February 11, 2013
Here are 4 companies that, for various reasons, decided to trademark “No Name” as their brand name.
Sometimes the self-contradicting name was chosen as a was of signaling lower priced products. Other times the “No Name” name started out more like a place holder, where the owner never quite got around to naming the product and the “no name” label just kinda stuck.
1. Loblaw’s “No Name” generic brand:
Loblaw’s “generic” No Name® brand, was launched in 1978, but not officially registered as a Canadian trademark until 1985. One of the most well-known generic brands, its distinctive yellow and black packaging was originally designed by Don Watts.
In keeping with the generic nature of the product line, the original No Name packaging showed no branding — only text with a basic product description and name, such as “freshly ground coffee” or “fabric softener,” on a solid background. Years later, a “No Name” registered trademark appeared. While other generic lines presented their packaging as black on white, Toronto designer Don Watt chose black, boldface text in a Helvetica font, all lower case, on a bright yellow background, as a means of attracting the attention of shoppers.
Wikipedia’s entry on No Name
2. Arnold Constable’s “No Name” stores:
A logo for Arnold Constable’s “No Name” brand was trademarked in 1972, although the chain of “No Name” unisex clothing stores supposedly opened for business without a logo…
Arnold Constable’s chain of “noname” unisex stores lacks on-premises identification of any kind. Yet its lack is in itself a unique signing method.
About the only retail chain without some kind of signing problem is the mod string of new boutiques operated by Arnold Constable and identified on mall directories as “noname.”
“Noname” has, literally, no name. And no logo. And thus no sign over the entrance. Or anywhere else. Just piles and piles of unisex tops and bottoms begging to be bought. It’s a fad-type success, no doubt, and now that it’s been done, the no-sign entrance has been used up; it still is necessary to get the public’s attention and to identify the store.
-Chain Store Age, 1971
3. John Fujita’s No-Name fishing lure:
John Fujita’s logo for his line of No-Name fishing lures was trademarked in 1952.
During World War II, many Californians of Japanese descent were ordered to camps in Colorado. One of them, John Fujita, passed the time designing fishing lures to take advantage of the trout stream that flowed through the camp. Eventually he came up with a lure that seemed to catch a trout on every cast. Not knowing what to call his new invention, he simply called it the No-Name lure.
It consisted of a tiny #10 hook with a little lead spoon cast on it and to it was tied a white fly on a tiny hook. The secret seemed to be the little loops of leader that held the fly and gave it complete freedom and action to send vibrations that would attract the larger fish. It imitated a small minnow in the water, sure to be noticed by any other fish in the area.
(Our 4th “No Name” brand follows, after the fold…)
4. “No Name” meats:
“No Name” is also a meat brand. Similar to John Fujita’s “No-Name” fishing lures, the company explains its paradoxical brand name with a story about its founder simply failing to ever to come up with a proper brand name for his steaks…
Over thirty-five years ago, in a small neighborhood butcher shop, a local butcher began selling delicious, hand-cut steaks. These steaks cooked up tender and juicy and, as rumor had it, tasted incredible. Word began to spread. When his customers asked the butcher what these steaks were called, he simply replied, “They don’t have a name.” Soon, people were coming from miles around to get the steaks with “No Name,” and a legend was born.
Fast forward to today. No Name® still is famous for steaks, but now No Name® has also become synonymous with quality dinners for all sorts of tastes. No matter what you’re in the mood for, you know it will be delicious, guaranteed. Look for all the varieties in your grocer’s frozen meat section.Randy Ludacer