Tag Archives: Branding

Bare Naked Brand Names

Courtesy of Internet Business Law Journal  by Naseem Javed

Last century business names were colorfully dressed with uniquely stylized lettering, colorful logos, slogans and contextual support. This century, such ‘stylized dependency’ has been pushed over the cliff by neo-socio-mobile-media-lingo. They’re stripped and typed in black and white text as soundbite-sized ‘bare naked words’, blending into chat lines alongside abbreviations and numbing-mumbo-jumbo. The majority of big name brands are losing their luster. Powerful imagery from the old newspaper era of double sized full page ads are replaced by typed words on small portable devices.

Can you identify the high maintenance big brand names on the following social media chats?

…just checked the wind at the mall, grand service but tag too high…

…I have no option but united, they would know where my real goodies are…

… no matter what, for me prime is the way to go before I try orange or wave…

…and then she gave me a rolex…

Highly distinct brand names like ‘Rolex’ or Panasonic are identifiable in any typed conversation while diluted names like ‘United’ ‘Premier’ ‘Orange’, ‘Wave’ ‘Wind’ disappear in the bursts of text making no sense, causing confusion and least building any distinct name identity. Camouflaged brand names are only going to end up invisible.

Today, the socio-mobile-lingo-depository is the fastest growing and the largest communication pool in the world. Tweeting, Facebooking, MySpacing, YouSmiling, MeWatching, YouListening or Linkedining, alike have transformed name brands into ‘typed lingo’.

The largest majority of the last century names do not fit the next generation digital platforms. If global socio-mobile marketing is mandatory for high level results, names must pass a ‘nudity-test’: a name must be inserted into an everyday social media conversation and checked to see if it’s still identifiable or lost within the text. If it doesn’t, it provides instant proof why cash registers aren’t ringing and what’s killing all the potential sales.

Last century, when names with special styles of lettering appeared in full page ads, there was no need to clarify the meaning or connection of the name with the subject. ‘United Furniture’ with furniture arranged in shape of the letters, ‘United Logistics’ stylized with a large cargo ship or ‘United Bank’ with a monetary symbol and logo to create distinction. Everybody understood what was what.

Today, with some 250,000 different businesses around the world already using ‘United’ as a name brand, the typed word has to appear lost in the depths of the English dictionary. The name values and visibility for such style dependent names are dying on upstream and downstream social media.

In this socio-mobile-marketplace only the very small percentage of highly distinct names has a clear competitive advantage. Microsoft, Rolex and Panasonic are easily identifiable in any sentence, in any format without question.

Corporations are shy to face the nakedness of their own names. When the management of ‘United Logistics’ sees their name brand, they are so conditioned to first see the stylized logo, the slogan and the whole package, with a globe replacing the ‘o’ in the ‘logistics’, a tiny plane forming a circular line arching over the name and bold italic letters telling the fast dynamics of the logistic trade. Now try searching ‘united’ as an example on social media; it will demonstrate the instant erosion of a branded name identity.

Currently, studies show that the largest majority of business names are based on dictionary or geographic words followed by surnames and acronyms or initials. Less than 1% of business names are distinct and unique. While global ad expenditures are touching $700 Billion, why is this aspect of global naming complexity not on any syllabus at any of the MBA programs in the world? The question remains; what is the reason for this waste, and more importantly, who benefits from it?

After the massive success of social media, new domain name management platforms will further kindle huge fires up the major global branding and marketing services. A new stage is being set by ICANN the International Corporation of Assigned names & Numbers and their gTLD global top level domain name program, where name-centricity will drive the digital branding explosion. What should the brand owners do? Strip their business name clean of every support, attachment, and gimmick and assess the risk of them being lost in the crowd of common language. Without a professional name evaluation report the entire marketing and branding budget may be questionable.
A distinct name identity is what separates a name from a word; the stripped down identity test will prove this.

Naseem Javed, founder of ABC Namebank, is a globally recognized authority on corporate nomenclature and related issues of global naming complexities and especially market domination via name identity. He is a lecturer, syndicated columnist, and the author of Naming for Power.  www.abcnamebank.com

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Is an iPad app the right choice for your brand?

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

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The iPad has become a powerful new platform for brands, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. Watch as a handful of brand marketers debate the relevancy of this influential tool.  Courtesy of IMediaConnection.com.

Can Brands Keep Their Promise in a Digital World?

brand_x1Timing is everything
One of the challenges of brand advertising has always been the disconnect between the times in our lives when we’re thinking about a product and the opportunity for a brand exposure. How do you deliver a brand message at just the right time? The goal of situational targeting became advertising’s Holy Grail. A few channels, such as in-store promotions and well-placed coupons, at least got marketers closer to being in the right place at the right time, but did little to build brand at this critical time. A significant discount might prompt a consumer to try an unfamiliar brand, but the new brand was always fighting the well worn groove of consumer habits. Trying a new product once doesn’t guarantee you’ll ever try it again (reading list suggestion: “Habit, the 95% of Behavior that Marketers Ignore.” )

The disconnect between the purchasing situation and the need to establish brands mentally (literally burn them into our brains) meant marketers played both ends against the middle. They used TV and other branding mediums to build awareness. Then they used direct-response tactics to tip the balance toward purchase when the situation was right. But in between was a huge gap that has swallowed billions of advertising dollars. The challenge facing digital marketing is how to bridge the gap.

Don’t Take Our Word for It
The answer to bridging the gap for a brand that promises quality lies in a few converging areas: the online social graph and mobile computing. Both areas are in their infancy, but they hold the promise of solving the Brand Promise marketer’s dilemma.

If a brand is a promise of quality, we want to hear confirmation of that by someone other than the brand. A brand’s advertising might make us willing to consider them, but we want confirmation of the promise of quality from an objective third party. The Web has made it much easier to access the opinions of others. And, through platforms like Facebook and Twitter, we are now able to “crowdsource” — reach out to our trusted circle of family, friends and acquaintances and quickly poll them for their opinions. But this is still a fragmented, multi-step process that requires a lot of time and cognitive effort on our part. What happens when we weave the pieces together into a smooth continuum?

Keeping Marketing in Hand
Mobile has the ability to do that, because it provides us with a constant online connection. Consider the implications. As we store more of our “LifeBits” (check out Aaron Goldman’s columns on this fascinating project) online and rely more and more on digital assistance to make our lives easier, the odds of determining our intent by where we are and what we’re interacting with in our own “Web” improve dramatically. Our online persona becomes an accurate reflection of our mental one. With mobile devices, our digital and physical locations merge and through technologies like MOBVIS, we can even parse our surrounding visually. All this combines to give the marketer very clear signals of what we might be thinking about at any given time.

Now, advertising can be delivered with pinpoint accuracy: think of it as behavioral targeting on steroids. Not only that, it can be the first step in a continuum: we get a targeted and relevant messaging, with the ability to seamlessly pull back objective reviews and opinions on any given product, location or service. Going one step further with just one click, we can reach out through multiple social networks to see if any of our circle of acquaintances has an opinion on the purchase we’re considering. If brands are a promise, this allows us to vet the promise instantly. If all checks out, we quickly check for best prices and possible alternatives within the geographic (or online) parameters we set.

In this scenario, the nature of brand-building for the brand promise product changes dramatically. We rely less on manufacturer’s messaging and more on how the brand resonates through the digital landscape. Brand preference becomes more of a spur-of-the-moment decision. Of course, the brands will still try to stake the high ground in our mental terrain through traditional awareness-building, but I suspect it will become increasingly more difficult to do so. Ultimately, brands will try to move their position from one of a promise of quality (a promise easily checked online) to a religion, where faith can play the spoiler.

21 Persuasive Words

book-words-that-workInnovators know how to “communicate-to-innovate” by using persuasive language that engages people to support their ideas. Presidential speech-writer Frank Luntz wrote Words That Work, a book that contains his recommended list of persuasive words. Consider using his recommended words when preparing your next presentation or communication.

21 Persuasive Words for 21st Century Communicators

1. Imagine
2. Hassle-free
3. Lifestyle
4. Accountability
5. Results / Can-Do Spirit
6. Innovation
7. Renew, Revitalize, Rejuvenate, Restore,
Rekindle, Reinvent
8. Efficient, Efficiency
9. The Right to
10. Patient-Centered
11. Investment
12. Casual Elegance
13. Independent
14. Peace of Mind
15. Certified
16. All-American
17. Prosperity
18. Spirituality
19. Financial Security
20. Balanced Approach
21. Culture of

Notice that “imagine” is first, “innovation” is number sixth, and the six “R” words came raml as number seven on the list. If you are looking for more words that may be especially appealing to some people, check out Solutionman’s Politicator List and Worksheet that was inspired by the persuasive language of American presidential candidates.

Courtesy of The Innovator’s Digest.

Build Your Recession Brand

logo-branding-thumb We Are In a Recession, So Build Your Brand On The Internet Now! During the great depression in the 1930’s, you may think that businesses did not spend money on marketing, but you would be wrong. The truth is that according to research I did, many businesses actually boomed, why? Because they expanded their marketing!

History has shown that during past recessions, many businesses took an aggressive approach at marketing, and building their brand during a economic downturn, and they are the ones that flourished, and were very profitable during these times.

How about our current recession? What can you do to remain profitable? Build your brand on the Internet!

I have been doing this with a couple of my newest clients, and I will show you what I have been doing to help them remain atop the search engine rankings, leveraging them to have huge advantage on the Internet when the recession ends.

Take for example my client, Accurate Termite Control Company in Irvine, California. They have had a good presence on the Internet already in southern Cal, but there is much more room for improvement, and potential to take up more space in the search results (over time). So here is what we did.

CLICK HERE to read the full list of brand building techniques, courtesy of RED VW BUS.

Create a “Recession Brand”

Consumer companies with resources should consider creating low-price recession brands to protect pricing and margins on their established products.

These brands are designed to last just as long as the recession, then evaporate or continue when economic times improve.

Why not just lower prices to begin with? For some consumers, price slashing lessons the value of the original brand. And it’s difficult to raise prices back up later.

The so-called “fighter brand” offers a similar product as your flagship line, but under a different name and at a lower price, according to an article on CFO.com.

“You bring this brand out just to cater to this recessionary environment,” says John Quelch, a marketing professor at Harvard Business School, as quoted in the piece. “Others may have no option but to cut their price or fiddle with packaging on existing brands. But if you are a market leader, you can use your clout with retailers to get the shelf space for it.”

Have you encountered recession brands in the market?