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Brand Naming

What is in a Name?

The Importance of a Brand Name

Juliet said to Romeo, “What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.   Shakespeare was making the point that Juliet’s parents should not judge Romeo only by his name or his title, but by his character and by his love for Juliet.

But we know, just as Shakespeare did, that names do matter.  And perceptions matter.  Just think of the power behind brand names like Tide, Nike, Mercedes, Google, Coca-Cola, IBM, GE, Disney, McDonald’s, Toyota, Honda, Pepsi, Guinness, and Kellogg’s.  Just imagine --- if those products stayed the same, but they changed the name, what a costly impact it would have on business.   Now, back to Romeo; if he had been exactly the same, but his name was Montague, Juliet’s parents would have supported the marriage.   Even if Montague is not the best name for your brand, you should take the time to get the brand naming right.  What should you think about when coming up with a brand name?  What type of name should you get? 

Brand Naming Considerations

  • easy to say and spell
  • memorable
  • extendable, has room for growth
  • positive feeling
  • international; doesn’t have bad meanings in other languages
  • available; from trademark and domain perspective
  • meaning, has relevance to your business

Types of Brand Names

  • Descriptive Brand Names – are brand names that relate directly to or describe the product or benefit or are derived from a founder’s name.  Examples include General Motors, British Petroleum (BP), The Body Shop, Disney, McDonald’s, BMW, and Dell.
  • Invented Brand Names – are brand names that are created based on rhythm, sound, or Greek or Latin root words.  Examples include, Accenture, Nike, Oreo, Acura.
  • Experiential Brand Names – are brand names that connect the name to the product, the benefit, or the experience.  Examples include The Dollar Store, Facebook, Salesforce, Ford Explorer, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, eBay, Band-Aid, Kleenex, Duracel, MasterCard, Wordpress, and ThinkPad.
  • Evocative Brand Names – are brand names that project the ‘essence’ of the brand without actually describing it.  Examples include: Apple, Tide, Crest, Google, Marlboro, Skype, Amazon, Yahoo, Flickr, and Oracle.

Getting a Great Brand Name

Brand Periscope understands naming.  We have a 9-Step Naming Methodology to help identify strong brand names that have enduring value.  We partner with companies to ensure we understand the brand values, brand personality and business goals.  Then, we launch the creative naming process to identify brand name candidates.  We review these with the business team and executive management and iterate until we have a lead candidate and a winner.

When time is short we can utilize our Accelerated NameStorming Session to identify and select names on fast timing that meets the business needs. 

Brand Naming Architecture

In today’s fast-paced market, product lines and product names can grow quickly.  New products and services can be launched or acquisitions can create the need to fold new brands into an existing portfolio of offerings.  Companies need a clear and consistent naming architecture or they risk confusing their customers.  Brand Periscope has experience in sorting through multiple product and service offerings and finding a common, strategic, and benefit-oriented theme for your brands. 

Contact us to see how we can help you with your brand naming and brand naming architecture needs.

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