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Brand Like a Boss Online Program | Ultrabrand

Think bigger. Brand smarter.

The ultimate strategic toolkit for winning and delivering high-ticket branding projects.

MODULE 10

BRAND NAME

"A brand is not just a logo, it's the entire experience a customer has with your company." - John Jantsch

After establishing the strategic context for your brand, you now turn your attention to its most important component: the master brand name. A brand is, in fact, primarily a name. After all, the sole objective of a brand strategy is to "make a name for itself" in the marketplace.

 

Customers will also first come into contact with or hear your master brand name (they can't hear a logo). It must be memorable to your audience, help establish and maintain trust, and continue to be pertinent as your business changes. 

 

Your master brand name, like a person's name, expresses who you are rather than what you do. Other than that, I personally don't think it's important to obsess over a set of academic standards when creating a master brand name. It should, in my opinion, have a catchy sound that is memorable and different from other brands in your sector. In addition, I think that avoiding some pitfalls is more crucial than adhering to an academic framework that will end up being boring. 

 

 

Avoid what you do.

Far too many businesses experience branding restrictions that they impose on themselves. For example, they frequently feel that their names must express their generic business, such as "Pools & Spas, Inc." or "Philadelphia Building Materials, Ltd." If this is the case for you, I advise that you address the issue and choose something more unique, significant, and precise. This is a case for a name change.

 

Avoid acronyms.

Avoid using abbreviations (like SGTI) and made-up words (like GeTraCo) that are hard to understand. They have very little emotional depth and are cold. If you use an abbreviation as your name, I'd recommend creating a new proper master brand name. If you use a made-up word, evaluate it seriously and ask yourself if you want to sound generic and compensate with other elements of your branding, or if you want to change names (and thus brands).

 

Avoid legal jargon.

 

Likewise, imagine that you added prefixes like "group," "holding," or "corporation" to your master brand name, along with elements like "inc." or "ltd." Take them out. They are not brand terms; they are legal terms. They are, at best, of no value to people. They have a potentially negative connotation.

 

In reality, they make you appear small and unprofessional, even though they may be intended to make you appear big or credible. Customers are not concerned with your corporate structure or the number of businesses you control. If this is your case, simply get rid of the jargon suffixes and keep the core of your master brand name.

 

 

Avoid name changes!

If you already have a good master brand name, I strongly advise against changing it unless you have compelling reasons to do so. Allow me to be clear: changing a name is changing a brand, which means losing brand equity and starting over.

 

In terms of time, credibility, money, and marketing, it's more expensive than an improvement or an evolution. If your master brand name already avoids the pitfalls mentioned above, only change it if you have no other option. 

Again, changing a master brand name is a significant decision that should not be taken lightly. It requires careful consideration of the brand's identity, target audience, and overall goals. So let me take some time here to review the reasons why a brand change would have to be considered: 

 

  • Merger or acquisition: When two companies merge or when one company purchases another, they may choose to change the name of the new company to reflect the new brand they have created together. This could be a result of a change in the company's focus, target market, or overall brand identity. 
     

  • Legal issues: Legal problems, such as trademark infringement or court orders, may force a company to change its name and brand.
     

  • Negative associations: If a brand is associated with bad things or actions, it may decide to change its name to get away from those things.
     

  • Global expansion: When a business expands internationally, it may choose to rename itself to avoid cultural misunderstandings or to make it more appealing to people everywhere. 
     

  • Outdated name: A business may decide to change its name if it believes that its current name is no longer appropriate for its target market. This is extremely rare. 
     

  • Simplification: A business may choose to change its name to streamline its brand identity or to make it simpler for customers to remember and pronounce. 
     

  • Scandal or crisis: A brand name change in response to a scandal should not be viewed as a quick fix or a way to escape accountability for the brand's deeds and reputation, as it should be a calculated choice made with the intention of restoring the brand's ethics and trust and winning back customers. It requires a thorough analysis of the causes of the scandal and a concise strategy for how the brand will deal with those problems going forward.
     

Avoid being bland.

 

Academically speaking, many strong brands don't have an ideal name, like the Hoogarden beers or the Haagen-Däzs ice creams. Still, what matters most is that they are distinctive and that other facets of their brand are well-established.

 

It's always preferable to adhere to fundamental standards when starting from scratch unless you're using your own name, but there's no need to be a more absolutist monarchist than the king. 

Inspiration

Using AI to generate your Brand Name

Here is an AI prompt to assess your brand name, to improve it or to create a better one in case it's needed. Attach your updated Strategic Reference File as a PDF in ChatGPT 4, and then paste and run the prompt. Once you have the results, review them, and once satisfied, paste them in your Strategic Reference File.

Prompt Template

Objective: To assess the current master brand name for its alignment with the brand's comprehensive strategic context, and if necessary, develop and propose five new brand names that avoid common pitfalls and more accurately reflect the brand's identity, target audience, and overall goals. If the existing name is suitable but could be simplified or made more relevant by removing legal jargon, propose such modifications.

 

Instructions:

 

1. **Review the Updated Brand Profile PDF**: Thoroughly examine the detailed brand profile provided in the updated PDF, focusing on the brand's core identity, strategic positioning, values, persona, psychology, and how it intends to resonate with its target audience.

 

2. **Assess the Current Brand Name**:

   - Evaluate whether the current master brand name effectively embodies the brand's essence, differentiates it within its sector, and is memorable to the audience.

   - Determine if the name imposes unnecessary limitations, uses unhelpful acronyms, includes legal jargon, or is overly bland or generic.

 

3. **Criteria for New Brand Names**:

   - **Memorability and Distinctiveness**: Ensure proposed names are easy to remember and distinct from competitors within the sector.

   - **Alignment with Brand Identity**: Names should reflect the brand's Why, How, and What, along with its values, attributes, voice, and lexicon, embodying the brand's persona and culture.

   - **Avoidance of Pitfalls**: Steer clear of names that directly describe what the brand does, use acronyms or made-up words, incorporate legal jargon, or necessitate future changes.

 

4. **Develop Five Brand Name Proposals**:

   - Create five new brand name proposals that meet the criteria above, considering the brand's unique position and strategic goals.

   - For each proposed name, provide a brief rationale explaining its alignment with the brand's comprehensive profile and its potential impact on the brand's market presence.

 

5. **Simplification Suggestions**:

   - If the current brand name is generally suitable but could benefit from simplification or the removal of legal jargon, propose specific modifications that retain the core identity while enhancing memorability and relevance.

 

6. **Evaluation and Selection Process**:

   - Recommend a process for evaluating the proposed names, including internal discussions, customer feedback sessions, and trademark searches, to ensure the selected name is viable and resonates with both the brand and its audience.

 

Remember, the master brand name is a crucial component of the brand's identity and market presence. It should not only resonate with the brand's strategic foundation but also appeal to the target audience, facilitating trust and long-term engagement.

Download this prompt.

How to trademark your Brand Name.

You can follow these steps to safeguard and register a master brand name on a global scale: 

 

  1. Conduct a trademark search: Before registering a brand name, it is crucial to conduct a trademark search to ensure that the name is not already in use by another company. Through a number of online databases, including the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Global Brand Database, this is possible. 
     

  2. Apply for a trademark: Once you know that your master brand name is available, you can apply for a trademark with the office that handles intellectual property. The WIPO's Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks can be used to do this. This system lets businesses register their trademarks in many countries with just one application. 
     

  3. After a trademark has been registered, it is crucial to keep an eye on its use and to enforce it against any unauthorized or infringing use. This can be done using a variety of online resources and tools, including trademark watch services and the WIPO Brand Database. 

 

 

The following are some of the principal websites you can use to safeguard and register your master brand names on a global scale: 

 

The World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO is a UN agency that works to protect intellectual property rights around the world. You can find a lot of information and tools on their website to help you register and protect trademarks. 

The Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks is a system for registering trademarks that allows businesses to do so in numerous nations with just one application. WIPO is in charge of running the system, which is accessible to businesses in more than 120 nations.

The federal organization in charge of approving U.S. patent applications and trademark registrations is known as the United States Patent and Trademark Office USPTO. On their website, you can find numerous resources and tools for registering and protecting trademarks.

The European Union's European Union Intellectual Property Office EUIPO is the organization in charge of registering trademarks and designs that are recognized in all EU member states. On their website, you can find numerous resources and tools for registering and protecting trademarks.

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