[Marketing] A label for Sugar distributions - plan to rework classic "ingredient" branding and include it in our trademark policy

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Wed Jan 13 13:22:52 EST 2010


We will soon complete the Sugar Labs trademark policy (draft is here:
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Governance/Trademark). It's
been a topic of work and discussion in the past few SLOBs meetings.

The goal of this policy is not just to protect Sugar Labs marks from
confusion, but to promote Sugar brand awareness. Specifically, to
avoid confusion over what precisely Sugar Labs and the Sugar on a
Stick "distribution" are, while encouraging other projects to build
and develop their own distributions with Sugar, especially liveUSB
solutions which have the best probability of overcoming the OS
installation barrier.

The best way for an alternate self-contained Sugar distribution to
avoid confusion with Sugar and SoaS is to use a different name. Yet,
at the same time we need to build the Sugar brand name beyond Sugar
the project and Sugar on a Stick. And of course we wish to support all
distributions with Sugar (weak as the distro and desktop brands are).
How can we do this?

My idea is to create a label program, licensing our marks. This is
sometimes called "ingredient marketing", defined as "an ingredient or
component of a product that has its own brand identity". It's an old
idea - Ray Dolby did it with sound equipment from the 1970s (1,2);
Intel had huge success with the "intel inside" marketing campaign
begun in 1991 (3,4,5). Other examples are TetraPak bricks, Shimano
bicycle parts, NutraSweet sweeteners, GoreTex fabric, DuPont's Teflon.

Ray Dolby became fabulously rich with his licensing program. I propose
we turn the approach inside out and take inspiration from free
software licensing. With this approach, licensing of Sugar Labs
trademarks will be free, simple and easy as long as certain conditions
are respected by the licensee, in particular:

* Sugar Labs be informed by e-mail to the trademark alias of the
project's sponsor, URL, contact information, and proposed project name
(not a name used by Sugar Labs, e.g. "Sugar on a Stick"), with
positive reply;
* The project's page not display Sugar marks too prominently, to avoid
confusion in visitors unaware of the SL site; the project's page links
to the SL website;
* SFC/Sugar Labs reserves the right to revoke the license
* others?

When would licensing not be routine, i.e. require consideration before
* project name or logo or URL too close to our marks, risk of confusion
* insistence on association of another brand with Sugar
* inclusion of nonfree software with Sugar
* others?

What could motivate us to revoke a license?
* atrocious product quality with no bugfixing
* abandonment of a project (imagine the horror of a well-referenced
but old and unmaintained distro)
* confusing marketing, not respecting the spirit of our license
* using SL marks in conjunction with other marks in ways which could
imply SL partnership or endorsement which doesn't exist
* refusal to comply with Sugar software's licenses (GPL)
* others?

Naturally, in the above cases we will want to reflect upon what
recourse we would have if a licensee started creating problems.

Intel achieved their fabulous brand awareness (Nr. 23 in the 2009
Millward Brown Brandz Top 100) mostly due to pharaonic advertising
spend. We won't have that budget, so we will be inventing cheaper and
more effective ways of supporting Sugar distributions. I believe a
label program can help us support a diverse group of Sugar projects,
growing the Sugar brand and increasing Sugar adoption in schools and

OK, after objectives, examples, and theory, comes the fun (and
difficult) part - choosing the label text - our "circled intel inside
sticker", if you will. I believe the best approach is to communicate
the *idea* of a remix or a spin, but without using those words (which
have DJ connotations); one of Sugar's brand values is playfulness, and
we get to call our remixes something different from everybody else :D.
So perhaps best to keep the sweet tooth association, such as has
served us well with ice cream flavors for SoaS versions:

a sugar treat
a sugar confection
a sugar refinement
a sugar preparation
a sugar mix
a sugar concoction
a sugar recipe
a sugar formula
a sugar sprinkling
a sugar crystal

Alternatively, a more technical word could work; it might even be
preferable, so that teachers understand that Sugar is computer
software, e.g.:

a sugar construction
a sugar formation
a sugar creation
a sugar variety
a sugar variation
a sugar difference
a sugar combination
a sugar special

I use the "a" article to imply there are others; but perhaps someone
has a different idea?

Visually speaking, I would see our logo typeface (VAG Rounded Light)
with the word "sugar" being one of the random color combinations and
the other words in grey. The sugar mark will need the (R) of course,
and if the label is online it should link to the SL site, perhaps even
a page explaining what "a sugar xxx" is.

Input greatly appreciated.


1. http://www.law.northwestern.edu/journals/njtip/v2/n1/4/
2. http://www.dolby.com/professional/technology/licensing/getting-licensed.html
3. http://www.intel.com/pressroom/intel_inside.htm
4. http://www.intangiblebusiness.com/Brand-Services/Marketing-Services/News/Ingredient-branding-case-study-Intel~466.html
5. http://tpmtoday.blogspot.com/2007/04/thoughts-on-ingredient-marketing.html

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