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Win The Name Game

May 3, 2011

Having a bad brand name is like naming your kid Richard when his last name is Head.  I wish I was making this up. Poor little Dick.

Here is part one of name game rules to take… or break.

1. Use the KISS formula: keep it short and sensual. Brevity and mouth feel matter. Say: Coca Cola, Pepsi, Kit Kat, Tic Tac, Apple, Blackberry, Google, Yahoo, Rolex and Cartier.

Don’t use the KISS formula: Ladies who Shoot their Lunch (The 2010 winner of The Great Australian Shiraz Challenge) walk briskly past the typical and summit an emotionally richer peak. Their name is a story, one that surprises then amuses. The name began its life as a hunting magazine headline. CEO Matt Fowles and Chief winemaker Sam Plunkett laughed when they saw it. Their naming bravery has been rewarded with more headlines and more profit. Sip that.

2. Use Word Play: I saw a home accessories shop called ‘The Bitch Is Back.’ Two blocks away was a linen store called ‘Holy Sheet.’ What can I say? I was in Australia. They love words and wine. It explains a lot.

Don’t Be Cheeky: You can use an aspiration to name your brand such as The Healthy CEO.com.  Or you can be mind blowing like Love146.org. They used the founder’s gripping story to create an unforgettable identity. One that mobilized a movement, donations, media and even a funding partnership with Porsche.

We are stuffed with information yet starved for meaning. When a name gives you something to talk about, something that matters, you win.

Next up… two more name rules to make it or break it.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Zammitt

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