What’s in a Name?
And Apple has wisely chosen to name its other branded products with this same architecture, iMac, iPhone, iPad, etc., which has eliminated the need to come up with brand new thinking. And every new “iproduct” adds value back to its “ibrand" line.
Step #2: Choose a name that reflects the brand’s core customer benefit
This is often the fun part: coming up with a large number of names that may or may not be used, but allow you to express all of the thoughts you’ve had about naming the product. Because there are millions of commercially used names, and since many are legally protected, you need a long list to choose from that meets your specific strategic criteria.
Hint: The more unique your product and/or service, the easier it is to name.
Step #3: Be unique
Although tempting, it is rarely advisable to use “borrowed interest” when naming your brand. Making associations with famous people or leading brand names often promotes those people or concepts but not your brand. And if you’re not careful, you may end up in court trying to defend your use of someone else’s name! Instead, create names according to what makes the brand unique.
Hint: The more unique your product’s brand name, the easier it is to keep it differentiated.
Step #4: Make sure it’s available
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 and always expensive.
Step #5: Review Board
The last step, The Review Board, can take many forms. The most often is to conduct qualitative research using a series of small groups controlled by a researcher, where the name and image impressions are presented and discussed. This evaluation provides an objective approach of review.
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.