What’s in a Name? 15 Criteria for Naming a Brand or Product

by | Sep 16, 2013 | Blog, Blog Archive, Marketing Automation, Marketing Software | 0 comments

A decision to name a branded product is a challenge for many marketers. By choosing a good brand name or name of a product underneath your corporate name, a company is positioning itself for greater success. Hello.My.Name

If your brand is not in the start up and development phase, as I would figure that many of you reading are not, one semi common occurrence is a brand name change. Recently, Adweek reported that controversial sports team names like Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago Blackhawks could be changed in the near future. These sports teams have had these names for many years, and it would be a significant marketing expenditure for the names to be changed.

Many of you reading may be wondering what naming could have to do with you. For many marketers, although the name of their company is likely to remain constant, new products are likely to be developed over time and existing product lines may be re-named. In a scenario like this, it is wise to know what will help position your product for success in the marketplace. Consider this a prerequisite for all marketing activity, including all of the facets of a multi-channel marketing automation solution.

What makes a good brand name? Landor Associates, a well known brand consultancy, identifies three key categories of criteria: Strategic, Linguistic, and Legal. It is a fun exercise to apply these criteria to your existing brand name, as well as a great framework for developing a sub-brand or product name under your existing brand name.

Strategic criteria:

  • Does it capture your brand’s essence in a meaningful way?
  • Is it appropriate and appealing to your target audience?
  • Is it as brief as possible?
  • Does the name connect to what the business is about?
  • Does it have the potential to be memorable?
  • Does it limit you in any way?

Linguistic criteria:

  • Is it appropriate in meaning in all major languages?
  • Is it easy to spell and say?
  • Does it limit you in any way?
  • Have you considered all relevant cultural sensitivities?
  • Is it too similar to an existing trademarked brand that it may cause consumer confusion?

Legal criteria:

  • Can you use it without infringing on another trademark?
  • Can you own and protect it as your trademark?
  • Is the domain name available?
  • Can you use it and protect it in all relevant geographies?

By having a good brand name, the entire process of marketing becomes easier. Marketing is challenging enough as it is, so why make it any more challenging by having to work around a ill fitting brand name?

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