Six Steps for Creating a Successful Brand Name
Instead, try grouping the candidate names according to what makes them unique and determine what type of imagery seems appropriate to begin building awareness for the brand. Examples can include putting two words together for the first time, using a certain theme to express leadership or creating a fun name to say or spell. Consider Starbucks Coffee’s “Frappuccino”—the name was put into existence by the company and they are the only ones who can offer this product other than those they license, such as a grocery store. Wouldn’t you like to have a brand name that is so unique only your company could provide it and millions of consumers wanted it?
Step #4: Availability Check
This next step may seem obvious but it is often overlooked. Why register your name? The biggest reason is to protect what may become a very successful enterprise from worry that its ownership will end up as some other company’s property that registered the name before you did! Unfortunately, this happens more than you may think and the legal process of litigation is never enjoyable, not to mention expensive.
Step #5: Sanity Check
After you decide upon your “short list” of potential names, put them through a filter to search for potential embarrassments. One controversial name is Apple’s new iPhone. The trademark is actually owned by Cisco and a company called Nuvio owns the URL, and who knows who they are? If you have a fantastic brand, then let the entire world see it—if you have 100 percent ownership of that brand, prove it with a unique name. Rolex and PlayStation are 100 percent owned, and regardless of where you go their brand name identity remains intact.
Step #6: Review Board
The last step, The Review Board, can take many forms. You can conduct ‘Qualitative Research’ using a series of small groups controlled by a researcher, where the name and image impressions are sought and discussed. This evaluation will guarantee an objective means of review. Another tool is an online survey to a list of potential customer candidates. Using the Internet as the communication tool has made this form of research affordable for small companies. Or there are informal presentations to close associates or those you respect. This is one strategy that can be precarious. Will a close family member be able to tell you what is or is not a strong band name? Probably not. It is usually advisable to have a target group of representative customers tell you what they do and don’t like.
Tom Marin is the Founder and President of MarketCues, Inc., a national consulting firm. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations and middle-market firms. Tom’s focus is to help CEOs drive their strategy shifts and strategic growth programs. Follow MarketCues on Twitter. Tom also welcomes emails new LinkedIn connections or calls to (919) 908-6145.