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Naming Your Brand, Product, or Service

Written By , 7 years ago

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I want to share this discussion from Linkedin.com for Brand & Communication Group. And this is the topic that is arise: “When naming your brand, product, or service, there is a wide range of name types you may wish to consider. Is your brand name descriptive or evocative?”

See how I examine brand naming. And brand naming is not just descriptive or evocative (suggestive). It is more than those two.

Just read, my opinion. Here we go:

Descriptive or evocative (suggestive)? Hmmm….ok! How do I examine them?
In my opinion, as always my way of developing brand naming, there are two methods of brand naming– related and unrelated.

First, a related brand naming can be accomplished by (1) reinforced the nature of the product/ service– i.e. American Airlines, (2) convey an abstract image– i.e. Alpine Water, (3) emphasize one or more attributes– i.e. Soft ‘n’ Dry deodorants. All these 3 are descriptive and evocative (suggestive).

Second, an unrelated brand naming can be accomplished by words that have little meaning or no connection with product being named or specifically created and have no dictionary meaning– i.e. Camel Cigarettes and Kodak.

Below is the sample on how you could name your brand. And let’s pretend it is an all purpose cleaner:

1. Descriptive, related brand naming: Clean All

2. Evocative (suggestive), related brand naming: Sparkle

3. Arbitrary, unrelated brand naming: Horizon

4. Coined, unrelated brand naming: Alcon

OK, I need to go deep on these naming categories. As I view, a descriptive, evocative, and arbitrary naming will result in a good recall. While a coined naming will result in a good recognition. Why? a recall requires reconstruction of target stimulus, while recognition requires matching with the stimulus with the information stored in the memory.

Now, try to hear these two namings, and feel the different. General Motors and Kodak. General Motor gives the ease of recall since both words are high frequencies (people frequently say these two words). While Kodak, it is a created name and have no dictionary meaning whatsoever, but this name is so different and new to people, therefore it stored and stays in your memory that result in good recognition. Do you know what I mean? Hmmm….I hope so..

Off course, a related and an unrelated naming have its upsides and downsides. So everything has its risk. so let’s take a look of those sides.

1. Related Brand Naming

a. Advantage:

b. Disadvantage:

2. Unrelated Brand Naming

a. advantage:

b. Disadvantage:

You see the upsides and downsides of both methods. When it comes to develop a brand naming, which method you are using depends on risks you would take. I personally consider that brand naming development the most frustrating phase. And I don’t like to do it by myself. You need more than just one brain to do this. Sort of brainstorming with your team.

Back, to the original questions, Descriptive or evocative (suggestive)? Well it is more than just those two. You should consider many possibilities. And hopefully, my sharing could lighten you up the brand naming development process that is frustrating.

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