what you've got So.
Rob Meyerson: Right well, I mean, I think there's a premium in the industry put on creativity, for whatever, you know, whatever, however you define that, and I think that probably designers and namer’s, and other people, creating things on behalf of clients maybe feel that the legal dimension is sort of a limiting factor that they would prefer to not be constrained by during the creative process, which I think is understandable. You know, in any creative process. You want to have a space I think, where you're sort of unfiltered where you're just going on within my work. And so, I think maybe that because of that there's maybe a little bit of an aversion to, to knowing too much about what will and won't work from, from a legal standpoint because it could actually constrain creativity. But that's just my speculation. And it's not to say that everyone shouldn't do a better job of understanding the legal and IP implications, because at some point, obviously, to your point that that does become very, very important.
Shireen Smith: Yeah, I think that you're spot on with what you say, I think there's this view that also lawyers are going to ruin it in some way, you know, spoil the creativity if they get if they're involved. So, if you're having problems with the outcome, then I can understand that when you're brainstorming, like choosing a number of names, and going through a process where you need to be creative and not constrained. But then when you're coming up with the finals, it seems to me absolutely should be taking account of the IP dimension, or at least the client should know how important it is. And then they can choose if they don't want it. I don't know what the answer is. But I'm just really surprised.
Rob Meyerson: It's a great question. A lot of times on the present, name finalists are down again to that final four or five. Sometimes we'll help clients make a decision by putting together sort of a scorecard for them that shows pros and cons and different kinds of ways of ranking, or rating, the different name ideas, and one column in that spreadsheet would definitely be the legal assessment. And, you know, it's very hard to translate any lawyers opinion into something like a letter grade, but or stoplight, you know, kind of, but, but sometimes we'll do our best or will really push the lawyer or the pre screener to give us something that we can use to just say, this one seems like it's an A plus, this one seems like it's a C minus from a, an availability or an ability standpoint. But that's just it's a very important factor. But it's one factor that they might be weighing against many others. Some of which are more subjective, more creative aspects. Another thing that I think is maybe relevant here is there's a lot of interest in the brand and community around simplicity. And there's a thought right around that, that simpler ideas. And that could be a simple logo or a simple name, or net easier to remember or have other sort of benefits from just pure branding standpoint. And I think that also sometimes runs in conflict to legal availability. So, to your point, a simple circle, might be a great logo in some industry, where everybody else has a really complicated dizzy looking logo, and you just want to show that you're the simplest option. And so, part of that is a visual identity that is very simple. And so, you just want something like a, you know, an elementary school shape, Circle Square Triangle. But I would think that a lot of times, it's very hard to own something so simple. I guess it all depends on the on the industry and the landscape. But I do think maybe that's another trend that that you see current running counter to creating really distinctive and easily protectable marks.
Shireen Smith: Yeah, I think the Byron sharp points about distinctiveness are being taken on board, but not from a legal point of view. Because from a legal point of view, you ideally want several identifiers not just to be reliant on say, a color, and a very simple, you know, stylized word mark. because how else are you going to be recognized if the color you can't own because it's very, very difficult to own a color. So, if a competitor comes along and uses the same color, all you have is a different name. If you're not using a particular font, or some other thing by which to stand out at least if you have a circle that enables you to stand out from somebody who doesn't have a circle, but I think you need several identity as a not to just use, you know, the barest minimum, because otherwise, you're not going to be distinctive.
Rob Meyerson: Absolutely, yeah, I think always, even just within the visual identity realm, I always encourage clients to think in terms of systems. So, it's not just the logo. It's not just the color. It's all of these elements working together to create a coherent whole. And you've probably heard this sort of belief that you should be able to take the logo off of an ad and still know what brand it's from based on photography style, or a headline, or sort of the voice of the copy on the ad or the fonts or the colors. And he, I think, you know, that's very hard to do. But I think it's true to an extent. But yeah, if you have a really good system in place, then even when you remove an element, you can still tell which brand it's coming from. And I think that's in line. Yeah. To your point. It's in line with Byron Sharps's work and his partner in crime. I'm not sure how to pronounce her name. Romaniuk. Yes. Distinctive, building distinctive brand assets. I believe that their work would support that as well, that sort of, it's almost the more the merrier in terms of having really distinctive brand elements. I just think, ideally, they work well together. And to a degree, you can, you can sort of see a coherent whole, it's not just a bunch of random things, each of which is distinctive. That might, that might work. But I think from a creative standpoint, at least you want something that feels cohesive as well.
Shireen Smith: Sure, yes yeah. I was actually, there was something I was about to say, which I forgotten. Yes, we'll come back to me, we can come back to that later. And I'll edit out this bit. Sure. So, when you're choosing a name for somebody, what was your process? What do you look for?
Rob Meyerson: Well, first, we work on a naming brief together, which really defines what we're looking for, for the most part, and every naming project is different. And so, we may decide that we're looking for names that express a certain idea or a certain emotion, we may rule certain ideas out in the brief. We may be looking for certain types of names. So maybe we only want real English words for some reason. I mean, it could just be client preference. But often there's a more strategic reason for it. Looking at the competition and saying, you know, everybody's using coins, made up words, and we just want to do something different here. So really, that brief defines the majority of what it is that we're trying to look for. I think there are a few, maybe almost universal things that make names stronger than other names. And I kind of break those into three categories. There are some creative elements. So, is it just memorable, which is hard to define? But does it? Does it stick in your mind for whatever reason? distinctiveness I would say is related to that, of course, there are strategic things. It does, it doesn't match the strategy of the brand. And then probably one of the most important things is just the technical constraints around names. So legal availability, linguistic viability, and things like is it easy to spell and pronounce? So, there are some names, excuse me some names that tick off all the boxes, but then it's just a hard work to say out loud. And that's almost definitely a problem for minute.
Shireen Smith: Sure yes, so in terms of being able to remove the name from something and still be recognized, you have to be really famous, like MasterCard, really have brand elements that are well known and have been used and are unique to you before you can remove them and be recognized. Don't you think? I mean? Could a new brand do that?
Rob Meyerson: Yeah, I think that's definitely right. No, generally a new brand couldn't, couldn't do that. There are all kinds of variables at play. You know, how big is the market size I suppose that you might be able to earn some kind of or develop fame more quickly. If you only have if you have a very small customer base. If it's maybe b2b, and there are only a small number of kinds of potential clients and you're able to get in front of them in a serious way very quickly, then maybe you can get to that level of fame more quickly. But I think generally, you're right, you need to earn that level of memorability before you can start being our being a little more loose with your, your brand elements. You know, there are these brands that have started dropping their name from their logo. So, Apple will just use the icon for example, and think Motorola, Levi's, maybe AT&T will do this in a lot of different applications. They'll just show that that recognizable distinctive Nikes. Another one of course, mark.
Shireen Smith: So, playing in a campaign, you mean.
Rob Meyerson: Yeah, in a campaign I mean, yeah, or even on products that depend on, you know, what the space is. And so, I think that's created an impression amongst some, maybe more amateur people doing branding work that that, that that's a goal, to get to that level of fame, which perhaps it is, but because of that, they think they should do it now that they've created a logo, and that doesn't have a name with it, and just start using that without a name. And, yeah, to your point, it's way too early to do that until you are Nike or Apple or one of those other companies.
Shireen Smith: So, if positioning, does that impact your name choice? I mean, if you decide on a particular positioning strategy, would that then impact those types of names you choose?
Rob Meyerson: Definitely should Yes. So that Yeah, depending on what the positioning is, but if you are trying to, to own a certain idea that is unique in the space, or have a certain kind of brand personality that you feel like is unique in a space, however, you're trying to distinguish yourself from the competition that should ideally come out through the name.
Shireen Smith: Yeah, you see, I think that's where the law can actually help protect somebody's positioning, even if competitors begin to copy the positioning and everything. If you've become associated in people's minds with a certain product or approach, then your name and branding are what are going to protect that positioning, if you like, right associations that people have, are also attached, I think so although you can't directly protect positioning, I think indirectly is protected through your distinctive assets.
Rob Meyerson: Right, the assets are kind of ideally, they're the tangible manifestations of your intangible brand positioning. And it's only those tangible things that are, I think, that are that are legally protectable because they're tangible, it's very hard to me, you know, better than I do, but it's hard to protect an abstract idea, right? Even patent law will only protect things that are tangible.
Shireen Smith: Yeah. But you know, if you've got the name in some way associated with your positioning, then even if competitors have copied the positioning, then at least you've got that name.
Rob Meyerson: Right yeah. A good example or not, but one of my clients is a security software and hardware company. And I worked with a brand strategist who did the strategy and positioning work. Her name is Karen Williams, and the sort of core idea of the positioning that she developed for them was about illuminating people's networks to illuminate the shine a light into them and find security threats. And so, she did all the work all the research, looking at competitors and determining that this felt like an idea that they could own and that would help them stand apart in the marketplace and all of that. And then we moved into the naming phase. And a lot of the name ideas had to do with illumination, and we ended up naming core light. And so that was really a direct kind of translation of that idea into the name Just sort of to light up the core of your network and find those security threats. And that's been a fantastic name for them that is distinctive that they can own, that have trademark rights do and they own the domain, but also really helps them tell the story that they want to tell and helps them set themselves apart from other security companies.
Shireen Smith: Right yeah, I was going to ask you whether there are any names that you particularly Wait, like, I mean, can you give me any examples?
Rob Meyerson: Yeah, I mean, that's one from my experience. Other names that I like. They're kind of the obvious ones. The big brands, I think of the big brands like Apple and Nike, one of my favorites is Virgin, I just feel like it's such a provocative idea, and just distinctive to use the word of the day. But amongst come, smaller brands are kind of less famous brands. A recent favorite of mine as a CBD soft drink named Recess, which I just think is a really fun way of conveying, you know, it's so kind of nostalgic for adults, I think, to think back to recess in school. And in a very short, simple word, it gives this sense of, of relaxation and fun and freedom. And they've just done a great job with a visual identity and packaging to kind of match that name.
Shireen Smith: And is it very different to the approach to naming that their competitors have?
Rob Meyerson: Yeah, it is. It's a really fast-growing competitive space, like quickly becoming saturated. They were, I believe, one of the earlier players, or one of the early ones I had heard of, but yeah, I think it's the short, simplicity. And the real word, makes it a little bit different from some of the other companies out there.
Shireen Smith: Competition is a real problem, which is, again, what IP protects, it's essentially about how to manage competition. Because if you've got IP rights in something like a trademark right to your name, it's much easier to put a stop to competitors using similar names. And when you haven't registered a trademark because then you're into unregistered territory. And the arguments are different. It's just, I think people should understand that actually, there is a value in getting registered rights, which is the protection, it gives you the ability to deal with competitors much more effectively.
Rob Meyerson: Yeah, I wrote an article saying that the worst possible name for your brand, or your startup is just any name that somebody else is already using. You know, I mean, there's lots of.
Shireen Smith: What even in another industry or another field.
Rob Meyerson: Basically, meaning another name, that you're going to end up having to change for legal reasons. I mean, it seems like a somewhat obvious statement, but there are a lot of, you know, terrible startup names in Silicon Valley, just like weird, awful words that are hard to pronounce that are, you know, have too many Q and Z in them, and that people obviously created just so that they could buy a .com, and things like that. So, it's easy to pick on these names. And a lot of them are bad. But I would argue that the worst scenario is, and I wrote this article, based on what had recently happened at the time with a company called Coachable, which was a, like a recruiting software company. And Coachable had been in business and been pretty successful for maybe five years, when they just buckled under the pressure to change their name from a couple of other companies that had been, you know, sending them cease and desist and taking them to court. And they had been kind of arguing in court. And, of course, the more successful they got the more of a target they had on their back. And these other companies had rights to names that were very similar to Coachable. And so, this company had to completely rebrand after five years, or maybe it was a little less than five years of success. And that, to me, is the worst-case scenario. It's almost like the more successful you are, the more likely that your unprotected name or improperly protected name will get you into trouble and you'll have to rebrand, and it was a big deal for them. The CEO wrote a blog post basically saying, don't do what we did. You know, make sure you talk to the lawyers and find a name that you can.
Shireen Smith: That's interesting, but by the way, what's your approach to .com do you think it’s important to have a .com.
Rob Meyerson: Well, it's, it's undoubtedly important, but I think everybody, almost everybody overestimates its importance. So, my recommendation is always to get the best name that you can and then worry about how you're going to get the domain. And that's for a couple of reasons. One is I do think people overestimate how important it is. It's, it seems to me that decreasingly important over time, there are more and more top-level domains available every year. So, things like, you know, there's net and .co, and .io. And there are more and more examples of big, successful companies that are not using the exact name .com. And I think people are getting more and more used to just searching for companies as opposed to typing in a .com to that. So. So those reasons, I think, make it maybe less important than people expect. But the other reason is really a process reason, it's really hard to know whether you're going to be able to get the .com at all, and for how much money in short order. So unlike legal prescreening, you know, legal prescreening, do pretty quickly and inexpensively and get a pretty good sense of Am I going to be able to protect this name. For domains, if you have 100 name ideas, and you want to know whether you can get the .com for any of those home for all of those 100 ideas. I mean, each one of those potentially is involves reaching out to whoever owns it, getting you know, you're reliant on them to respond that sometimes people don't respond, and then try to open some negotiations potentially around how much you can buy it for. It can take weeks, and so you can't really have a process where you're just quickly checking a bunch of ideas to see if you can get the .com unless you're looking for one that's actually available to just pick up from GoDaddy or whatever it is for $20 in which case, you're looking at some really, probably problematic names in other ways, because it's got to be like a strange string of letters that nobody else wanted.
Shireen Smith: Yeah, I think it's much more difficult to find a good name than it is to, you know, get a .com eventually because often people get .com 10 years later but even if you don't, as you say there's all these top-level domains and people's searching, the way they search online has changed completely from the days when .coms were essential.
Rob Meyerson: Yeah, exactly. I mean, there's so many Tesla did not own tesla.com at first, you know, Peloton, the bike, the exercise bike still doesn't own peloton.com even Nissan does not own Nissan.com. So, there are all these examples. And to your point, a lot of them. I suppose there's a whole strategy to doing this at the right time. But a lot of them will operate with a different domain for a few years. And then maybe they get around to funding and they feel like it's worth it and they spend $25,000 to buy the exact .com. I don't think there are two certainly no bootstrap startups are going to be doing spending that much on it. But if you've, if you've got a track record and got some success, then maybe then it makes sense to do that.
Shireen Smith: Yeah, when you're really successful, you can buy the domain.
Rob Meyerson: And the only cap there is that I guess the more I The reason I said I think there's a strategy to it is probably the more successful and well known you are, the more whoever owns that domain is going to ask you to pay for it. Yeah, I think you have to kind of time it right on your when you're successful, but not so famous that? It's going to ask for $5 million for.
Shireen Smith: Yeah. And the main thing is that it shouldn't be being used as a porn site or whatever. So, you need to pay attention to what the .com is being used for.
Rob Meyerson: Yeah, absolutely. It's always part of the prescreening process to just type in the exact command see what's there. Sometimes it's an actual competitor that is going to cause you legal problems, potentially, even though you didn't find them in sort of general sense. Other times, yeah, it's just a problem of problematics. I did have a client where they really liked the name. And they were close to going with it. And then it turned out the .com was a fetish letter site. And they almost went with the name anyway, because you know, we're in San Francisco, so it's pretty progressive, but they were like, that's fine. But the closer they got to going with the name, the more they started to get cold feet and feel like some of their investors might just be turned off by it or something so they ended up not?
Shireen Smith: So, do you think intellectual property has an image problem? Or I mean, do people think it's boring? Or what do you think?
Rob Meyerson: Probably I think lawyers probably have an image problem I'm sharing.
Shireen Smith: Really what’s that?
Rob Meyerson: Well, you know, I think generally, the fair or not The, the, they're all the jokes about lawyers in the sense that lawyers are not creative, and that they're dry, and that they often come into kind of, and the fun, right, they're the ones that tell you what you can't do. You know, I've had great experiences with lawyers that I've worked with, especially in house when I was at HP, we were very close with the trademark team. And they were absolutely fantastic. And, you know, a joy to work with. But I do think, you know, there's a reputation there. But the lawyers are just going to be the ones that tell you, you can't have name that you want. The best lawyers, of course, I think are the ones that work with you to help you figure out how to do something close to what you want to do, despite legal challenges.
Shireen Smith: Sure, so just before we wrap up, Rob, are there any good books that you would recommend to listeners who want to learn a bit more about brand strategy or naming.
Rob Meyerson: Well, of course, there's, there's your book Brand Tuned, right here.
Shireen Smith: Have you not written a book yourself?
Rob Meyerson: I have I have but it's not available yet.
Shireen Smith: What is called?
Rob Meyerson: It's called Brand Name. I went with the descriptive, you can't trademark the book title. So, I wasn't too concerned about legal availability. But yeah, Brand Naming the Complete Guide to Creating a Name for your Company, Product, or Service. It's going through production with my publisher. Now, I think it will be available around the end of the year. But if you follow me on social media, so probably the easiest thing to do is go to howbrandsarebuilt.com, my blog, and you'll be able to find links to my social media to my company Heirloom, everything from there. But if you sign up for the newsletter, or you follow me online, you will definitely be hearing about the book. And you know, when it's available for pre-order and things like that.
Shireen Smith: Great are there any other books you would recommend?
Rob Meyerson: Sure. I mean, I've made lists available, but I'm just looking.
Shireen Smith: On your blog.
Rob Meyerson: Yeah, there are lists on the blog on the resources page of both naming books and brand strategy books that I recommend. They're classics, I think I actually sometimes you mentioned, Byron Sharp and so How Brands Grow is a great, a great one to read. I think it's nice to read that and some of the classics like Positioning by Al Ries and Jack.
Shireen Smith: Yeh I'm reading this again, it's brilliant. It's so well.
Rob Meyerson: It is it is yeah, and work like that and Marty Neumeier his work as well, that comes so much from kind of the creative side versus Byron Sharp work that comes from the scientific side. I think it's really nice to read them both and get that balance. And you know, they don't always agree with each other, obviously, but I think if you're, if you're really looking to learn and kind of internalize what branding is all about is it's nice to get that well-rounded.
Shireen Smith: Yeah, I agree. Well, thank you very much indeed. Well, it's been great having you.
Rob Meyerson: Yeah, thank you for inviting me. It's been a pleasure.