Consider name hierarchies and brand architecture before naming a product or service.
In other words, spend some time thinking about what you’re naming and the long-range implications of that name on your company’s portfolio of offerings, current and future.
Name hierarchies have to do with a product or product line line and how it “fits” within a company’s family of products, product lines, product models, product styles and product extensions.
Brand architecture addresses the structure of brands within a company’s portfolio of products and services. For instance, will the corporate brand, aka master brand, dominate or assume a background role to product brands. It also considers co-branding under the corporate umbrella and with strategic partners. The internal organization – division, subsidiary, department, function, technology or other brand-associated structures – also needs to be known and considered. These questions are strategic in nature. That means chief executives need to provide guidance here.
Here’s a simple set of classifications I ask my clients to consider so both of us know the scope and implications of a naming project.
Is the new offering…
Market-specific, multiple application
General-market, multiple application
Member of existing product/service family
Unique product/service bearing no relationship to existing products/services
Unique product/service that replaces an existing product/service
A new family of products/services
This is an example of “first things first”.