Naming Brand names are an important aspect in setting the tone and personality of your brand, as well as being a key element in marketing activity. Along with design and tone of voice, a name can be a means of differentiation and should reflect the overall brand strategy you’ve developed. |
Choosing a name can be a difficult task in itself, but it’s made even harder because so many are already in use and trademarked. By sure to check carefully that any names you’re considering for a company, product or service aren’t already in use and protected by law.
On the whole, a name falls into one of a few types, which can be arranged along a kind of spectrum of attributes.
These attributes are:
Descriptive Names which simply say what the company/brand does. For example:
Easyjet – makes flying easyToys ‘R’ Us – is all about toysAA (Automobile Association) – is for motorists Evocative Names which suggest associations to the brand but do not try to describe the offer precisely. For example:
First Direct – first bank to offer instant telephone bankingInnocent – natural purity of the fruit juice Abstract Names that break sector rules and stand out. They make no clear reference to the nature of the business. For example:
Google – quirky, accessible, positive and suggests curiosityAviva – an invented name than suggests dynamism and movementToast – suggests familiarity and warmth Consistency In branding and brand management a lot of importance is placed on achieving consistency, so that the same attributes and characteristics are evident in all areas of the business’ operations. Essentially, 'the big idea’ touches and informs everything you do.
Some contemporary brands are less heavily ‘policed’ in this way. There is a trend towards encouraging customers to generate their own content or interpretations within a framework of branded elements or templates. The London 2012 Olympics logo, for example, was designed by Wolff Ollins with these types of user-generated adaptations in mind.
Evolution or revolution An important question when undertaking any reassessment of your brand is whether to go for small, incremental changes as a refresher, or to plump for a major overhaul of your company’s or product’s image.
Broadly speaking, evolution is preferable if you are already in a strong position with a solid customer base and you just need to keep up with a growing or developing market. Revolution, on the other hand, might be more appropriate if your customer base is in decline, the market has changed substantially since the inception of your current brand or you have no point of difference from your competitors.
To work through these kinds of questions it is a good idea to consider hiring a brand designer to look at the current status of your organisation and explore possibilities for developing it.
BP: evolution, then revolution
A BP corporate identity designed in the early 1920s was used for over 80 years, with refreshed versions appearing periodically to keep the logo looking contemporary. However, in 2000 there was a break from the past when the corporate identity was completely redesigned to create the current tessellated 'sunflower' or Helios identity. This change was a reflection of a change in the company’s approach to environmental concerns.
BP's emphasis on the development of renewable energy sources was encapsulated in the tagline ‘Beyond Petroleum’, along with other similar aspirational, environmentally themed messages, such as ‘bigger picture’ and ‘better products’.
Apple: revolution, then evolution
The original Apple Computer logo was a complex, illustrated picture of Isaac Newton sitting under a tree. Company chief executive Steve Jobs thought the overly detailed logo had something to do with the slow sales of the Apple I computer, so he decided on a complete change in identity – a revolution of the corporate visual design - and commissioned the rainbow striped logo, which then ran for 22 years. A revolution in branding was needed to kick-start demand for the company’s products. But by 1998, Apple was firmly established as a successful computer manufacturer and so the rainbow identity underwent an evolution to become today's simpler more contemporary monochrome corporate logo.
Condom manufacturer Durex decided to broaden its appeal by positioning the company as being concerned with sexual wellbeing, rather than just condoms. It’s an evolution of the existing Durex brand that adapts to a changing marketplace and keeps the company’s identity and associations fresh.
Carrying the slogan ‘Lucozade aids recovery’, the product was originally manufactured by a Newcastle chemist as a source of energy for people who are unwell. But its market share was declining in the 1980s, so the company opted for a revolution of the brand, targeting a completely new customer base. Its energy-giving qualities were promoted to the sports performance market and an advertising campaign featuring athlete Daley Thompson used the new slogan ‘Lucozade replaces lost energy’. Product packaging was completely redesigned and sales subsequently tripled between 1984 and 1989.
Related Articles -
Brand, branding, uk,