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September 2004



whats the name dasani mean ?


I want a brand name for my newly started pipe industry, starting by alphabet "s"

generic cialis

is this blog still active?

Amy Sherman

Did you know that you misspelled chipotle?

Also, it's not just price that helps a brand overcome poor naming. There are premium priced uxury brands with poor names, Hammacher Schlemmer for one. A good name can help or hurt a brand, but it's not going to make or break it.

For each of your "rules" there are notable exceptions. I'd be interested to hear you speak to those.


And what do you think about The name Typepad, Movable Type ? Good name ?


What is Nick talking about? Our world is so big and complex. How is a toilet paper manufacture going to build a personal bond with each and every individual customer. It doesn't make any sense.

What does make sense is building strong brands that mean something. When your brand stands for something, like Volvo and safety or Starbucks and coffee. You build relationships with consumers by having a powerful position in their mind.

Of course we feel that PR (and that doen't mean just press releases) is what builds brands today.

Advertising as a brand building tool is not effective in today's environment.

Thanks for your always thought provoking comments Jason.


A couple of quotes from Fusion Branding - Nick Wredon

"A brand's power doesn't stem from the number of ads or press releases. It derives from an emotional, even mystical, attachment between a purchaser and a company... a brand is a multidimensional accumulation of positive experiences resulting from performance, usability, value and the recognition of peers. Brand building is based on what's always been important. Trust. Commitment. Loyalty. Respect. Satisfaction. In a word, a brand represents a bond."

"Instead of ads, logos and slogans, companies building a 21st century brand must focus on reach, immediacy and personalization"

Is traditional naming/logoing/adv. really effective in a world of similar names/logo's/ads?

(OK,ok, still feeling controversial ;o)

JB ;o)

Laura Ries

What your company does is important, but a great product or service can ultimately fail if the name is wrong and competition comes in with a better one and takes a better position in the mind.

However there are always exceptions to any rule. Think about a company like GE (General Electric) with a name that does not follow any of my principles.

GE has three things going for it. First they were first in a new category. Second and more importantly GE was started over 100 years ago. And third, GE competes against other conglomerates that don't have powerful focused names either.

In studing the success of GE or any other company of its caliber you always must remember that name which worked 100 years ago will not necessarily work today in building a brand.


Be careful of stepping into the dangerous world of cultural relativism.

While "Hyundai" may not stroke the proverbial heart strings to an American, it does to a Korean (I'm not one, by the way.) A literal translation gives us "modern" and a cultural one gives the story of one of the greatest industrialists in modern Korean history. Cars are just one piece of the Hyundai pie but the piece that most people outside of Korea have tasted.

And before we go jumping into comments on the multicultural relevance and importance of global brand names, keep Samsung in mind. One of the most powerful brands out there today. What does it "mean?" And does that matter? In brand speak, I'm sure cases could be made for innovative, high-quality consumer products built through a heavy emphasis on sports marketing. But does Samsung roll off the American tongue any easier than Hyundai?

Hyundai is a "bad" brand name in a global sense because it has not made a strong enough effort to build it in the minds of global citizens, instead choosing to pursue an aggressive low-cost marketing strategy to move the goods. But looking at the success of Samsung, I have no doubt that Hyundai could reach similar levels of brand strength with a strategic push to do so.

Interestingly, Hyundai's advertising in English-speaking Asia media was recently promoting a luxury good with the tagline "Prepare to Want One."


Great list of easy to remember principles Laura, my one addition would be that names matter, but what your company does or provides is really the key, is it not?

After all if you think about it, there are a large number of globally successful companies that smashed each and every one of your rules, and still made it big, and for that matter companies with fantastic names that disappeared without a trace.

(ok, ok, i'm in a provocative mood today ;o)

Laura Ries

Thanks for the comments.

Using a personalized brand name does have risks, a la Martha Stewart. But it also has many advantages in helping to get a brand off the ground. We live in a celebrity and PR driven world.

And the truth is if your brand becomes famous and you become a celebrity you can usually overcome almost anything. I would not count Martha out yet. There is always a possible Trump like return.

There is no doubt that trademark availability and website address availability are necessary in securing legal rights to a great name. But it is the work of the marketing team to come up with the brand name and strategy. Lawyers handle all the legal trademark work.

Marketers should never settle for a poor name just because the trademark process is long and difficult. It is one reason many companies use such crazy names, such as rOHz! and 1ThorneeBud, they are easy to trademark, nobody wants them!

- Laura


I'm surprised that you forgot to mention trademark search and availability as a key to naming success. It is one of the biggest hurdles that marketers have to cross before launching their product! No matter how great your name is, it's useless if it can't be trademarked for use.

Maya Sunpongco

With "Key#9 Personalised." Some may argue not to use personal brand because what happens if there's a downfall. Examples: Martha Stewart or Famous Amos

I really love this post though and reminder that "Don’t expect a name to meet all the nine requirements". I did just finish reading Chapter 9 - Law of the Name

Don The Idea Guy

Laura ~
Great set of basic truths on naming.
You've distilled the essence of succsessful monikers.

...I just wanted to use the word "monikers." ;)

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