(approx. reading time: 2 minutes)
What’s in a name? As it turns out, quite a lot!
Your brand name doesn't merely describe the product or service you provide, it also identifies your values and what you are or want to be known for.
As defined by the American Marketing Association, your brand is not just the “name, design, or symbol that identifies a seller's goods or service”, it also defines “the customer experience represented by a collection of images and ideas”. On a deeper level, your branding reflects what your prospects or clients/customers experience, and what they feel towards you and your product or service.
The very successful entrepreneur and creator of the Virgin brands, Richard Branson, seems to have it figured out. Paraphrasing his recommendations, these are his top three tips for outstanding branding:
1. Know your audience. Come up with a good name that appeals to your target market.
2. Keep it simple. Your target market may not understand subtleties (or your humour) that may make sense to you.
3. Ensure your name works in other languages. If you plan to expand beyond your local borders and/or broaden the range of your products and services, pick something that won’t offend other cultures and that works for other products too.
As Branson points out, and which seems to be his modus operandi, have fun with your branding! And have fun with getting yourself and your brand known.
To create a knock-out brand that stands out from the crowd and your competitors, you also need to go beyond just a name. While few of us are as adventurous and risk-accepting as Branson, come up with some interesting pursuits that make great stories and serve as good PR. Being ‘in the news’ forms a path to becoming known – to your current and future vendors, suppliers, subcontractors, and employees.
In terms of brand naming conventions, if – like yours truly – you use your personal name, you personally become and personify your brand. While that may not lend itself to much playfulness, it leaves the doors wide open for adding other products or services under the same overall brand name. And when you are out there getting yourself into the news by doing good and forming those stories, that is not a bad way to go!
Source: @RichardBranson, virg.in/dI36d