Why do brand names fail? Part 2

Previously, we talked about three reasons why brand names fail: not getting the right stakeholders involved early in the naming process, choosing an agency that does not have linguistic capabilities and relying too much on big brainstorming sessions. Today, we have four more reasons for you. Here we go.

There are universally accepted criteria for naming. Every agency uses them. The problem is, in the age of Internet, it is almost impossible to find a name that satisfies all of your criteria. If you eliminate all the alternatives just because they don’t meet every single criterion, you will end up with an abstract name. We usually try to avoid that. Instead, we tell our clients to rank their criteria. If an alternative name satisfies your top 3-4 criteria then consider it job well-done. We don’t live in pre-internet world anymore.

Second,  usually my clients prefer descriptive names. Their logic is simple: the name should be self-explanatory so that it requires less investment. While we understand that cash is king, you should understand that in the long-run, descriptive names would limit your growth. That is why, we recommend you to avoid descriptive names should you plan to expand your business offer.

Third, agencies usually push for easily-ownable abstract words, because most names are not legally available. While there is truth to that, you should invest serious money and time to develop meaning for an abstract name. Also, general public usually dislikes them when they are first launched. So, if you plan to hit a quick home-run with your brand, we recommend you to avoid abstract words.

Finally, beware of clichés, buzz-words (solutions, innovations) and over-used extensions (preferred, plus, extra) in your brand name. They are so over-used that they have lost their meaning. They also sound nerdy. Try to beat established category nomenclature. Otherwise your brand name is not going to be differentiated.

We will conclude this topic next week. In the mean time, why don’t you fire up your comments?

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