Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Brandable names vs descriptive names

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  • #977081
    BrettM33
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    Me and some others are attempting to come up with a name for our new online company and we’re struggling a bit….. we have a couple of “ok” descriptive names, but nothing that would really stand out from the crowd TBH.

    Made up names / brandable names appease to me more and obviously can be very successful; however it worries me, can they only be successful with a huge marketing budget places like Google, ebay, MS etc have and we do not!?

    Thoughts on this matter?

    Thanks!

    #1091107
    JacquiPryor
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    Hi!

    I am also a fan of more ‘made up’ style names, or distinctive names rather than descriptive. Choosing something too descriptive will limit your ability to exclusively use/own/promote it. If you find a brand that really distinguishes you in the marketplace you should (in theory) be able to secure it as a trademark, providing ownership to the name – and, allowing you to take action if someone else was to infringe your registered rights. It is difficult to do this if the brand is too descriptive.

    I don’t think the likes of Google, eBay etc are successful because of the name they chose – I think it’s because they aligned a ‘vision’ with those brands and really followed through with their vision & plans so that they have become a success. I am sure there are very famous ‘brands’ out there that didn’t start with a squillion dollars for marketing etc.

    The company I used to work for has referred clients to a company called Brandology, who basically provide services in ‘brand alignment’ – coming up with an appropriate brand for your product/service and working with people to ensure the company’s vision is aligned with their brand in the marketplace. Believing that the ‘brand’ can really be anything and can be successful so long as the company is really staying true to their ‘promises’ to the marketplace and keeps their core values etc aligned. They also publish articles/blogs etc (via the link above), which are often really valuable in tips for creating/building the right brand etc. Worth a read I think.

    All the best!!

    #1091280
    JacquiPryor
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    Hi!

    I am also a fan of more ‘made up’ style names, or distinctive names rather than descriptive. Choosing something too descriptive will limit your ability to exclusively use/own/promote it. If you find a brand that really distinguishes you in the marketplace you should (in theory) be able to secure it as a trademark, providing ownership to the name – and, allowing you to take action if someone else was to infringe your registered rights. It is difficult to do this if the brand is too descriptive.

    I don’t think the likes of Google, eBay etc are successful because of the name they chose – I think it’s because they aligned a ‘vision’ with those brands and really followed through with their vision & plans so that they have become a success. I am sure there are very famous ‘brands’ out there that didn’t start with a squillion dollars for marketing etc.

    The company I used to work for has referred clients to a company called Brandology, who basically provide services in ‘brand alignment’ – coming up with an appropriate brand for your product/service and working with people to ensure the company’s vision is aligned with their brand in the marketplace. Believing that the ‘brand’ can really be anything and can be successful so long as the company is really staying true to their ‘promises’ to the marketplace and keeps their core values etc aligned. They also publish articles/blogs etc (via the link above), which are often really valuable in tips for creating/building the right brand etc. Worth a read I think.

    All the best!!

    #1091282
    BrettM33
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    Thank you for the great post and info Jacqui! :)

    #1091108
    BrettM33
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    Thank you for the great post and info Jacqui! :)

    #1091284
    victorng
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    Hey Condor – your experience is not a new one. Choosing a name can be immensely difficult – even more so if you’ve got a number of people all of whom need to be happy.

    One key advantage of a ‘brandable’ name is that you generally stand a better chance of being memorable.

    Having said that, make sure it’s easy to spell and only has one likely spelling (e.g ZYRONECA would be bad) and check that you aren’t cursing in another language (e.g. PAJERO – look it up).

    Of course, there are always exceptions – e.g. MAN WITH A VAN (hey, it’s catchy) and CARS.COM.AU (you need a killer domain name though).

    Good luck.

    Cheers,
    Victor

    #1091109
    victorng
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    Hey Condor – your experience is not a new one. Choosing a name can be immensely difficult – even more so if you’ve got a number of people all of whom need to be happy.

    One key advantage of a ‘brandable’ name is that you generally stand a better chance of being memorable.

    Having said that, make sure it’s easy to spell and only has one likely spelling (e.g ZYRONECA would be bad) and check that you aren’t cursing in another language (e.g. PAJERO – look it up).

    Of course, there are always exceptions – e.g. MAN WITH A VAN (hey, it’s catchy) and CARS.COM.AU (you need a killer domain name though).

    Good luck.

    Cheers,
    Victor

    #1091110
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
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    if you really want to stand up from the crowd, offer unparalleled service and be able to communicate effectively. be able to explain in graphic detail. This how luxury providers describe their products and services.

    Lots of companies create a “big” brand and then it backfires because they build a “mercedes” image but deliver “hyundai” grade service.

    Invest sometime on developing your customer profile. If you don’t know your customer, no amount of branding will help you to create a viable business. This video explains what i mean.

    #1091286
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
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    if you really want to stand up from the crowd, offer unparalleled service and be able to communicate effectively. be able to explain in graphic detail. This how luxury providers describe their products and services.

    Lots of companies create a “big” brand and then it backfires because they build a “mercedes” image but deliver “hyundai” grade service.

    Invest sometime on developing your customer profile. If you don’t know your customer, no amount of branding will help you to create a viable business. This video explains what i mean.

    #1091288
    JacquiPryor
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    victorng, post: 107485 wrote:
    and check that you aren’t cursing in another language (e.g. PAJERO – look it up).

    Funny you mention this – I just today published a blog post about trademarks & brands that have been lost in translation… there’s a few blunders out there!! So, I agree with Victor – make sure that your chosen name isn’t translated poorly in other countries!

    #1091111
    JacquiPryor
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    victorng, post: 107485 wrote:
    and check that you aren’t cursing in another language (e.g. PAJERO – look it up).

    Funny you mention this – I just today published a blog post about trademarks & brands that have been lost in translation… there’s a few blunders out there!! So, I agree with Victor – make sure that your chosen name isn’t translated poorly in other countries!

    #1091290
    websitedesigner
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    I dont’ believe the name makes any difference. Cases in point from companies that have enjoyed years of success

    • Apple – Named after a fruit cause the founder was a fruit farm loving hippie
    • 37 Signals – Named after some weird alien thing
    • Harvey Norman / Dick Smith / McDonalds – Named after founders
    • Squidoo – Seth Godin likes made up names

    For every rule you read about choosing business names there are examples of great companies that break them. The company will become the name over time and unless it’s a really bad boring name that is fine.

    Heres’s an article I wrote about it choosing a business name, you may not agree but I think there are much more important things to focus on than the name.

    #1091112
    websitedesigner
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    I dont’ believe the name makes any difference. Cases in point from companies that have enjoyed years of success

    • Apple – Named after a fruit cause the founder was a fruit farm loving hippie
    • 37 Signals – Named after some weird alien thing
    • Harvey Norman / Dick Smith / McDonalds – Named after founders
    • Squidoo – Seth Godin likes made up names

    For every rule you read about choosing business names there are examples of great companies that break them. The company will become the name over time and unless it’s a really bad boring name that is fine.

    Heres’s an article I wrote about it choosing a business name, you may not agree but I think there are much more important things to focus on than the name.

    #1091292
    tonyk
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    I don’t choose a company based on their name, it’s all about what kind of service they deliver. Will they treat me as a person, or just another number.

    #1091113
    tonyk
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    I don’t choose a company based on their name, it’s all about what kind of service they deliver. Will they treat me as a person, or just another number.

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