Iâ€™ve quoted Scott Degraffenreidsâ€™s book, Embracing the N.U.D.E. Model: The New Art and Science of Referral Marketing, as it pertains to branding.
One of his basic assumptions is that people refer products and services to their friends and acquaintances in order to look good in the eyes of the referee. Referrers like to be thought of as experts and purveyors of inside information.
So if I were to set as a goal for my brand that it enable people to refer others to it, Iâ€™d make it as simple as possible to do so.
Iâ€™d first look to the name of the product or service. First, it must be memorable. People wonâ€™t refer a product without naming it.
Second, and the real subject of this blog entry, people must be able to pronounce the name.
Both of these tenets seem obvious, but look what a recently introduced prescription drug did.
They named their product AcipHex. Their commercial voice-over pronounces the word as if spelled â€œacifexâ€, using the â€œphâ€ as a voiced aspirate (according to my old copy of the American Heritage Dictionary). In other words, â€œphâ€ sounds like â€œfâ€. But look at the way they present the pH. Theyâ€™ve done that to be â€œcreativeâ€ since the pharmaceutical addresses acid indigestion. So it starts with â€œacidâ€, adopts the measurement for acidity (pH) and ends in the ever-popular â€œexâ€.
But I have a difficult time pronouncing the word while looking at how itâ€™s spelled. I want to pronounce it â€œacip-Hexâ€ not â€œaci-phexâ€.
I think theyâ€™ve given up a lot of referral opportunities because of the name. People unsure of the productâ€™s pronunciation are more likely to remain silent than to risk looking like they donâ€™t know what theyâ€™re talking about.
The answer, beginning with the name, is to use brand elements that are simple, memorable and clear.
Combine that piece of advice with Scottâ€™s N.U.D.E. Model (standing for a product or service that is Novel, Utilitarian, Dependable and Economic) and your chances for referrals will increase considerably.