How Does a Name Impact Brand?

Name impacts brand

You or your company, product or service all have names. You either selected it or were saddled with it depending on your viewpoint.

Look up your name on Google.

When I look up Jerry Fletcher these days I get numerous listings on page one. Used to be I was well behind the movie called Conspiracy Theory starring Mel Gibson who played a character with my name. It took three years to turn that around as the result of multiple websites, blogs and dedicated posting on Linked In and other social networks. Even if there are better known folks with the same name you can set yourself apart.

While you’re there look at the images.

It can be scary. Left to right the ones presented to me had descriptors like:

  • Monsters Among us
  • Predators in the Pulpit
  • Mel in character in Conspiracy Theory

On my desktop I show up on the far right in the row presented. All of which comes down to making sure the images of you which you put on line should be consistently positive.

Look up your name on Linked In or Facebook or beBee.

On Linked in there are 392 listings for my name.  Of these, 301 are in the USA. Only three are in Oregon (and one of them is me again). So you would have to know my location or company name or special capabilities to get the right guy. Try to be sure no one confuses you with one of those others. make sure your profile has searchable specifics.

On Facebook the list goes on forever. You need to know a little more about me than is shown in my profile in order to track me down. Since I only post when the constellations align there is not a great deal of information available. I’d like to keep it that way but I’m being sucked into the vortex because I put BrandBrainTrust on Facebook because I think it may prove helpful to a lot of folks.

Your name can be your best asset if you are a professional, coach or consultant. I didn’t understand how important it was when I hung out my own shingle. I named my company Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Nobody could understand why I named it that way. Nobody could spell it, Nobody could remember it. It definitely did not have the intended impact.

Use your name as the name of your company if you are a professional, coach or consultant. It will give you the advantage of not having to explain the company name or part of the company name when you should be telling people what you can do for them. It is easier for people to remember your name than any made-up company name (no matter how clever).  Sure, people may shorten the multiple partner Law or CPA firm to the first one or two names, but they started out with all of them. And there is not any doubt about what they do.

But what if you have to name a company or a product? The decisions, in order are:

  1. Is this a single product company? If so the company and product name can be the same.

When Digimarc was being named we struggled more with finding a way to describe the result of the technology than anything else. This invention allows the user to digitally mark any graphic holographically. The mark can be seen by the right software even if only a fragment of the marked document is available. (See the Brand Storyand outcome at www.BrandBrainTrust.com)

The name of the company changed three times before it was introduced to second stage investors.

  1. Is this a multi-product company? If so you will need to delineate the products in such a way that clients or customers can easily identify them. That doesn’t mean you need to think of the decision as a set of handcuffs.

For example:

S C Johnson makes all sorts of products. Each carries its own name and some have line  extensions. You’re probably familiar with No More Tears Shampoo®, Glade®, Pledge® and Windex®.

Most technically oriented or engineering firms use numbers to designate their products as they evolve. Intel’s i5 an i7 chips come to mind. But some elect to use other means. Android uses sweet treats as names for their operating system upgrades—Jelly Bean is perhaps the best known. Another way is to use letters of the alphabet. Ford does this using an E to begin the names for the SUVs: Explorer, Escape, Edge, Expedition.

  1. How do come up with names that stay in mind?
  • Make ‘em smile (Cherry Garcia one of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors)
  • Tell ‘em what it does (Gorilla Glue)
  • Have ‘em picture it (Good Grips OXO kitchen implements)
  • Show ‘em a theme (Mc Café, Mc Nuggets, Mc Ribs)
  • Give ‘em a feeling (Obsession, the perfume)

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Jerry Fletcher is the founder of www.BrandBrainTrust.com  His consulting practice, now in its 26th year, is known for Brand Development, Positioning and business development on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

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About Jerry Fletcher

Jerry is the CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. which he founded in 1990. He is an expert at business development and has changed the way the way new business is acquired and introduced on three continents. He is known to meet with clients in dining rooms and boardrooms. He stopped counting successful introductions of new products at 207.

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