What’s in a brand name? Everything.

A great product or service name requires little or no introduction, explanation or advertising to give it power.

Of all the powerful forces in branding, marketing and advertising, a memorable brand name ranks one of the highest in importance.  It immediately connects your audience with an emotional tug, while helping define what makes you uniquely different – all in just a word or two.

Truly great brand names only come through a powerful positioning strategy – one that focuses in on the emotional appeal that can stir the hearts and minds of your market.  A great brand name can do all this by itself, and take a center place within an industry.

Because brand names, whether old or new have so much riding on them, I wince when it’s left to a few employees or friends as they toss around ideas – or worse yet…enter a contest to find the right way to communicate all the values in a brand.  While well intended, they’re not equipped to take the time to account for all the important aspects of landing a truly great name.  What about it’s memorability?  Positive or negative associations?  Competitors and trademarks – and especially domain name availability?

What do I think a great brand name does (in part)?

  • Easily communicates your brand strategy.
  • It should literally roll off the tongue.
  • Like the last puzzle piece, a good brand name fits perfectly.
  • And as most importantly, a great brand name is the ambassador of your company.

What your specific target market thinks of your brand name is much more important than any opinion of  any branding, marketing, advertising or naming expert (even us!).  And so, any great naming effort must utilize some fairly advanced methods to enable the market to react to your name before you decide on it.

No naming project is ever identical. There’s no set formula to arrive at a winner. The only thing you can really control is the kind of work you do to come up with a name. If you do the right kind of work, you’ll likely come up that one special word or phrase. Brand Identity Guru Inc. knows what “the right kind of work” is and has the skills necessary to follow through on that work. Hence, our motto, “Pump Up Your Brand.”

Although every brand or re-brand name process is unique, SmartBrand conducts a few key steps to help our clients review, assess, develop or rename their brands:

  • We’d start with an analytical survey of your competition. Which ones are a hit with the market?  Which miss…and why?   This information will help the naming team determine the specific positioning strategy for your brand’s name.
  • Positioning. Perhaps the hardest aspect of all, we’ll have to target your brand’s core values and create a foundation of messaging and ideas from which a truly winning brand name can emerge.
  • Truly great name development takes the positioning strategy, and look again at it from multiple angles to find ways you might leverage marketing and advertising to convey it in a truly unique and memorable way.
  • Consider Trademarking. We can screen a series of promising names with our legal counsel to find if there’s a feasibility of using them as brand names.  This is an important step to help avoid legal action by unknown competitors in the future.
  • Then the fun begins with some creative concepts and drafts. We might even consider some advertising treatments… all based on the stories we’ve helped create around your ideal positioning.
  • Finally…it’s time for a well though-out deliverable. We’ll give you a most important  short list of final, legally feasible names with an in-depth positioning strategy for each.

Once this foundation is established, the entire marketing, advertising, social media and public relations efforts fall easily into order.  Without a truly sound foundation to your brand name, you’ll struggle to find the right way to explain what you do – and find those who can be excited about buying from you.

What are some of the great brand names of our time?  Tell us who you think has succeeded in this important first step today?

3 Responses to “What’s in a brand name? Everything.”

  1. adv180 Says:

    Mr. Larry DeVincenzi-

    What you are writing about is exactly what we are trying to teach clients; the power of a good brand cannot be underestimated. Please check us out/our website and tell us what you think about the education of clients in how the world of advertising and marketing works.


    • Larry DeVincenzi Says:

      Thanks ADV180!

      Great site… I like the fact that it’s an inexpensive entry point to what appears to be a good deal of helpful content.

      Your site seems very helpful to business owners that are inexperienced with today’s changing marketing landscape.

      Nicely done!

      How have your sales been?


  2. adv180 Says:

    We are currently marketing the site through Associations and Groups and have had very good response. Recently we added Michigan Association of Realtors and Small Business Association of Michigan.

    If you like what you see, please consider recommending our website to those in need.


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