On my drive to work this morning I got stuck behind a big yellow lorry. It was a Hippo Bag truck, and I was struck by how strong their brand is.
It got me thinking about strong brands, and how it doesn’t really matter too much what the name is, as long as it is memorable. In this case Hippo conjures up images of strength which help reinforce the brand. But it is also the most dangerous animal in Africa. Hippos kill more people each year than lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos combined.
I had a quick look on the Intellectual Property Office trademark database and saw that Hippo has been used 333 times in trademarks. Hippobag is registered by two different owners; one by Waste Management Systems Limited for the following classes:
- Class 22 – Non-metallic bags and sacks for the transport, transfer, handling and storage of materials in bulk.
- Class 39 – Removal and transport of waste to transfer, disposal, recycling and treatment sites.
- Class 40 – Recycling and treatment of waste.
But it has also been registered by The Old Tannery Shop, Cambridge under Class 18 – Bags, pouches, holsters, belts, wallets; all for carrying or holding tools, fittings and instruments; but not including any such goods made from hippopotamus skin.