One of the major success stories in Montreal is Mega Bloks. It acquired Rose Art just a year ago and is now a major global force in the toy industry. Yesterday the Mega Bloks shareholders approved a name change to MEGA Brands Inc.
That might appear a logical move but developing strong brands in the age of the Internet brings new concerns. The Internet is a remarkably level playing field. You cannot always develop a strong brand position on the Internet, however much money you have. Just look at the trouble Microsoft seems to be having in making the Live brand name work for them (*). The megabrands.com domain is already taken, apparently as a hobby website, since it includes a web page for the unlikely and somewhat questionable law firm of Finestein, Linestein & Franken.
In practice Mega Bloks is really trying to make MEGA its very own. After all it has the US trademark for MEGA when applied to children’s toys and related products. Unfortunately mega is a very widely used word being the prefix for one million. It also is often used to mean big or large: for example a megalith is a big or large stone. Also the domain mega.com is owned by a company Mega International, which is unlikely to give it up, one would have thought. Nevertheless Mega Bloks is now pushing MEGA as the champion of creativity.
It’s a shame to see Mega Bloks lose its status as the company name. Let’s hope the MEGA brand can be made equally effective. It will be a challenge.