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Marketing Insights

Why A Brand Name Matters?

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describe the imageWith the birth of England's His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge on July 22, 2013, royal baby names are back in the news. If you are like me, your first thought is what's the big deal?

Proud parents Duchess Kate and Prince William undoubtedly had help from both the family tree and from history as they named their son, since the tiny prince probably got his first name "George" from his great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth's father George. What's in this most auspicious of royal baby names, though? And why should that matter to your new product or service?

Simple. This latest nod to royal baby names puts the focus on what really goes into a good name:

Little Prince George doesn't know it yet, but his name undoubtedly fits him; chosen carefully by his parents and perhaps others with influence, it's a name that he'll come to be known by naturally. Take a look at Prince William; could you see him being called "George" or "Louis" or "Charles"? Not likely, right? He's William, a name well chosen for him, and it fits.

It fits

The same goes for your product or service. Choose a name that fits its purpose and your company image. Your product or service will come to be identified by that name, naturally and easily. Choose a name that is memorable, identifies it use or purpose. You wouldn't name a girl George. And you wouldn't name a hammer "Soft Impact". You have to weight marketing strategy and competitive marrketplace.

Prince George's name has a lot of history to it. While his first name probably comes from his great-great grandfather, King George VI, "Alexander" may have been a favorite of the Middleton family, thus an acknowledgment of his mother Kate's family. The last of his three names, "Louis," is both one of his father William's names and was probably also given to him as  a tribute to his grandfather Prince Charles's beloved late great-uncle Louis Mountbatten.

It's got some history to it

For product names and naming promotions, review the history of naming. People have become familiar with style of names for services. Going radically different can be a benefit or immediate failure of your product. You need to consider consumer awareness in your category. We all know what to expect when a "Sale" is announced. There are a set of words and phrases that need no explanation because they have history. Your new product has to take market share away from an established brand making the name and brand it is anchored to a strategic decision. It can be the one issue that makes or breaks your product launch.

Royal baby names aside, you can take some pointers from the history in Prince George's name by making sure your own product or service name similarly reflects your company's reputation and history. Incorporate your company's parent name into the new name if you can. It should be a strong, solid name that denotes history and quality; when customers say the name of your product or service, they'll not only be cementing the name of your company in their own minds (a great form of advertisement), but they'll also be associating that name with your company's history and reputation of quality.

Historically, royal baby names were usually comprised of four names rather than three; grandfather Prince Charles' full name, for example, is Charles Philip Arthur George, while father Prince William's full name is William Arthur Philip Louis. By choosing to give Prince George three names rather than four, his parents took a step into the 21st century with their participation in this relatively recent, modern trend of simplification.

It's relatively simple and modern

Similarly, when you choose the name for your own product or service, the acronym KISS applies: Keep It Simple, Silly. When you choose simple and modern, you make the name of your product or service easy to remember – and therefore easier for customers to remember, too, when they buy.

It will stand the test of time

"Prince George of Cambridge" will fully embody that most recognizable of royal baby names today and throughout the years as young George grows: Today it's a baby's name, but it will also fit George just as well when he grows into a toddler, a child, a teenager, and finally a mature man.

By the same token, including your brand name in the product or service's name anchors it to the established brand reputation. The name should be descriptive, memorable, and functional, something that will work as well tomorrow as it does today: Modern and descriptive, yet timeless too.

Are you ready to work on developing a brand name, product, service or company name? Download our free eWorksheet to get started.

DOWNLOAD Naming Worksheet

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Topics: Branding, Packaging Design

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