Unlock the Magic in Your Story Now

Get the Free 20 questions to Ask Before Launching Your Idea workbook when you sign up for updates.

Get the Free 20 questions to Ask Before Launching Your Idea workbook when you sign up for updates.

10 Things To Think About Before Naming A Brand

I once watched a whole community of highly intelligent, creative entrepreneurs allow an idea to become undone, never to see the light of day. And all because they couldn’t agree on what it should be called.

I know your idea is ground breaking, it’s fresh and exciting and people are going to love it, once they know what it’s all about of course.

The thing is naming your idea is just a part of what will bring it to life. It’s an important piece of the puzzle that helps people to understand who you are, what you stand for and what you do.

“Brand names aren’t brands, not by a long shot.
But they are valuable clues to consumers,
as well as assets you own.”
~ Seth Godin

To communicate the value of something you’ve created you must first understand where the value in it lies. Here are some of the things you need to consider before you get to the fun of the naming part.

1. Mission
What are you doing right now, today? What happens because you exist?

2. Vision
What are or will be the results and effects of what you do in the future?

3. Core Values
What are the attitudes and beliefs that shape your business culture?

4. Difference.
What’s your edge, the thing that makes you stand out?

5. Emotional Selling Point
What’s the intangible that you are you selling? Think feelings not facts. Connection, freedom, ego, belonging….

6. Brand Essence
The core of what you do, the image it portrays and the signals it sends.

7. Tagline
One line that communicates everything.

8. Identity
How the consumer perceives the brand.

9. Name
The verbal hook on which all of the above hangs and is communicated, the icing on your cake. Comes in all the way down here at number nine!

10. Logo
Last but not least the visual hook that represents your brand, the cherry on the top.

How are you working out the value of your ideas?

Thanks to my friend Brendan Mitchell for helping me work this out many moons ago.
Image by Andrew Barclay.

gift icon
Share this article

The million dollar story

The crowd funding platform Kickstarter is a fantastic place to see how ideas spread in action.

The biggest success on the platform to date has been the Tik Tok and Luna Tik watch project. Scott Wilson initially pitched for $15,000 in funding to enable his company to produce the multi-touch watch kit. The final amount pledged was almost $950,000! The project was over 6,000% funded by a total of 13,500 backers. The story was framed in such a way that we were already imagining how we would feel when we wore the watch and showed it to our friends.

What is it that makes this story so compelling? Is there are formula?

Did you notice how Scott painted an authentic and consistent picture throughout the video? He’s credible (he was a designer at Nike) and his company has a track record. We can trust him to deliver. Although we do hear some facts about the materials used in the manufacture of the watch kit most of the story speaks about the design not the facts. It appeals to our senses not to our logic. A lot like Apple!

Don’t forget that what MNML is selling here. It’s just the thing that will transform something we already love into something even cooler, thus subtly taking the story to another level because it agrees with the worldview we share about Apple. Great product, fantastic story.

Do you know of any other brands who do this exceptionally well? How could you tell a story like this about your brand?

Image by Brendan Lim.

gift icon
Share this article

Why the story you tell matters

“It happens millions of times each week – a customer receives a drink from a Starbucks barista – but each interaction is unique.
It’s just a moment in time – just one hand reaching over the counter to present a cup to another outstretched hand.”
About Starbucks

Notice how Starbucks don’t start straight away by telling us how good their coffee is and why their beans are better. They start by telling a story about connection and belonging as they did back when the company began to expand in the 1990’s. The facts are left for later. When they arrived on the scene Starbucks changed how we thought and felt about drinking coffee forever. They showed us how they were different in every way from their competitors. They gave us an experience that made us feel different too.

Starbucks created an expectation with pricing, interior design, mellow music, fresh pastries and a great name. The change was subtle. They didn’t spell it out for us they just allowed us to become complicit in their marketing and enabled us to tell ourselves a true story that we could believe. And the result is that we were seduced. We weren’t just buying coffee anymore we were buying how the process made us feel (more on Starbucks’ positioning from Dan Ariely).

How you frame what you do matters. Telling people why you are different is just the start.
Showing them how you are different is the goal.

Image by Robert the Noid.

gift icon
Share this article