Top 5 Things You Must Do When Branding
Otherwise known as… The 5 Biggest Mistakes Branders Can Make
Importance of Names:
As you probably already know, a brand name is more often than not the first point of contact for customers. It sets the tone as well as customer expectations. Over time, and with consistent use, the name can become a valuable asset to you, its owner.
As important as this is, many companies often get it wrong. They miss out on key steps during the process or often leave the branding until it’s too late.
Of course, it’s essential to understand the naming process but name development is only one key component of your brand. Below is an excerpt from the article Top Five Things You Must Do When Branding by Alan Atkins, our Head of Naming. Here are his top 5 things for you to consider when branding:
- Timing – start as early as possible so you don’t run out of time
- Focus on the Audience – does your brand speak to your target audience?
- Trademarkability – have you arranged robust and relevant screening?
- What to name – which of your products or services benefit from branding?
- Consider a global audience – how will it be received worldwide?
Origin has been helping industrial companies create great brands for over 24 years so contact us to discuss your naming issues.
Don’t leave it too late, start as early as possible, finding the right name can sometimes be a more challenging exercise than people think.
Engage the key team members at the right stage of the process, take time creating the brand background, sorting out the positioning and brand messaging, as this will inform all future creative and brand building points.
Identify the strategic role of the brand (and the name) is going to play in the portfolio, a great name will re-enforce the personality and positioning of the overall brand.
With this done, define a strong creative vision and brief for the brand development. Understanding the core positioning areas and parameters early on will help to ensure that you have a name that fits perfectly and will communicate the key messages to the audience.
That is not to say that these positioning points will be set in stone. They often change as the naming journey begins and moves forwards. But that key brand essence will really provide the foundation for all that follows and makes the creative work and subsequent review of the names more objective and more straightforward. After all, it is easy to stay ‘on message’ when you know what that message is.
Focus On Your Audience
It is all too easy to be subjective and inward-looking when choosing a name, but the key to really successful names is the ability to be objective and outward-looking (from a customer perspective) when selecting a new name.
Having a set of key brand concepts and as clear a positioning as possible will help to make sure this happens.
Trademarkability – Don’t Leave It Until The End!
The need for robust and relevant screening is paramount, be that legal trademarks or regulatory approval.
But in order to expedite this, it is essential to conduct solid pre-screening and checking of the name candidates during the process. At Origin an in-depth pre-screen of all name candidates to remove any obvious conflicts and identify potential issues and problematic word-parts early on is an integral part of the naming process.
Alongside the name development, this helps to engage the brand team and inform them as to what has the most potential as well as being the most creative and best fit for the new brand, be that a descriptive/associative name or a completely coined/new word.
It also ensures that time and money are not wasted on names that are unsuitable or that are ultimately going to be unavailable.
Naming Everything – when is it right to create a new brand?
There is such a proliferation of new products, services and technologies, it could be easy to fall into the mindset of creating a new name for absolutely every new development. However, it is crucial to be able to identify and decide when an entirely new name is required or a sub-brand or a brand extension is more appropriate.
As mentioned earlier this will happen as part of those first steps and discussions when laying out the brand vision and the brand history/architecture.
Lack of Global Awareness
A hugely important element of the name selection process is to understand the brand in its global context or even in a specific regional location.
The adage ‘It’s a small world’ has never felt more pertinent, especially when it comes to brand names. This is always more apparent when companies get it wrong and whilst on the one hand, the results can be quite shocking or just plain hilarious, on the other they can be catastrophic for the brand owner.
The importance of linguistic screening with native speakers in each of the brand’s potential markets should never be underestimated or overlooked. This verbal and cultural screen will identify any unwanted messages and facilitate acceptance within the market and can often provide important insights into each of those markets as well.
It is essential to understand the naming process. Name development is only one key component of your brand. Once the back-story is agreed and a great brand name is in place, it doesn’t stop there. Moving forward, there are other equally important aspects to address including the visuals, packaging, logos and digital considerations. All of these are born out of those important initial steps.