Power of a brand name and how do you analyze a brand potential
The brands name is often
revealing of the brands intentions. This is obviously the case for brand names
which, from the start, are specifically chosen to convey certain objectives or
subjective characteristics of the brand. But it is also true of other brand names
which get chosen for subjective reasons rather than for any apparent objective
or rational ones, they too have the capacity to mark the bands legitimate territory.
Why did Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak choose Apple as their brand name? Surely, this name neither popped out of any creative research nor of any computer software for brand name creation. It is simply the name that seemed plainly obvious to the new creative geniuses. In one word, the Apple brand name conveyed the exact same values as those which had driven them to revolutionize computer science. Clearly, the brand name had in itself all the necessary ingredients to produce a major breakthrough and establish a new norm. What worked for Apple, however, did not work for Apricot. Apple reflected the founders values, which materialized into user friendly computers. This is indeed a far cry from just choosing a similar name without prior verification that such values as Apples could indeed be conveyed by the brand.
The brand name is thus one of the most powerful sources of identity. When a brand questions its identity, the best answer is therefore to thoroughly examine its name and so try to understand the reasoning behind its creation. In doing so, we can discover the brands intentions and programme. Many brands make every effort to acquit qualities which their brand name fails to reflect or simply excludes altogether. Apple sounds fun, not serious. Other brands simply proceed by ignoring their name. The temptation for a brand to just forget about its name is caused by a rash interpretation of the principle of brand autonomy. Experience indeed shows that brands become autonomous as they start to give words specific meanings other than those in the dictionary. Thus when hearing of Birds Eyeno one thinks of a bird. The same is true of Nike. Mercedes is a Spanish Christian name, yet the brand has made it a symbol of Germany. This ability is not only characteristic of brands but also of proper nouns.
A name-like an identity-has to be managed. Certain names may have a double meaning. The purpose of communication then is to select one and drop the other. Thus, Shell naturally chose to emphasize the seas shell meaning rather than the bomb shell one. Likewise, the international temporary employment agency, Ecco, has never chosen to exploit the potential link with economy suggested in its name. On the other hand, it does use its name as a natural means to reinforce its positioning in the segment of high quality service; its advertising cleverly pays upon the theme of duplication, those stepping out of the company. Ecco will of course perfectly duplicate and echo those stepping out of the company.
to help identify and recognize the brand. Emblems must identiy something before
they signify anything. They are particularly useful when marketing to children,
since the latter favours over texts, or when marketing worldwide.
Animal emblems are often used to perform the last function. Animal symbolize the brands personality. It is quite significant, in this respect, that both the Chinese and western horoscopes represent human characters by animals. The Greek veneration of animals reflected their conception of a certain spiritual mystery. The animal is not only allegorical of the brands personality but also of the psychological characteristics of the targeted public. Emblems epitomize more than one facet of brand identity that is why they play such a crucial role in building identity capital. The world of whisky is filled with wild, rare untamable animals that symbolize the natural, pure and authentic character of this alcohol. The associated risk perceived by the customer is thus reduced. They also demonstrate, as we saw above, the brands personality, the red grouse is known for its noble gait and carriage, the wild turkey is a stubborn and clever bird symbolizing independence in the US.
symbols and logotypes
What is important about these symbols and logos is not so much that they help identify the brand but that the brand identifies them. When companies change logos, it usually means that either they or their brands are about to be transformed, as soon as they no longer identify with their past style, they want to start modifying it. Some companies proceed otherwise, to revitalize their brands and recover their identity; they milk their forlorn brand emblems for the energy and aggressiveness they need in order to be able to change. Just as human personality can be reflected in a signature, brand essence and self image can be reflected in symbols.
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