Mayur Karwa | 18 Aug, 2015
Brand name gives insights on the aesthetics and philosophy of the firm. It embodies the symbol with an implicit value proposition and personality. In today's marketplace teeming with thousands of products and services, all of which are being rapidly commoditized, a brand's name stands out from the clutter. It helps in creating a differentiation from similar products to establish a clear identity and greater faith in its function.
The brand name in itself implies existence of a powerful "story" linked to that brand.
"You must carefully define your attitude, your particular sense of style and fashion, and what sets you apart from the other labels" says Jay Jurisich, Creative Director of Igor, a naming and branding consultancy firm based in San Francisco.
Example of correct use of brand image
Walt Disney's worldwide extension is an example of the successful use of brand image. Disney is one such entertaining company which has utilised the concept of branding in establishing it. Despite its presence in various segment it suffered recession in 2008. But the company decided to stretch its brand further by entering into high end consumer products. The products of disney unlike the other product does not have cartoon characters of Disney printed on them. These products can only be identified as product of Disney only from the label. Through this extension Disney has to face competition from brands such as Zara, Louis Vuitton. All these on the basis of their connection created with consumers and some carefully implemented strategy.
Concept of Brand Persona:
Brand personas are your personal attributes. Consumers can relate to the brand persona directly. Fashion retailers, can use brand persona to represent uniqueness. Fashion retailers can use brand persona to establish good traits about the brand. It helps to establish brand's message and tone.
Image source- rmlaflam.files.wordpress.com
Before selecting a perfect brand name:
Target audience: Brand name should be created with the consumers in mind. A well targeted name can circulate a huge amount of consumers. Given the current market economy, small business houses can compete with big houses by targeting a niche market. With a clearly defined name, it is much easier to determine where and how to market your brand. Age, location, gender, income level, education level, marital or family status, occupation, and ethnic background are important points of consideration for creating a perfect brand name.
Persona: Before fixing upon the name for the brand it is very important to understand the final purpose of your product. Personas identify the user's motivations, expectations and goals responsible for driving online behaviour, and brings users to life by giving them name.
Connect with the audience: Company branding is an efficient way of connecting with consumers. The company's potential is highlighted through the 'name 'and 'logo'. Brand name highlights the uniqueness. It should underline message delivery and consistency.
Behavioural connect: For consumers, perhaps the most important characteristic of emotions is that they push us toward action. In response to an emotion, humans are compelled to take action. It is preferable to create a name, which will appeal to consumer's perception and emotion.
Findability is a term for the ease with which information contained on a website can be found. From outside the website (using search engines and the like) and by users already on the website. Although findability has relevance outside the World Wide Web, the term is usually used in this context.
Naming is one challenge people find baffling. It is very important to generalize the certain alphabetical rule and structuring of URLS, so that it caters to consumers in general. There are few simple and easy tricks:
Number of units being used: Using the correct number of alphabets is very important. Some websites believe that use of minimal number of words is necessary for getting consumer attention, but it is wrong. ICanHasCheezBurger.com is far more memorable than the name jfhpnx.com, even though the former has eighteen letters and the latter has only six. Memorability depends on the units being remembered. Meaningful phrases are more Memorable. There are several sites that use more than five or six words and are highly popular, for eg. Wikipedia, Facebook, Wikipedia.
Using the brand name imaginatively: A name shouldn't limit a company too strictly to one area of business, it makes future diversification difficult. But it has nothing to do with a name being devoid of meaning. "Meanings" of a name should consider two things. First there are meanings of the word(s) that the name is based on. Then there's the way those meanings relate to the company, product, or service the name stands for.
Yielding search on websites: It is very important for the companies to be to be findable in search engines. The name of the brand should be able to stand on its own, in this era of competition. Name becomes an identity of the business.
Naming in accordance with the letter near the beginning of the alphabet:Creating names following this rule yields easy public acceptance, and more access in web-search and advertising. [SOURCE- www.thenameinspector.com]
[The graph explains the variations among gender regarding 'BRAND NAMES'](The graph doesn't seem relevant)
The do's and don'ts:
In the context of fashion merchandisers, one must be highly cautious with the name for the product and services. A name is an extension of your brand and it can reinforce the value you provide or distance you from it. It is important to decide what your name should represent.
Memorable: Name selection should be in perspective of consumers. Catchy and attention grabbing names tend to get better recall value. A strategic brand name serves the purpose of recognition for brands, eg. Chumbak, Happily Unmarried, AND.
Length: The size of brand name is a very important factor. It is important to use correct alphabet units to grab consumer's attention. The length should be in accordance with the image one wants to perceive.
Spelling: One is that you want spellings to be memorable. So that can be a letter effect, like in the old brands like Xerox and Kodak, using two x's, two k's, those are very memorable. Then you want it to be meaningful. Secondly spelling should describe the product, and if it is meaningful in that context.
Capitalization: Avoid unnecessary capitalization. It is preferable to use capital letters to begin proper nouns, sentences, headings and the important words in publication titles. Excessive capitalization for other purposes distracts the reader. It is preferable not to capitalize the first letter of a word simply to highlight or express its importance.
Family, Surname, Own name, Regional name: Experts claim that successful branding is most likely when the product is easy to identify, provides the best value for the price, is widely available, and has strong enough demand to make the branding effort profitable. One can use a family name, or surname which represents a hierarchy. Naming a brand based on the region is sometimes very important for localization of business. For example FCUK, French Connection United Kingdom, The brand has a strong presence in the retail market of UK, US, Canada, India, Australia, Hong Kong and China.
Stand out in a crowd: If you want to grab attention, you must sound different. Use a name to focus on what makes a special brand. Look at the category and where it's headed. What do customers expect? How can your name signal something new?
Too much is never enough: To arrive at a name that meets all your objectives, you need a list that's both broad and deep. Example: Accenture. Thousands of names were created, hundreds were screened, and scores were considered. One name rose to the top, and now countless conversations centre around this brand's "Accent on the future".
Other than these important points we must consider getting the general message out strategically. Looking on selection process, looking beyond a word's literal meaning and analysing other possible associations that the name might suggest. We need to ask ourselves, can it deliver new energy to the category. Is it constructed to create a balance between vowels and? There should be an analysis, examination, survey, and study before finalizing a brand "name".
Quality of a brand name:
Generally, the very first impression that someone has of you is focused on the image that you project. Taking care of brand's appearance is very important else others may think that you're disorganized. The brand name should highlight the positive impression to everyone around you. Generating a perfect brand name is not an easy job, it should highlight some key points to the consumers.
Suggestive: In between descriptive and arbitrary names are the suggestive ones. They tell the consumer something about product or services. Arbitrary or coined words are hard to market. Some examples of suggestive brand names are, PINTERST, eBay, NETFLIX, YOUTUBE ETC.
Meaningful: Relevance is important. People who bond with a brand are over five times as likely to buy the brand as those who simply consider it relevant. The purpose of a brand name is to convey consistent brand meaning through its service characteristics. The purpose of a brand name is to impress firmly and place a brand ineradicably.
Imagery: Brand imagery is the depiction of the unique set of associations in the minds of customers concerning what a brand stands for and the implied promises it makes. For example, Disney.
Emotional: Emotional reaction equals strong investment, and it is very hard to neglect or forget an investment of any sort. Brands are highly aware of the cerebral yet instinctual connection an emotional reaction elicits. A strong name acts as the prompting mechanism to encourage a sceptical generation and a savvy nation to give a product a try. For example, the U. S. government relies heavily on emotions, for the purpose of recruiting in the armed force
Other than these few important points, there is the "LOGO", which is an indication of name itself. Logo is the identifying element of the brand for a company, business, product or economic entity, designed to create immediate recognition by the viewer. Individuality and the uniqueness of a logo are necessary to avoid confusion in the marketplace among clients, suppliers, users, affiliates, and the general public.
Your logo is a symbol that can provide consumers with an instant and powerful brand recognition of your business and the services or products that you offer.
The concept of Trademark and availability
According to the International Trademark Association, "A trademark may be any word, name, slogan, symbol, device, package design or combination of these that serves to identify and distinguish a product from others in the marketplace. " If someone else attempts to distribute products using something "confusingly similar" to your trademark, you have the legal right to protect yourself and stop them. It is not mandatory to register your company, but you should register your business name as a trademark. That way, if another business tries to use the same or similar name, you can stop. Trademarks are territorial rights: their registration and enforcement is governed by national laws and the rights conveyed can vary country-by-country. It's not possible to register a truly 'global' right for a brand; however, you can opt to register an International Right (IR) or a Community Trade Mark (CTM) depending on the overseas jurisdictions of most interest to you. Name trademark is very important for the individuality of brand. Some of its major importance is given below:
Business name vs Company name....
- Serves as an effective tool of communication. A trademarked name highlights the individuality about a company
- Trademarked name helps the consumers find it easily on the internet and social platforms
- Trademarked name can inspire positive feelings in the mind of the people
- Trademarked name becomes a great asset over the years.
A business name is a name that is used to identify a business, not a product or service. A business name is the name that the legal entity that owns the business will use to promote the business. Whereas A Company name is the name of the type of legal entity that will generally have its own right. It comprises of shareholders, and owners.
[The graph clearly explains the growth of registrations, as the market segmentation became large, the importance of legalisation and protection grew for the retailers. ] source- http://02f3651.netsolhost.com/2001_Spring/dns_graph.jpg
Challenges of naming in different geographic regions
As the perception and needs vary from culture to culture, consumer response to a standard marketing program may not equally have felt as per company acceptation. Every product undergoes a life cycle, so every geographical location may be having different product life cycle stage, so marketing programs also accordingly have to vary. Names should be created keeping in mind the cultural, social, political environment of a country. Localization and segmentation are all very important factors in naming of a brand. If a brand name is created keeping in mind the above discussed points, it would certainly adhere to universal consumers without much adhere.
source www. slideshare. net
The diagram clearly shows the varied consumer perception among various geographical regions. Naming of brands must be handled considering the ethnic values of every region. Brand names should not hurt the sentiment of people along various geographical region.
Future extension of fashion brand
Segmentation is the division of the marketplace into parts or segments which are definable, accessible and have a potential growth. A brand name should be created in such a way that it can clutter to a large segment of people breaking the socio- cultural barrier.
Even though there are thousands of reasons and benefits of brand extension, no matter how attractive it is, brand extension is full of risks. Creating a wrong extension can create disillusion the loyal group of consumers. Other than that target consumers may not adhere to the extended line if the brand extension misinterprets a brand's core attributes.
In the early 1980's, Levi Strauss enjoyed a large market share in its targeted markets and needed to look at new segments for maintenance of growth. One unpenetrated segment was the "the classic independent", meant for consumers who were concerned with having the right look, who tend to shop at specialty stores. Targeting this segment, Levi introduced 'The Levi Tailored classics', a line of men's suits sold separately. But a problem emerged. The "Levi", name did not fit into the concept of quality tailored suits, especially for the target segment. Levis association with casual living and rugged material undermined the credibility of the new line. This led to a failure of marketing campaign of 'Levi', and all this because the consumers did not feel the connection with the the new line.
[Information source- sloanreview.mit.edu
Best practise to extend same brands:
The attraction of expanding the brand name is powerful; often irresistible. The cost of introducing a new name in the market can range from 50 million to well over 100 million. And even such spending levels do not guarantee success. According to the report published on sloanreview. mit. edu, a study was conducted using 7000 market products, in 1970. According to the result concluded it was found that two -thirds, of the ninety-three products that grossed over 15 million dollars were line extensions.
There are several growing options for brand extension. One growth option is to use an established brand name to penetrate new product categories or to license them to others for use in new product categories. Another option is to acquire a firm with a brand name that can provide the platform for future growth via brand extension.
The extension must fit the brand. A meaningful association that is common to both the brand and extension can provide the basis of fit.
Multiple segment vs single segment:
Brand name holds immense significance. It has an identity and personality, name, culture, vision, emotion and intelligence. All these are conferred by the owner of the brand and needs to be continuously looked at to keep the brand relevant to the target it intends to sell to. Using a brand name, can help retailers to focus on a single segment, or they can enlarge their market to multiple segments using the same brand name. An established brand name carters way for market segmentation.
Effective branding can result in higher sales of not only one product, but of other products associated with that brand. If chosen well, name brands can bring value perception and quality your customers know and trust. A brand name earns credibility. A successful brand identity is one which transcends the simple representation of your business, transforming your company image from pen and ink into powerful thoughts, emotions, and personal associations. A successful brand identity breathes life into your company, luring customers to discover exactly what they've been missing and inviting them to become a part of something both beautiful and valid.
(Mr. Mayur Karwa is the Founder Director of eShopbox. The views expressed are personal.)