Brand Name Tarnished: Ho, Ho, Ho

Short take for a Monday morning: What do you do when your brand name gets co-opted by unrelated popular jargon and becomes associated with an unsavory person, action or thing?

I’m thinking, of course, of legendary Hawaiian singer Don Ho, whose death Saturday prompted Al Sharpton to call for Don Imus to apologize once again (not really).

Think about it — can you name another legendary Hawaiian singer? The man’s name was synonymous with entertainment in Hawaii. I’m too young to remember any of his songs (his signature song apparently was “Tiny Bubbles“), yet I knew his name and what he did for a living. That is truly powerful branding.

(Ho missed out on an obvious co-branding opportunity with sales juggernaut Santa Claus, but that’s another story.)

So will the heirs to his estate sue gangsta rappers and, of course, Imus for defamation of his brand name? Don’t you wish they would?

- Jon Harmon

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