In the book, Strategic Brand Management, author Kevin Lane Keller provides some criteria for a brand name.
The problem is two of those criteria seem contradictory.
To gain and keep high marks for brand awareness and recall, Keller wants a name to be â€œfamiliar and meaningfulâ€. But to establish brand recognition, the brand needs a â€œdifferent, distinct and unusualâ€ name. He concedes â€œtradeoffs must be recognizedâ€.
But there are several ways to combine the familiar and the different: to satisfy both criteria fully. Here are three methods.
Begin by developing a list of familiar words relevant to the product to be named. Usually these are words that might describe a benefit or perhaps a desired emotional response. They might be descriptive, allegorical or suggestive. Just build as long a list as you and your thesaurus can accumulate.
- Tip 1: Now, for those words that end in a silent â€œeâ€, substitute â€œaâ€, â€œiâ€, â€œoâ€, â€œuâ€ or â€œyâ€ for the silent â€œeâ€. This is especially effective for verbs and single-syllable words.Â Here are some examples: hype=hypa, groove=groovo, rake=raku. You may also substitute short, vowel-beginning syllables such as â€œanâ€, â€œorâ€, â€œiteâ€. More examples: style=stylant, Â save=savio, crane=cranus. But note how the word itself is retained without the silent â€œeâ€, so familiarity is retained while the added suffix makes it unique.
- Tip 2: From the same list, select those words that begin with a vowel. Now experiment with adding a single consonant or if youâ€™re into linguistics, a phoneme, to the beginning of the word. Thus, element=Nelement, Apollo=Capollo, Oslo=Voslo, arch=Sharch. Again, the original word is retained and the added phoneme gives it individuality.
- Tip 3: Here you deliberately â€œmisspellâ€ words to create a new, trademarkable name: Qwest, Ikon, Duque. At first a customer will have a little trouble recognizing the word, but once theyâ€™ve pronounced it, theyâ€™ll remember, particularly if the original word carries a relevancy to the product or company itself.
So there you have it, three ways to have your caki and feat it, tu.