Brand Name = Brand Asset
Updated: Aug 6
One of the most valuable pieces of intellectual property that an organisation can own is its name. The reason for this is that unlike a logo, which is subject fashion and often needs to be updated, a name lasts longer. Consider Shell and Coca Cola – each have evolved their visual identities many times, but their names have remained the same. Furthermore, a name penetrates further, it exists in your target audience’s brain. It is verbal and also exists as text. In a sense it exists in different dimensions.
The mention of a name sets off a trigger in the receiver’s brain. It’s an instant spark which helps recall that individual’s general overall perception of that organisation, product or service. It’s a portal to that brand uttered in a few sylabals. As an organisation grows, so too does the goodwill associated with that organisation and the name comes to represent that organisation.
When companies are born, their creators all too often pursue a slightly flawed methodology for creating their name… They’ll rather unimaginatively combine sets of initials resulting in bland, meaningless three letter abreviations. If they are not careful those three letter abreviations may spell something undesirable! Sometimes a name is based on a geographic location combined with some aspect of that organisation’s output – and bingo, they’ve created a generic sounding name which is very similar to that of a competitor. Geographic names can be limiting too; they can impede growth, as an organisation expands from one suburb, or state to another, its name will seem parochial.
So it is important to ensure that the methodology used for creating a name for a business, service or product is sound. The name needs to be fairly unique if one is to be able to register it as a business name, secure a web url and to potentially be registered as a trademark. If the product or service will be known internationally, it needs to be able to cross cultural boundries. What seems quite inoccuous in one language might have a totally inappropriate meaning in another, for example, General Motors once had a car named “Nova”, until someone pointed out that this meant “No Go” in Spanish.
We have developed a methodology which assists with creating successful brand names. We have helped a number of organisations make a transition from an old name (that is often misleading), to a new name more in tune with the organisation’s vision of what it will be in the future.
One of our clients, Cynebar, is a good example. Previously they were known as GK Electrical and they spent vast amounts of time fielding general electrical enquiries (the company actually supplies a range of highly specialised heat processing products and services). The introduction of the new name and identity provided them with a marketing opportunity to reacquint their customers with their service offering. Two years after the new name had been introduced their sales enquiries and revenues had increased by 10–15%.
Creating a business name can therefore be more time consuming than naming a child. It can be expensive, however, it can be an investment well spent if conducted properly.