They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So when we correct people who use our brand name to describe any old skid-steer loader, some people might say, “Hey, isn’t that a good problem to have? What’s wrong with the Bobcat name being the universal name for skid-steer loaders? You should be flattered!”
Not exactly. Put yourself in our shoes.
Your name is your reputation. You’ve spent years building your business by setting a higher standard than your competitors. Perhaps you’ve had customers who’ve left to try the other guy because he was cheaper — only to come back to you once they realize that “you get what you pay for.”
Now imagine somebody comes to town and slaps your name on the side of their truck. Now imagine their work is far inferior to yours in every way. Not only are you losing business because customers call them thinking it’s you — but your would-be customers are getting shoddy work and think you’re to blame. Your reputation is damaged, which could be the end of your business.
That’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid for ourselves, our dealers and owners of Bobcat products when we work to protect our brand name.
Like you, we’ve spent years building our brand and reputation. We set a higher level of expectations for what buying Bobcat equipment means. It all started with the M440 Bobcat® skid-steer loader, the first to carry the Bobcat brand name and feature the recognizable white paint. It was a revolution in the compact equipment industry. Today, because our white skid-steer loaders with orange and black trim are so instantly recognizable, many people refer to them — and skid-steer loaders in general — by just our brand name (which is kind of like slapping our name on their truck).
Thousands of people depend on more than just the strength and dependability of Bobcat machines. They depend on the strength and dependability of the Bobcat brand as well.
Like many owners of our equipment, Kurt Denchfield, owner of Denchfield Landscaping, (pictured left) has a stake in protecting the Bobcat brand name. “I want the Bobcat brand to be as tough as Bobcat machines,” he says. “The Bobcat brand has been vital in helping to build our business. Our customers know we’ve invested in the best.”
It’s important to the people who build Bobcat machines too. Edward Juran (pictured right) has worked for the company since 1978. He says the Bobcat brand is more than just a name. “It’s our whole background,” he says. “We built this brand. If we lost it, it would be devastating.”
That’s why it’s not flattery when our name is used to describe any piece of compact equipment. Juran put it best when he said, “Our innovation and our quality put our machines ahead of everybody else. And we’re keeping ahead of them with all of our improvements. We’re the leader, and all others are followers.”
Bobcat Company owns the registered Bobcat trademark, logo and color scheme. It’s our responsibility to protect the brand that countless people have helped us build over the last 50+ years.
Don’t believe us? Remember that the next time you take an aspirin, ride an escalator, wrap leftovers in cellophane, use a zipper, or walk on linoleum — these are just a few of the more well-known examples of former brand names that lost their trademark.
So, please, help us preserve the Bobcat brand for future generations by ensuring you refer to our company, and our industry-leading products, in the correct way. Thank you!