March 6, 2017
The world’s most valuable brand is estimated to be worth GBP 123.1 billion according to Forbes. Would a different name make your brand more valuable?
It may be impossible to say exactly how much a brand is worth. Nothing exists in a vacuum separated from other factors. The only thing we know is that a good name can do wonders, internally and externally. A good name is easier to like, to trust and easier to profit off.
Did you know that 9 out of 10 new launches in the grocery trade are gone within three years? And that a great number of product and company names disappear before you have even heard of them? Half of them disappear in their first year. Three out of ten survive for five years. It is, of course, not enough to blame the names but there is no reason to doubt that other name concepts would, in many cases, have had better results.
A good, selling name for an absolutely hopeless product or company won’t get anywhere. All you achieve then is that more people learn more quickly what to avoid, aided and abetted by the social media. If you have something good to sell, and you have, of course, the right name at the right place can perform great or small miracles.
No name comes into existence in a vacuum. So it is not so easy either to accurately measure how much of a company’s value can be accounted for under the choice of name. The name is one of several factors that collectively give us a more or less personal relationship with a company. Everything from front men, advertising, press coverage and mentions online to rumours, information and disinformation from friends and celebrities plus personal experiences are involved in forming our image of everything from the shop on the corner to global companies.
But what all these meeting places have in common is their very name. And isn’t it quite simply the case that some companies have a name and manner that makes it easier to believe in negative things said about them? Aren’t there also others that radiate something we prefer to be positive towards? What is absolutely certain is that the name is an important ingredient when it comes to building up a brand.
The greatest challenge is developing something that can move on from being just a name to become a trade name – or a brand. A brand is not primarily a physical item, it is just as much something that occurs at an emotional level. It is about the things that give your company and your products and services an additional value over and above measurable quantities, such as price and availability. In particular, it is about whether it clearly distinguishes your company or your product from the competitors.
There was a reaction to the global companies that had ignored consumers’ customer experiences for far too long. A number of new brands had emerged and challenged the establishment, which was also reflected in the names they adopted.
They chose a name that did not in any way sound like any of the conservative computer companies they were to compete with at the tail-end of the 70s. A name that touched people on a more emotional level than giants like IBM and Hewlett & Packard.
“You’re virgins in this business”, people said to Richard Branson & Co when they were about to start up in the record industry in 1972. Branson turned this into something positive and made it the company’s name and has shown time and time again that he is prepared to make waves in sectors that are virgin territory for the company.
Known first and foremost as the world’s biggest river up to 1994, when Jeff Bezos launched his ambitious ecommerce business and turned the book industry upside down. In a short time, this became the world’s biggest bookshop and, since then, there has been a steady flow of new products at Amazon.
It is the new digital-based companies and their completely new business models that are responsible for the latest revolution in the market. Their ability to change the rules of the game at lightning speed and react immediately to the customer’s needs has changed many sectors. This has given us a number of exciting company names that play on the emotions. Since it is extremely important and increasingly more difficult for a company to own the .com domain, we have had a few names with active misspellings, such as Issuu and Flickr.
A software company that made it possible to make video calls via the Internet entirely free of charge or very inexpensively. Was developed by a Swede, a Dane and a few Estonians and launched in 2003. The name paraphrases “Sky peer-to-peer”.
Air Bed & Breakfast was founded in 2008, and was abbreviated to Airbnb in 2009. They have revolutionised how people live when they are out travelling and can now offer a seven-figure number of places to stay at in 34,000 cities and 190 countries. It is incredible how quickly a new company name can penetrate the market completely in the digital economy.
This app-based taxi company lets the customer call drivers via their smartphone and was established as recently as in 2009. Uber is an anglification of the German word über, one of the few German words that clearly has the trick of also working with the English-speaking youth of today.
The company invented the photocopier and, over time, the name became synonymous with the copies you make.
There are many people who say Hoover when they refer to vacuum cleaning.
These are some of the questions we may ask you but, presumably, these things will emerge absolutely naturally when we speak together.
Finding a name for the business you own or the company you work for can easily become an emotional process. A name must arouse feelings, so this is a very positive thing, but it is often difficult for employees and owners to see the situation from outside. They can be too close to it. A point must be made of preventing internal power struggles or individuals’ preferences from becoming absolutely decisive in as important a choice as this. It is, therefore, important to make the decision on the basis of the right criteria. BinaryFold4 is situated outside the box and can help you come up with the right solution using professional methods.
A completely blank sheet and flexible plans will provide room for both strokes of genius and howlers. Here, it is important to maintain some balance.
It is easy to end up on well-trodden paths while the world rushes past. Has the customer group become too old or does the name badly signal all the changes that have happened to your company?
When Business A and Business B merge, they are often tempted to call themselves AB. This was the case when Hydro and Texaco became Hydro Texaco. Not all names should be automatically merged when the companies merge. True enough, sometimes this is done for the sake of appearances, for continuity or to keep the peace while they actually wish to phase out one name gradually or come up with something completely new. Den norske Creditbank + Bergen Bank gradually became DnB. EDB + Ergo Group changed name to EVRY.
If you have the right product or service on the go, you deserve the right name. What should the car model, bank service, mobile payment, building, alcopop, drone, app, bar or subsidiary’s subsidiary be called?
Apple first marketed its Mac OS X series with various carnivores, including Puma, Jaguar, Tiger, Snow Leopard and Mountain Lion as new versions came along. They have now gone over to nature areas in California; Mavericks, Yosemite and El Capitan. For ardent enthusiasts, such thing can make this personal computer become even more personal. And for some of us, it is easier to remember than terms like Mac OS X 10.11., or whatever it’s called…!?
A good book title can do a lot for sales. The same applies to movies, TV series etc. It was a good film, but would it have been noticed if it had a much more relaxed title? And would it have been remembered 23 years later?