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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

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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 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
Building a (Nearly) Million-Dollar Brand on a Startup Budget
4 Ways to Block Brand Competition
Rethinking the Idea of the Brand
Night of the Living Dead Brands
Marketing Case Study -- Social Media Rebranding
How to Trademark 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 consider
"Naming Your Website"

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