Most Powerful Component in Branding Strategy | A Name

It can:

  • Achieve separation from your competitors
  • Demonstrate to the world that you are different
  • Reinforce a unique positioning platform
  • Create positive and lasting engagement with your audience
  • Be unforgettable
  • Propel itself through the world on its own, becoming a no-cost, self-sustaining PR vehicle
  • Provide a deep well of marketing and advertising images
  • Be the genesis of a brand that rises above the goods and services you provide
  • Completely dominate a category

Conduct a name evaluation
When considering potential names for your destination, merchandise, service, or event, it is vital that the process be kept as objective as possible, and that subjective personal responses to names, such as "I like it" or I don't like it" or "I don't like it because it reminds me of an old girlfriend/boyfriend" are exactly that – subjective and personal, and have no bearing on whether or not a potential name will actually work in the marketplace as a powerful brand that supports all your positioning goals.

All is well and good, but clients often ask us to be more specific, to explain objectively just what makes a name work. With that in mind, we created a straightforward way to dissect potential names into the following nine categories to make it easier to understand why names work or don't work, and to more easily weigh the pros and cons of one name versus another:

Appearance– Simply how the name looks as a visual signifier, in a logo, an ad, on a billboard, etc. The name will always be seen in context, but it will be seen, so looks are important.

Distinctive– How differentiated is a given name from its competition. Being distinctive is only one element that goes into making a name memorable, but it is a required element, since if a name is not distinct from a sea of similar names it will not be memorable. It’s important, when judging distinctiveness, to always consider the name in the context of the product it will serve, and among the competition it will spar with for the consumer’s attention.

Depth– Layer upon layer of meaning and association. Names with great depth never reveal all they have to offer all at once, but keep surprising you with new ideas.

Energy– How vital and full of life is the name? Does it have buzz? Can it carry an ad campaign on its shoulders? Is it a force to be reckoned with? These are all aspects of a name’s energy level.

Humanity– A measure of a name’s warmth, its “humanness,” as opposed to names that are cold, clinical, unemotional. Another – though not foolproof – way to think about this category is to imagine each of the names as a nickname for one of your children.

Positioning– How relevant the name is to the positioning of the product or company being named, the service offered, or to the industry served. Further, how many relevant messages does the name map to?

Sound– Again, while always existing in a context of some sort or another, the name WILL be heard, in radio or television commercials, being presented at a trade show, or simply being discussed in a cocktail party conversation. Sound is twofold – not only how a name sounds, but how easily it is spoken by those who matter most: the potential customer. Word of mouth is a big part of marketing of a company, product or service with a great name, but if people aren’t comfortable saying the name, the word won’t get out.

Cool factor– The force of brand magic, and the word-of-mouth buzz that a name is likely to generate. A name that everybody talks about. A name that has a certain something that makes people lean forward and want to learn more about a brand, and to want to share the brand with others. The cool factor angle is different for each name.

Trademark– As in the ugly, meat hook reality of trademark availability. Scoring is easy here, as there are only three options, and nothing is subjective: 10 = likely available for trademark; 5 = may be available for trademark; and 0 = not likely available for trademark. All of the names on this list have been prescreened by a trademarked attorney and have been deemed “likely” for trademark registration.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

You must be Logged in to post a comment.

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.