August 13, 2008

6 essential naming tips


Naming is an art that all of us have tried to figure out. It’s a brand strategist’s nightmare. When it comes to choosing a name  we all want to know what works best – should the name be literal, evocative, new, or a historical allusion?

As I said naming is art, craft and magic. To find that perfect name learn from the past and use these 6 classical essential naming styles that will help you find that perfect name. (They all have a cost so beware!!)

Enjoy them and you’ll be on your way to winning the naming game.

Good Luck..


    Descriptive names describe a brand’s offering. is a good one. Its straightforward and self descriptive. My tip is use a descriptive name when developing a suite of offerings under one larger brand or company name.
    Suggestive names imply a market position (or positioning attribute) Yakking away on your cell phone and online is absolutely evocative of twittering. Twitter gets my vote. The benefit of “suggestive naming” is that it allows one to be more evocative or emotional opportunities.
    Now this is an odd one- hopefully you don’t choose something to obscure. When you use a metaphorical name what is happening is the brand is being directly compared to seemingly unrelated subjects. Jaguar wins my vote. When using metaphorical names, it’s a great way to imbue a car brand in this case Jaguar, for example, with the attributes of a jaguar that is full of grace and sophistication.
    Kodak gets my vote. It’s a new word and .why not create a new word? (PS just have a big budget to explain what its attributes are) Ps: One way to make this a success is to add morphemes—the smallest unit of language that carries meaning into the name.
    Historical names work best when the brand has a heritage allusion or reference. If your brand has equity in its heritage, use it but do it carefully. Historical characters have skeletons in the closet. Consider the name of the founder, or the first product ever launched. This method often has great “legs” and allows for meaning to be unpacked for years. Voyageur gets my vote- I can see the canoes with strong reliable finding a safe passage.
    Apple is an example of and arbitrary  brand  with developed distinct characteristics. Arbitrary brands take time and cost a lot of money and these names have almost nothing to do with the brand’s position in the market, nevertheless, people will make meaning of it by connecting your name with what the brand does . Arbitrary names are among the most legally defensible.

Good luck with your naming.. email if you have trouble. TR


April 1, 2008

Great Story Great Design Great Execution

Filed under: BRANDS,Lifestyle,Social Justice — Tony @ 5:02 pm
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Over the weekend  I got myself down to to a theater to see Persepolis. (Click here and watch the all trailers – I recommend watching the third) Right there is a classic in the making. The production values are so human and it shows. Persepolis is a movie with a great story and production techniques that hearken back to the glory days of early Disney. Except the new Disney probably would not have the courage to produce it. Sony was the financier. Its a revealing movie about Iran and very well told. Everything is seen from the point of view of the main character who brings forth her memories as a little girl in Iran, as a teenager in exile and as a married woman back in Iran. The story is always interesting, heart-felt, funny, sarcastic at times, nostalgic, cruel and absurd at some points but very very convincing. I highly recommend it.

I love stories and that speak from the heart and show character.

Check it out the movie and check out the website. That website is so bang on to the topic. Well done to whoever produced it.

The biggest asset of the Persepolis is that it doesn’t preach, it leaves everything to the viewer’s judgment, and this is something to be appreciated because we all know that cartoons can be very effective propaganda devices.


March 31, 2008

Advertisers as Censors

Filed under: BRANDS,Marketing — Tony @ 1:53 pm
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CBC- Terry O’RiellyI am sure as a brand manager and advertiser you have had that horror moment when your brand spokesperson or positioning wobbled off the tracks. We all know that managing a brand is tough. Its something like herding cats.

As a brand manager there is one show you should absolutely listen to- its Terry O’Reilly show – “The Age of Persuasion”. (That is Terry on the left). This week the show is about censorship. We know it happens. Networks drop TV spots, papers refuse to run an ad. Who is responsible.?  In this weeks show Terry O’Reilly reviews the long relationship between sponsorship and censorship – from early Radio, to Hitchcock’s Psycho, through the more recent woes of radio jock Don Imus. Do advertisers really decide what you should see, hear, or think? And if they don’t – who does?

Terry O’Reilly has had a stellar career and his show is bright, intelligent, dense and convoluted. In other words it gets you thinking. Take the time and listen to this week’s show onAdvertisers as Censors” Terry’s show is compelling as are all his shows . Check them out here at TerryO’Rielly.

I found this weeks show “Advertisers as Censors” good but I disagreed.


Just click on the red headphones and listen

. Once you are done lets debate.

Interesting links:
From Ancient Rome
The Grand Daddy of Film Censorship

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