Brands we love.
Would you believe the inoffensive, yet slightly risque ‘Egg’ nearly didn’t make it? Yes, the quirky name was a little risky for the world’s first online bank at first. But each time it went through consumer research, it just kept coming out on top. After all, everyone loves a good egg, and this bank has definitely proved that it is one. Egg originally aimed to have attracted 25 thousand customers in it’s first 3 months. Now it boasts 3.5 million.
Hands up who doesn’t know the Virgin brand values? Come on – ‘Virgin Red’? Cheeky irreverence? Even cheeky old Richard himself? Yes, we all know them through and though – testament to their success. And Virgin Atlantic is one of the most successful of the lot. Ice Cream during in-flight films, bar stools, massages… even the website greets you with ‘Hello Gorgeous’. When it comes to getting fun branding right, Virgin Atlantic have well and truly set the bar.
Brand Newsletter: THE IMPORTANCE OF A NAME
It’s the age-old question – what’s in a name?
When it comes to branding, the answer has to be a lot. Not only do they label and identify companies, they can also evoke images and emotional responses. But perhaps most importantly, they provide us with our first impressions, and we all know how much first impressions count. That’s why having the right name is so important.
Names are chosen to represent the ‘personality’ of a product or service. Some famous yet seemingly unusual product names are ‘Apple’ and ‘Amazon’. Their success is testament to the power of interesting names. Although they initially appear to not have much relevance to the products they are attached to, they’re bold and confident and stand out in the market place.
Take Apple for example. It was originally chosen because it was the favourite fruit of co-founder Steve Jobs. He was three months late in filing a name for the business, and threatened to call his company ‘Apple Computer’ if a better name wasn’t suggested by someone else by 5 p.m. The company wanted to distance themselves from the cold, unapproachable and often complicated imagery created by the other computer companies at the time. Think of such unispiring names as ‘IBM’, ‘NEC’ and ‘Integral Systems’. ‘Apple’ was a name completely unlike those, a name to support a brand positioning strategy hoping to be simple, warm, human, approachable and different. The humble, organic apple was perfect.
But it’s not just about the literal meaning of the word. The real value of a name lies in the experiences and history that build up around it over time. The chain of association that leads people to believe that ‘apple’ equals ‘what they’re looking for’. It is this perception that works with the brand, helping customers to feel good about it.
Choosing a name isn’t always as simple as picking a fruit. With a whopping 6 million words in the English language already trademarked, it’s important to make sure you find what you’re looking for. When T-Mobile name a new product or service we look at it from every conceivable angle, through workshops, market research and we even liase with the legal team. Just so we’re sure to get it spot on.
So perhaps the question shouldn’t be – ‘what’s in a name?’ but more – ‘what’s involved in finding one?’
Food for thought? Then we’d love to hear all about it. Share your impressions on what plays an important part in the naming process – or even just some brand names that really work for you at email@example.com.
Sonic Branding Article.
Sonic Branding sounds good.
If you haven’t the foggiest what a ‘sonic brand’ is, then you won’t be alone. But even if we don’t all know their name, Sonic Brands are everywhere, all around us, all the time; and they’re influencing the way we feel.
Who hasn’t heard the sound of a Nokia phone turning on and automatically known what brand it is? Or the ‘Ding ding ding’ of a Windows start up and known who made that program? In the Interbrand list of top UK brands, 9 out of 10 have a consistent sonic property. Sound is powerful. So powerful that just hearing television jingles from childhood is enough to trigger huge waves of nostalgia.
These early jingles were the original ‘Sonic Brands’. Sonic ‘logos’ that immediately made us think of the product associated with them. And these sound logos can evolve and change in exactly the same way visual logos do. Check out http://www.rab.co.uk to see how The Carphone Warehouse have evolved and changed theirs over time.
So the challenge is now how we, at T-Mobile, can really speak to people’s ears – as well as their eyes. Think of the huge potential of Sonic Branding online, or in interactive posters. What about the possibilities of integrating sonic branding into the product? The sky is the limit, but one thing is for sure. Sonic Branding is a perfect way to make people want to hear more about T-Mobile.