Cara Good

Article Summary:

Quick tips for selecting a memorable name for your brand.

Brand Naming and Acquisitions

Just as the 90s will be forever known as the decade of IPOs, irrational exuberance and the dot com boom, the "zeros" are quietly becoming the decade of mergers and acquisitions, accountability and consolidation.

Corporate marketers are asking, "What do you do with multi-million dollar brands that are being combined under one roof?" Here are ways to determine how to communicate the value of the combined venture:

1. Evaluate both brands and determine if either has a greater value to the company's future

2. Announce the merger and tout the benefits to everyone in terms relevant to them

3. Create a transition plan to get beyond the merger or acquisition and get back to the business of communicating based on your value proposition

In most cases, it's a good idea to evaluate the acquiring brand to be certain it embodies the spirit of the combined company. Don't settle for an ineffective, lackluster name. Here are quick tips for selecting a memorable name for your business. (These tips serve product marketers well, too, for naming a product or service.)

Use letters that arrive early in the alphabet
Internet search engines use an alphabetically driven organizational structure, and this will ensure that your company comes up near the top of the list.

Speak easy
If your name is easy to spell and say, your name will be easier for people to remember.

Avoid numbers
Numbers can cause confusion and spelling problems when someone is trying to find your company, service or product. Is it one or 1; two or 2; three or 3?

Pick a name that has "verb potential"
Can you activate the name? Companies such as Google, Kleenex and Xerox hit brand bonanza as their names have slipped into our vernacular as verbs.

Avoid similar-sounding names
Sounding too similar to an existing company can cause confusion and make it more difficult to own the name in stakeholders' minds.

Select a name that makes sense for your company
Using a name that fits your industry can strengthen your brand and deepen the understanding of what your company does, offers or sells. "Just Tires", "Toys R Us" and "Microsoft" all are examples.

Strive for a timeless name
Be aware of trends in names (e.g. dot coms or the letter "e" before any name). Understand the future of your products, services and industry and how it might affect the name.

Cara Good is the co-founder and president of WunderMarx Inc., a fast-growing international public relations, marketing and branding firm representing some of the world's most innovative technologies and ideas. She has been quoted and featured in numerous articles on entrepreneurialism, public relations and marketing, and speaks frequently on these topics. For more information visit www.wundermarx.com

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