Marketing: How to Name and Brand Your Products

Sections of This Topic Include

Basic Guidelines for Naming and Branding
How to Create a Powerful Marketing Message
Additional Perspectives on Naming and Branding

Also see
Related Library Topics

Learn More in the Library's Blogs Related to Naming and Branding

In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to Naming and Branding. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

Library's Marketing Blog
Library's Public and Media Relations Blog


Basic Guidelines for Naming and Branding

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD

Naming Your Organization or Product

To effectively promote your product, you must have a concise, yet meaningful description of the product. This can be much more complicated than merely picking a name. There are consultancies built around helping organizations to name or brand their products and services. You have to be sure that you're not using a name that is already trademarked or servicemarked. You should not have a name that closely resembles an already established name in your area, or customers will confuse your services with those referred to by the other name -- or, the organization with the other name may choose to sue you. You need a name that makes sense locally, but if you grow, the name will still be understood elsewhere. The name you choose for your product will be around for a long time and can have substantial impact on how your products are perceived. Therefore, seriously consider some basic forms of market research to glean impressions of different names. For example, convene several focus groups to glean their reactions to various names. Have survey cards that clients can complete to suggest names.

Branding Your Organization or Product

To effectively promote your organization or product, you need to continue to establish its strong reputation and personality, or brand, for it. To understand what a brand is, think of some very common company names, the logos they use, the slogans it uses, the standard colors of the logos and the types of values that it tries to convey in its advertising. All of those together accomplish the company's brand -- so the name is really part of the overall brand. There can be a brand for an organization and for each of its products. Similar to naming an organization or product, the brand should be unique.

That's why it's useful to develop the name and brand during the same activity -- an activity that should include researching what other companies are using, what stakeholders (or distinct types of groups) you want to influence, and what you want each group to think about you. As with other aspects of the marketing analysis, the choice of the research methods you choose to use depends on your skill level, the resources that you have available, what you can afford and how much time you have.

1. You need a name that conveys the nature of the service and, ideally, your unique value proposition -- your unique value proposition is a concise description of your product or service, how it is unique, and why people should buy from you, rather than from your competitors.

2. You need a name and brand that makes sense locally, but will still be understood if the program extends elsewhere. The name you choose will be around for a long time and can have substantial impact on how your services are perceived.

3. You have to be sure that you are not using a name that is already trademarked or service marked. You might verify this by:
a) Looking in the Yellow Pages of your local telephone directory.
b) Calling the appropriate governmental office (for example, contact the Secretary
of State’s office in the USA or contact the appropriate provincial office in
Canada) to see if similar names are registered.
c) Looking in any on-line databases of registered and applied-for names (for
example, see the web site of the federal Patents and Trademark Offices at
http://www.uspto.gov/ in the USA)

4. You should not have a name that closely resembles an already established name in your geographic area or service field because clients will confuse your services with those referred to by the other name. The organization with the other name may even choose to sue you.

5. Should you use a different name for each target market? Note that you can likely benefit a great deal from hiring a marketing consultant to help you design and build your marketing materials so they effectively convey the personality, or brand, of your program and the overall organization. The consultant can help you with selection and design of:

  • Name
  • Colors
  • Logo (text and image)
  • Business cards
  • Labels
  • Envelopes
  • Web pages

How to Create a Powerful Marketing Message

© Copyright Lisa Chapman

We are all over-messaged in this harried world – absolutely bombarded with thousands of messages every single day. So how can your business stand out?

To be successful, your company’s marketing must be creatively distinctive. That’s what it takes to:

  • Capture the attention of your target audience, and
  • Deliver a clear and memorable message.

Your marketing must be laser-focused. It cannot be everything to everybody. What should your marketing message achieve?

  • Image & Branding
  • Recognition, Credibility & Trust
  • Call to Action

Business Branding Basics

Your company is only as powerful as your BRAND. A company’s brand, like an individual’s personality, is unique – and should clearly convey the culture of your organization.

In a nutshell, effective branding takes:

  • Strategizing about who your company is,
  • Aligning your brand with the your company’s core values,
  • Creating an image and advertising that is distinctive, &
  • Integrating all media into an effective and memorable brand message.

These are the basics of business branding. The most successful brands maintain a consistent voice – in the media, on the web, and in person.

What is a Brand Strategy?

Brand strategy is the who, what, why, where, and how of branding. A well-crafted brand strategy:

  • Captures your company’s personality
  • Creates messaging that resonates with prospects
  • Establishes your company’s competitive advantage
  • Converts prospects’ interest into revenue

A good marketing firm with experience in your competitive niche can listen to key employees (and even customers) to craft a message that clearly and succinctly speaks to your target audience. It’s an important investment in your entire marketing effort – and will make your future advertising expenditures powerful.

For a great example of a rebranding campaign that achieved these objectives, consider Financial Marketing Solutions’ creative work for FirstBank. These concepts can be applied to any business in any industry.

Additional Perspectives on Naming and Branding

Definitions Behind Business Name Jargon
Are You Legally Permitted to Use Your Chosen Business Name?
Building a (Nearly) Million-Dollar Brand on a Startup Budget
Promoting Brand Image
4 Ways to Block Brand Competition
The Five Key Steps To Naming An Internet Business
The Number One Question To Ask When Naming A New Business
The #1 Tag Line Mistake To Avoid When Branding A Business
Organic Naming - Creating Company And Product Names With Deep Roots
Rethinking the Idea of the Brand
Night of the Living Dead Brands
Brand Building For Your Small Business
Marketing Case Study -- Social Media Rebranding
Trademarking a Brand Name
Naming a New Business
How Changes in Perception Impact Your Brand
Branding: How Crisis Impacts Your Brand
Branding for Easy Promotion
How to Create the Perfect Elevator Pitch
How to Maintain Brand Consistency Across Product Lines
The Importance of a Good Success Story
The One Thing You Must Get Right When Building a Brand
How to Take a Local Brand National
Rebranding on the Internet
More Business Name Help
How to Name a Business
What Is Your Brand Against?
Create a Brand Advocacy Program
Understanding Brand Loyalty
To Brand or Not to Brand…A Silly Question

Also consider

Basic Methods to Get Customer Feedback
Some Major Sources of Market Research Information

Also See "Naming Your Website"


Submit a link


For the Category of Marketing:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

Basics, Planning and General Information

Market Research and Trends

Competitive Intelligence

Nonprofit



Basics, Planning and General Information

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Market Research and Trends

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Competitive Intelligence

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.

Note to nonprofits: Nonprofits "compete" with other nonprofits, too. They compete for funding, attention from their communities and for staff. Also, funders often want to see if their grantees have closely considered whether other nonprofits are already offering the same services in the same areas. So nonprofits should use competitive intelligence, too.



Nonprofit

Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation - Book Cover Field Guide to Nonprofit Program Design, Marketing and Evaluation
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. There are few books, if any, that explain how to carefully plan, organize, develop and market a nonprofit program. Also, too many books completely separate the highly integrated activities of planning, marketing and evaluating programs. This book integrates all three into a comprehensive, straightforward approach that anyone can follow in order to provide high-quality programs with strong appeal to funders. Includes many online forms that can be downloaded. Many materials in this Library topic are adapted from this book.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Also See

Public Relations -- Recommended Books

Sales -- Recommended Books




Find a Topic

Learn Consulting

Learn Strategic Planning


Free Management Library, © Copyright Authenticity Consulting, LLC ® ; All rights reserved
Website developed by NilesRiver.com         Graphics by Wylde Hare Creative
Provided by

Authenticity Consulting, LLC
Contact Info Privacy Policy Disclaimers