A business by any other name would SALE as sweet…not necessarily…
When developing a brand for a product or even for a new company, there are a number of things to consider. It is not as easy as just sitting around with your friends after a few too many and deciding that you just came up with the best brand name ever. I suppose it can be but it would be the very rare exception. Too many times business names assume too much of the market they are going after, especially in the age of the internet when anything you put out can go global. And it is not just small business that make this mistake.
The textbook case happens with Chevrolet way before the internet was even considered in its current form. Their new car the “Nova” was going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. And what a Brand, the positively stellar name brought to mind POWER and SPEED..that is of course until they decided to go after the car market in Mexico. The car sold like gangbusters in the US, but south of he border the sales were flat. Why you ask, because they failed to consider the language issue when branding the product. In the US, people saw Nova, but in Mexico they saw No Va or No Go and who wants to drive a car that doesn’t go.
This is just a tiny example of mistakes that are made when developing a new brand.
A brand can be a very complex thing. It is less about singling you out amongst your competition and more about showing potential customers that yours is the only product or service that can satisfy their particular needs.
A good brand will:
- Clearly deliver your message
- Define you as an authority in the marketplace
- Speak to your prospects on an emotional level
- Motivate those prospects to buy
- Build customer loyalty
A ready to be branded?
If you are then make sure to keep these 5 things in mind as you start the process.
Think – Before you do anything else, know your audience and yourself. Think it through. Make sure that you are talking in a way that prospective customers can understand you. And make sure the brand name is meaningful for both the product and its target market.
Plan– Consider all of the angles and try to put yourself in your customers shoes. Think like they do, not like your technical team does, too much jargon will turn people off. And don’t be overly clever. An inside joke only really works for people on the inside. If it is that important to use it, make sure to explain it so everyone can enjoy a laugh.
Commit – Once you have decided on a course for your brand, stick with it. Changing things up too often leave customers confused. And a revolving door of logos makes you seem indecisive and lessens the power of and brand penetration.
Maintain – Above all else you have to maintain your brand. There is nothing worse than having an incredibly identifiable symbol that peopl are not sure is yours. Set standards that everyone should follow when dealing with your brand so you are represented consistently across all mediums.
Repeat – Make sure you thoroughly consider any changes that are made to existing brands and then go through the process over and over to make sure what you are doing will have the desired effect.
Keeping these things in mind as you begin thinking about your brand whether it be a business, product or service will help guide you to better decisions along the way and don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. You don’t have the budget for ad agency, no problem, there are a great number of experienced consultants that can ease you through the process of branding from company/product naming, to logo design and promotional development at very reasonable rates.