Lisa Merriam

Brand Twins: Shared Brand Names for Different Products

Owning your brand name is critical for your business, but what many people don’t realize is that owning a trademark on your brand name is not the same as owning a unique name. In fact, shared brand names are more common than you might think.

brand-twins-deltaFacebook raised a ruckus last year when it applied to trademark “face”–yet there were hundreds of “face” trademarks granted before Facebook made their application. There are almost a thousand trademarks on the name “Delta” for everything from airlines to faucets to power tools. That is because trademarks are granted by classification of goods and services as defined by various international agreements. You cannot own a word exclusively and universally; only for the actual products and services you offer.

You’d be surprised at how many well-known brands share names:

Domino: Sugar and pizza

brand-twins-dominosBurlington:  Brand shared by discount retailer and holding company

brand-twins-burlingtonDove: Brand twins for soap and chocolate


Finlandia: Cheese and vodka share a brand


Apple: Records and computers are famous brand twins


Eos: Cameras, cars and software share brands

brand-twins-eos-share-brtandPink: Victoria’s Secret and Thomas Pink


Then there are the sound alikes: Thompson and Thomson, Sonoco and Sunoco, Sysco and Cisco, Coke and Koch…