Names Matter

Names matter… not just for people, but when you are building a brand. Depending on what you will sell, either product or service, the name does matter.

If a bank was called “Bob’s Bank” would you put your money there? (Ok, that’s a comedic routine from forever ago but also a recent book…that’s how funny – today – it would be to name your bank after someone named “Bob”.)

What if the name was “Insecure Bank” or “Risky Business Bank”? Would you trust it even less than Bob? Bob’s Bank actually starts to sound a bit better, but even though he’s an upstanding guy the trust isn’t there intuitively.

If you make burgers and fries, can you name your place Veg-out? If you offer kid’s fitness programs can they be called “Lazy Loungers”? No and No.

Maybe the name Spanx doesn’t make sense – do you intuitively know what that brand is all about? Maybe no, but it doesn’t turn you off (especially if you see her wearing the sexy dress.) Spanx earned the reputation. It has become known as the PRODUCT, just like other famous brands who are also known as the thing they created (or made famous): Q-tip, Band-Aid, Jell-O.

Do any of the top 10 brand names really “mean something” without their history:  (1) McDonald’s, (2) Coca-Cola, (3) Disney*, (4) Kodak*, (5) Sony, (6) Gillette*, (7) Mercedes-Benz*, (8) Levi’s*, (9) Microsoft, and (10) Marlboro?? No, they probably don’t.

The top brands that started with a “family” name* also had the person behind the brand (or their daughter); their name worked as they earned the trust of their customers. They stood behind their brand, just as you do – and you deliver on what you promise when you create something from nothing.

When you are building your brand… if you don’t use YOUR name, well then, carefully consider the name you choose for your brand.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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