Network Solutions Decides To Obscure Common Words, Just To Get Some Trademarks?

from the this-is-no-longer-a-blog,-it's-an-nsSpaceLog dept

johnjac points us to a nice little rant from John Graham-Comming about how Network Solutions has obfuscated the common (and easily understood) names of a bunch of its basic services. So, "Domains" has become "nsWebAddress," "web site" has become "nsSpace" and "SSL Certificates" becomes "nsProtect." Why? Well, the speculation in the comments is that this is all for trademarking purposes -- as each of those new terms is accompanied by the old (TM) mark. But, of course, it just makes things that much more confusing for users. Once again, this idea that "more patents/copyrights/trademarks must be a good thing" is put to the test...


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Ali Khalid (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 2:52am

    First :D

    . . . btw, who is the idiot who thought this was a good idea.

     

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  2.  
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    inc (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 4:54am

    Even if you could trademark those other things how could you trademark Design/Develop? Looking at there site, some stuff is obvious and most stuff is just confusing. All they are doing is branding their services... nothing new here.

     

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  3.  
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    Clevername, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 5:02am

    Sounds like a Microsoft tactic.

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 5:18am

    At least they didn't try to trademark "Domains," "web site," and "SSL Certificates."

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 5:33am

    Is everything a company with more than 20 employees somehow sinister?

    They are doing what companies have done for probably a century or more: Move from a generic term "hosting" and create a branded product "nsspace" and go from there. It isn't an attempt to trademark anything anyone else was using, they are just moving to get a branded product out there for something more people consider generic.

    It's actually very good marketing.

     

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  6.  
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    PRMan, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 5:52am

    It's actually very bad marketing...

    What the heck does any of this stuff mean to the average person?

    nsSpaceâ„¢ - Sounds like a government agency
    nsProtectâ„¢ - Sounds like a contraceptive or maybe a brand of bank safe

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 7:11am

    Not sure why this would be a problem. In addition to differentiating their products/services from other like products/services offered by competitors, trademarks are meant to be used as "adjectives", meaning that they precede the generic term they modify.

     

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  8.  
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    nsCustomer, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 7:12am

    How is this bad?

    Respectfully, those who think this is a bad idea have no clue about marketing.

    Sure the names may be a little annoying, but it's what successful companies do. Even heard of the Big Mac? (Mike, do I need a license to say that?)

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 7:21am

    Re:

    Since when is branding something at the expense of customer comprehension good marketing?

     

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  10.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 7:41am

    Re:

    "Sounds like a Microsoft tactic."

    Even weirder, it *looks* like Macintosh (Nextstep) system calls.

     

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  11.  
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    nsCustomer, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re:

    "Since when is branding something at the expense of customer comprehension good marketing?"

    I'll repeat... Le Big Mac? What on earth is that?

    Again, although a little annoying, there's not too much confusing about nsEmail; nsMarketing; nsWebAddress; nsHosting; nsSpace (which is not hosting but rather storage) and so on... I'm in a pretty big hurry and not confused.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I'm in a pretty big hurry and not confused."

    Meh. I'm not in an nsHurry, and it's needlessly nsConfusing.

    nsMorons

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    RE: "Big Mac" = it's a hamburger that McDonalds has spent decades and billions of dollars to market to a fast food driven culture. Now imagine if that product was trying to be marketed to newbies, was virtual, complex to understand, 400% more expensive than competitors, and was not mass marketed.

    Marketing strategy aside, do you think the new names will actually create more customers as a result & would you bet a years salary on that?

     

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    nsCustomer, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Marketing strategy aside, do you think the new names will actually create more customers..."

    Honestly, it's hard to see how, but companies spend tons on this each year so it must be working, right?

     

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  15.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 9:03am

    Re: How is this bad?

    "Respectfully, those who think this is a bad idea have no clue about marketing. "

    See, this is the problem. You're explaining to people who think your marketing sucks why it doesn't?

    The problem isn't them, it's your marketing. Pretty much by definition.

     

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  16.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 7th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Re: How is this bad?

    Respectfully, those who think this is a bad idea have no clue about marketing.

    I'd actually argue the opposite.

    Sure the names may be a little annoying, but it's what successful companies do. Even heard of the Big Mac? (Mike, do I need a license to say that?)

    You are confusing "branding anything" with "smart branding." Understand that difference and you understand everything.

     

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  17.  
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    another thought, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 12:13pm

    what if

    the reason they are doing this is in hope that non-technical users (a large percentage of which are not yet online) will more easily understand these terms. in the end, a name is a name. technical people will still know what a domain is or a web address is, but will a nontechnical user find this easier? interesting question...

     

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    nsCustomer, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: How is this bad?

    I'm getting tired of defending Netsol (I'm the one giving them money!)...

    Obviously there is good and bad branding. I just don't think Netsol's branding was a bad move. It's opinion, but I am somewhat educated in the matter, as I'm sure ChurchHatesTucker and Mike are...

    Reasons:
    The new logo and brand are pretty slick visually.
    "Prefix" branding has proven pretty successful on the interweb. Examples: MS Word, MS Excel, iPhone, iThis, iThat, etc... So this could be a move to establish a household identity for the prefix "ns".
    It also gives Netsol the choice to use the prefix when unique matters. For example in domain names (ironically). Much like how movies add "themovie" to a domain name to ensure its availability.

    Anywho, I'm not trying to say that Netsol revolutionized anything, but I think the change was a positive.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 1:01pm

    Re: what if

    At the end of the day, renaming a product does not make it any easier for a newbie to get online. Make the process and products simple and everything will take care of itself. There is a pretty big learning curve for newbies and they will seek out a techie friend/family member, info on the web, or web consultant for guidance. None of those resources other than Network Solutions own web site itself will explain this with the branded terms. IMO, they are trying to own or create a market which is next to impossible and will end up isolating themselves in the process. A better idea would be to have a newbie center where they are hand-held through the process and are told step by step what they need via industry standard terms & concepts.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: How is this bad?

    "Prefix" branding has proven pretty successful for brands like Microsoft & Apple because they have the best marketing and distribution as well as the resources to pull it off - they could name their products virtually anything and still be successful. It's like saying you can be a great basketball player if you wear a #23 jersey and air jordan sneakers.

     

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  21.  
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    ..., Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:47pm

    They forgot one

    nsDNShijacking

     

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  22.  
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    ..., Aug 7th, 2009 @ 8:23pm

    Re:

    that should've been nsFirst

     

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  23.  
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    Phatnobody (profile), Aug 8th, 2009 @ 1:16am

    Re: Re: How is this bad?

    Mike, your article claims that this is about abuse of trademark. Some people have pointed out that it actually looks like a market branding exercise (good or bad, it makes no difference to the discussion at hand).

    Sometimes, the perception of extreme bias you create around copyright and trademark undermines the thoughtful, intelligent *important* stuff that you often share with us.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2009 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Re: How is this bad?

    How is rebranding a good thing for the customer?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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