MMR Client Objectives
MMR Strategy Group conducts surveys to provide measures of fame, awareness and likelihood of dilution in intellectual property matters. MMR Strategy Group was retained by law firm Banner and Witcoff to measure fame for Buc-ee’s, a popular chain of convenience stores in Texas, and likelihood of dilution of the brand by competitor Bucky’s, another chain of convenience stores in Texas.
Fame and Awareness MMR Research Objectives and Methodology
MMR research experts designed a fame and awareness survey to measure the relative fame of Buc’ees convenience stores. The survey interviewed respondents who reflected the general population of Texas, using U.S. Census Bureau information to determine demographic variables including gender, age, and regional distribution across Texas. The survey included a control convenience store name, Bilkins. In all, 320 qualified respondents were asked whether they had seen or heard of Buc-ee’s. Respondents evaluated those names along with others shown in random order, including Buc-ee’s, Chevron, Circle K, and 7-Eleven.
Likelihood of Dilution
MMR Strategy Group gathered respondents according to their likelihood of purchasing products at a convenience store and proximity to the convenience stores. After they were qualified, respondents submitted an online survey where they were randomly assigned to be shown either a test or control version of an image of a Bucky’s retail location. The controls included an image showing a Bucky’s convenience store and gas station, but was entitled “Buchanan Energy: Fueling the Future.” The other was a picture of the Bucky’s retail location, but with the name Barry’s in the image. Buc-ee’s was not included in the survey.
The control measures ensured an accurate measure of the likelihood that the name Bucky’s would be associated with Buc-ee’s. The online survey asked respondents what company came to mind when they saw the picture of the Bucky’s or Barry’s retail location, and what they associate with the Bucky’s retail location. The survey included 425 interviews, 212 involving the test image and 213 involving the control image.
MMR Strategy Group Survey Findings and Resolution
The fame and awareness survey for Buc-ee’s found a net measure for the fame of Buc-ee’s of 74.0% (after accounting for the control, Bilkins). In the likelihood of dilution survey, before accounting for the control, the gross measure of total association with Buc-ee’s was 24.5%, including 14.2% for the percentage who mentioned Buc-ee’s by name or mentioned Buc-ee’s branding, and 10.4% who mentioned other elements relating to Buc-ee’s. After accounting for the control, the net measure for dilution was 21.2%. The court accepted our survey findings for both dilution and fame and awareness of the Buc’ees brand, and the matter concluded with a settlement.
If you are involved in a trademark infringement matter and require reliable litigation surveys measuring awareness and fame or likelihood of dilution, please contact us.