The Difference Between Descriptive and Descriptive Branding

The difference between descriptive and distinctive branding is significant, especially when it comes to boosting brand awareness and improving bottom line performance. The following are the four key differences between descriptive and distinctive brands. Read on to learn more. But first, let’s define each term: Inherently unremarkable, Registerable, Suggestive, and Unprotectable. Using each one in the right way will help you get the most out of your branding.

Inherently unremarkable

The terms “inherently unremarkable” and “unremarkable” are often used interchangeably. While they both have their own distinct meanings, both terms are not particularly comforting to most people. Moreover, unremarkable terminology is not particularly accessible to the average consumer, and the non-medical professional finds it hard to interpret it. Radiology reports use various terms that are unremarkable to the average consumer.

While people unfamiliar with the field of medicine often get confused by the medical terminology used by physicians, the phrase “inherently unremarkable” is a helpful one. It means that the results are normal and do not warrant further analysis. In the world of medicine, a patient will need to consult a medical dictionary to understand a physician’s findings, and the word unremarkable is a commonly used term.


The law protects both descriptive and arbitrary marks, but only some are actually distinctive. A descriptive mark does not necessarily have to have a specific secondary meaning, such as the word “drink” or “ice cream,” but rather can simply describe a product. Such descriptive marks, such as those associated with Weight Watchers, Wite-out, or Rollerblades, do not have the potential to become protected trademarks.

The goal of selecting a strong trademark is to create a distinct identity for the product. Descriptive terms are simple to understand for consumers, but will not elevate your brand to trademark status. However, you should try to balance the two. For example, an apple branded as “Apple” is not protected under trademark law, so its marketability should be considered. If a brand is more descriptive than distinctive, a descriptive trademark would be appropriate.


Defining a brand requires more than just its name. It also must have acquired distinctiveness if it is to be registered. Although the term “distinctive” means “distinctive in nature”, the difference between descriptive and registerable branding is subtle and can be hard to spot. This post explains how the differences in registration requirements apply to a company’s name. We will discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of distinctiveness, as well as a few examples of registered trademarks.

Despite its name, a distinctive brand can include graphic elements. However, those elements must add something extra. A picture of a kiwi fruit would not be distinctive for a fruit, but a complex geometric shape would. However, this type of registration only protects the overall trademark, and will not prevent others from calling your brand name by its specific name. Similarly, a generic mark could include the word “organic” – but not the actual fruit.


As the two major types of branding, suggestive and distinctive, they both carry significant legal risks. However, they do present certain advantages. In particular, suggestive marks provide a higher level of protection, because they rely on common aspects of brands to be recognized. However, arbitrary and generic trademarks pose even greater risks and require additional work to protect. The key to obtaining protection for suggestive and distinctive marks is to identify the product or service to be protected.

Suggestive branding, also known as descriptive branding, is based on the concept that a brand name implies something about its product. The names of these brands are often suggestive and may even be a metaphor or analogy. For example, the name “Uber” suggests an auto service, while the term “Dove” implies a product of a particular type of fish. Both suggestive and descriptive brands evoke images in the minds of the customer.

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