The Art of Brand Name Developing
If a brand logo is a visual mark of ownership of a company, product, service or person and symbolizes the differentiating promise of value that brand boasts, then a brand name stands for the verbal and written ownership of that promise of value and symbolizes it phonically each time the name is uttered. Overtime, if your brand delivers on this promise without fail, then your brand name will come to symbolize that value concept in the minds of your market. In many instances, a name can become the verb that stands for the value concept. FedEx it. Google it. Xerox it. (Clearly, the inventor of the facsimile machine didn't hire a branding agency. Fax it. Oops!)
At MicroArts, our creative team applies the best-practice science as a brand name generator; as a result, the art becomes easier to picture. As an added bonus, our experience as an Internet marketing agency ensures that brand names are easily integrated for online tactics.
MICROARTS MINI CASE STUDIES:
Houston is the world HQ for energy trading. Wall street is the place where stocks, bonds, futures, etc are traded. So it was only natural to name their brand HoustonStreet.com. Today, this brand is the leading online trading platform for crude oil.
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Individual purchasing preference to the buying power of "many" is the superior value proposition, so it was only natural to name the brand iMany. Over a 5 year period that we were the AOR with this brand, we named them and helped grow their lead pipeline through a successful IPO.
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A blue tooth enabled, wireless, hands-free telephone headset targeting consumer markets. BlueParrott is the right name, no doubt.
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"Your medications. Their interactions. In you." Clearly the place to double check your medication's possible interactions and contra interactions is branded DoubleCheck MD.com.
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The next generation is ultrasound technologies must be better ultra imagery, its true imagery and clarity. Vero is latin for my truth. Verosound. Currently holding a dozen patents, this brand is set to launch.
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Come to the green city. It's where researches, green brands, teachers, corporations, greenies, organizations and even moms come to collaborate and take the next green step towards healthier living. Greenopolis, a Waste Management brand, is a leading destination website in its market category.
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A Successful Brand Naming Strategy:
Long Brand Names Get Shortened.
Brand names should be no more than 13 characters and no more than three syllables. If a brand name has more than this, the human mind will shorten it phonically. So be certain you believe the shortened brand name is still strategically differentiating. And perhaps consider just deploying the shortened brand name. To name a few:
- American Express is Amex.
- Federal Express is FedEx.
- Cumberland Farms is Cumby's.
Often times, long brand names gets shortened to an acronym, which mean nothing the first time you hear them.
- General Electric is GE.
- International Business Machines is IBM.
Not many viewers may know that ESPN stands for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. But the network has funneled beaucoup bucks to ensure its targeted consumers know ESPN means "sports."
Not all brands, however, have such deep pockets.
Alternatively, a brand naming strategy that embodies our best-practice attributes is well on its way to becoming a success story.
Brand Name Development Requires a Laser-focused Process:
Our brand naming method is a high-velocity exercise grounded in a simple yet sound process. Our team typically has 50 to 100 hours of intensive thinking invested to yield the winning brand name.
STEP 1. FOCUS
Together, your marketing team and our brand naming team immerse in your new brand opportunity. We create the core drivers behind the brand, prioritize them and gain consensus with the stakeholders on your team. Typically:
- Our team receives a proof-of-concept presentation surrounding the brand.
- We take the product demo as a team.
- A deep Q & A discussion follows
- What business is this brand in?
- What is this brand's difference?
- What superior value is delivered as a result of this difference?
- Is your difference sustainable? (Help us understand how so.)
- Will this difference move the masses to buy your brand over a competitive brand?
- What existing solutions fill this gap today and what is their difference?
- How will the consumer buy this? What other brands do they buy today?
- What publications do your target customers read?
- How is this brand's personality defined?
- Is the brand a male brand, a female brand, or can a consumer tell the difference?
- How and where will this brand name live?
- Dreaming forward, what will future manifestations of this brand entail?
- What are the sacred cows in your industry?
- If this brand were to make a promise to its customersa promise it could keep foreverwhat would it be?
- Conduct industry research of major players, trends, industry vernacular, etc.
The answers to these questions and the conversations we have around these topics create the foundation of your new brand name; and often, our discussion kicks up a few good brand name contenders.
STEP 2. CREATE
Next, we work individually and in small groups to dream up brand name candidates. No magic here, we are simply wired this way. We like to think of ourselves as a brand name generator. Leveraging our recent learning about your brand opportunity, we create piles of candidates and bubble up a set of 20 to 25 names. The brand name development team takes these names and brainstorms with the entire crew at MicroArts and yields an initial short list of brand name candidates.
STEP 3. VET
Now, we determine which brand name options are viable candidates in a preliminary vetting process that includes:
- Can we own the name a URL to facilitate Internet marketing? What are the alternatives?
- Can we ® it as a registered trademark brand name in the United States?
- Google and review search results to determine alternative meanings.
- What does this brand name mean in other languages? For example, the Chevy Nova means "No Go" in Spanish.
- In some cases, the client will hire us to procure the 800-telephone number with their new brand name in the number. In those cases, we'd vet the options at this time.
STEP 4. STATE, RATE AND ITERATE.
We present all brand names complete with rationale that supports the core drivers and brand name attributes.
Once we've presented the brand names, we ask people to individually rate them using a simple survey to determine the top performing names from the initial round.
The survey rates the names on a score of 1 to 5 on the following related core drivers:
- Is it differentiating? (Does it embody your brand's unique and redeeming value proposition?)
- Do people get it? (Do they know what the brand name actually means?)
- Is it motivating? (Do people want to buy it?)
- Is it believable and tangible? (Does it feel truthful in its promise of value?)
- Will it stand the test of time? (Is it a trendy or a passing fad? Or does it have "legs?")
- Is it distinctive? (Does the name itself set your brand apart from the pack?)
- Is it you? (Can you look yourself in the mirror and say, "I'm the CEO of ' '"?)
Typically, we have three or more very exciting candidates from the initial naming push and a handful of interesting directions that create strong conversation and direction for a second round.
Often, a tagline or slogan flows out as part of the naming process. Simply, brand names should be paired with specific taglines that answer the question of what business your brand is in and why should your target market would value it over your competitors.
STEP 5. PROVE
Once we have three to five exciting name candidates that fit the essence of the brand (and we like the odds of purchasing the URL and have performed a preliminary trademark search), we test it with 200 people, study results and recommend next steps. Most often, we are able to move forward and begin the trademark process and procure the URLs. Sometimes, there is no clear winner; and we repeat the process. Rest assured that the MicroArts brand name development team remains heads down and nose to the grindstone until we've nailed it and high fives fly all around!
Discover how our brand naming strategy is the first step to position your business for proven success in the new world of inbound marketing.
A Brand Launch Agency better specialize in Brand Naming
We present a spectrum of brand names that typically hits on most brand name categories:
- Brand names that convey a sense of place
- Brand names named after places
- Brand names from compound words
- Invented brand names, words sounding like real words
- Brand names via modified words
- Brand names via newly spelled words
- Brand names via metaphorically descriptive words of your brand experience
- Brand names via international descriptive words
- Brand names via combining a language with English
- Brand names that articulate the technically differentiating why-to-buy
- Brand names that utter a phrase
- Brand names that aim at your emotions
- Brand names derived from the owner's personal name
- Brand names that depict the brand's core purpose
|Attributes of Successful Brand Names
This list allows us to be mindful of a range of considerations. Is the new brand name uttered like it is typed? Does one person pronounce the brand name the same as another? Does the new brand name have a good cadence? Most importantly, does your brand name exude the difference your customers will value most? If you can motivate the masses with a brand name alone, you're well ahead of your competition.
||The Crazy 8 - My Simple Mottos for Happiness
@microarts.com, our brand strategy and Internet marketing agency, I tend to find myself pondering what intellectual perspectives create happiness in people's lives. Recently, I wrote these down in a brief moment of lucid clarity of how I think about happiness. This helps me make decisions in my daily life, both at my branding agency and in my personal life.
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||Navigate to a new brand name
Recently, I met up with our friend Jake, who lives in Monterey and goes to school through the Navy as a submariner. During our visit, Jake decided to test-drive a few sailboats.
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|"Brand naming is perhaps the single most important part of a successful brand launch. No matter what we call ourselves, a brand launch agency, a creative agency, an Internet marketing agency, if we can't generate a completely relevant name, we may as well stay at home."
MicroArts Creative Agency
Since 1988, we've been perfecting our practice as a brand launch agency, including brand naming as part of our Ultimate Marketing Mix.