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A Bad Product Name: BelVita

October 1st, 2013 · 2 Comments

A new commercial caught my eye and ear last evening. It was for a breakfast bar named Belvita.

I was doing a crossword puzzle at the time so my concentration was split. (That’s what happens so often with most people, and that’s why most advertising is not very effective.)

The thing I first thought I heard – ie, the audio – was “Velveeta”, a mainstay brand from Kraft Foods. But when I looked up, there was a breakfast bar/cookie being pitched. It wasn’t until the end that I saw the package and the name, “BelVita”.

These names sound alike

These names sound alike

I wonder why anyone marketing an energizing breakfast bar to would adopt a name so linguistically close  to the name of a bland American cheese?

I always do an auditory test of names I recommend to clients, as well as attempt to recommend only name candidates that will steer clear of possible linguistic and legal entanglements. Might Kraft take issue? Probably not because  Mondelez International, owns both Nabisco (Belvita’s parent) and Kraft. But if  I were the “brand police” at Mondelez,

I’d sure raise a stink.

But just as bad as the confusion the name might cause is that the name is linguistically “limp”. “Bel” is first and foremost a feminine syllable. And though “Vita” leads to “vital” or “vitamin”, it certainly takes a back seat in this name. Wouldn’t it be more powerful to lead off with “Vita”?

Anyway, it’s a name I wouldn’t have recommended. How about you?

Here’s a video about naming that could be helpful. Enjoy!


→ 2 CommentsTags: Name Creation

Good Taglines are NOT Platitudes.

September 17th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Whether you call them taglines, slogans, or positioning statements, they are almost mandatory for today’s brand. These five-to-eight-word phrases are supposed to differentiate your business, product or service from your competition. But just as often, they just state the obvious. Or even worse, they cause confusion.

Here’s one way to evaluate a tagline. After hearing or reading it, if your reaction is “Well, I should hope so!”, you’re hearing or seeing a platitude, not an effective tagline. [Read more →]

→ 2 CommentsTags: Branding · Tagline Creation

Brand Management: What It Involves & How to Do It.

August 10th, 2013 · 3 Comments

Management sessionEstablishing a brand management team can be a complex but very “personal” activity for a small or mid-sized comany. But the following article offers some guidelines and considerations that can prove valuable if it’s time to really be serious about brand management. [Read more →]

→ 3 CommentsTags: Brand Management

My very first meme

May 11th, 2013 · Comments Off

Memes are new to me – at least in the way they’re used on the Internet. The term used to mean a symbol/word/musical note/image that had universal understanding. It was a cultural phenominon. But in this new context, a meme is a picture/caption that may go “viral” because of its appeal to a certain audience. Anyway, this meme is sort of lame, but it does make a point.

Comments OffTags: Branding Resources

New logo: everyone’s a critic

April 25th, 2013 · No Comments


Recently the following article appeared on the Washington Post blog. Note that it received a boat-full of comments, none of which were positive. Just goes to show that no matter what you do, people of all types can and will find fault if you ask for their opinions. That's why asking focus-group panels about their reactions to new logos – and especially new names – will bring criticism. Participants believe that's why they are there.

Anyway, here's the article and a link to the page where the comments reside.

And you can put in your two-cents by commenting in this blog, too.


AccuWeather debuted a new “brand identity system” (pretty much a fancy way of saying “logo”) earlier this week:

The “sun icon along with the ‘AccuWeather’ name appearing in a warm orange tone … is meant to reflect warmth, friendliness, and trust. … The clean design is reflective of the brand’s sharp focus on accuracy,” says the AccuWeather news release.

“The AccuWeather story is one of great scientific application, development, creativity, and ingenuity in providing the world’s most accurate weather forecasts. These new icons symbolize our distinct advantage over other weather sources,” said Dr. Joel N. Myers, Founder, Chairman, and President of AccuWeather.

What do you think of the new logo…

Comments at AccuWeather launches new 'brand identity system' – Washington Post – Washington Post (blog)

What do you think of the logo? Comment below.

→ No CommentsTags: Logo Development

Brand Management needs involvement and collaboration

November 7th, 2012 · No Comments

So just how do you get brand changes approved by management and embraced by employees?

In a recent Forbes article, John Ellett interviewed Verchele Wiggins, Holiday Inn’s  Vice President of Global Brand Management, about the chain’s recent rebranding efforts. It’s a wide-ranging article that ends with this exchange: [Read more →]

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How to Brand a Professional Services Firm

November 2nd, 2012 · 3 Comments

professional needing brandingAs a professional services provider, and having helped brand more than a couple of service firms, I know professional services branding is a unique proposition. So does Hinge Marketing.

For about a year now I’ve been following the web marketing created by Hinge, a marketing services firm that consults about “branding and marketing for professional services firms”. They practice what they preach and provide valuable guidance for professional service marketers, particularly those wanting to use the Internet to capture new business.

They just did a blog outlining five brand building strategies that deserves to be brought to everyone service provider struggling to differentiate their company. It’s entitled…

Top 5 Brand building Strategies for Professional Services Firms

Here a few excerpts.

1. Content marketing
Content Marketing involves providing a steady stream of useful information to potential clients or influencers. Think educational rather than promotional. It addresses relevance, reputation and visibility.

2. Develop Visible Experts?.professional doing business
Many firms have experts, but few of them go on to become well known and influential with their target client group. By deliberately developing one or more of these high-profile experts, a firm can dramatically increase the power of its brand

3. Cultivate prestigious partners
Partnering with prominent organizations to take on important projects is another proven strategy for building your professional services brand. Large, well-known businesses, trade associations or universities are all good partnering candidates

4. Seek high profile clients and case stories
There are many successful professional services firms that have been built on reputations made with a single name-brand client or a well-known case study.

5. Dominate the social media space
One of the most highly leveraged brand building strategies available to professional services firms today is based on the growth of social media. Businesses of all types are becoming regular users of social tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube

You can read the entire post here. And look around their sites for additional information they freely give to any professional firm.

If you’re looking to brand or rebrand a professional services company, I believe I can help. Just click here for more information.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Branding Strategies

New logo for Microsoft

October 24th, 2012 · No Comments

In August, Microsoft introduced a new logo with the following reasoning:

It’s been 25 years since we’ve updated the Microsoft logo and now is the perfect time for a change. This is an incredibly exciting year for Microsoft as we prepare to release new versions of nearly all of our products….This wave of new releases is not only a reimagining of our most popular products, but also represents a new era for Microsoft, so our logo should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning.

Here’s the new logo:

New Microsoft logo

In contrast, here’s the old logo being replaced:

Microsoft's old logo

There are two things I really like about the new logo. First the design itself is truly modern, high tech and appealing. Second, it retains its ties with the past. Note the colors haven’t changed, and that they’re still configured as four arranged squares.

So Microsoft has not completely revamped its “image”. The new logo reflects and retains links with a successful heritage. [Read more →]

→ No CommentsTags: Logo Development