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Dave Murray

Working with Ann Arbor’s Branding Team, Pt. 2

Working with Ann Arbor’s Branding Team, Pt. 2

In Working with Ann Arbor’s Branding Team, Pt. 1, I walked you, our latest gutsy entrepreneur, through the first three parts of our zany branding process. We helped you figure out your “why.” We taught you the importance of focusing on one product per brand. And finally, we did the research so we could come up with all kinds of little tricks and strategies to keep you top-of-mind when it comes to current and prospective clients.

And that was just the beginning!

Our Gutsy Branding Process

Naming Your Gutsy Brand!

It’s time, gutsy entrepreneur. It’s time to come up with one of the most important parts of your brand – and yet, a part that is far too often governed by ignorance. But fret not! Because naming your own gutsy brand is one of the reasons we get paid the big bucks!

Not the huge $80,000 that some firms charge for brand naming, of course. Maybe we should just get into the naming business. Kidding!

The topic of naming your gutsy brand could take a few blog posts on its own – hmmm, that might not be a bad idea – so here are the highlights:

Use a Made-up Word!

We start out trying to come up with made-up words for three reasons:

1. Google loves a branded search
2. You likely won’t run into trademark problems
3. Your made-up word may end up standing for the category, like “Kleenex” for tissues

Those are gigantic upsides to coming up with a made-up word, which is obviously why we do it. But if you, our gutsy friend, are allergic to having a killer brand – ah, my legendary bluntness – then we’ll use regular words. But there’s a catch.

We won’t use generic words!

When we say “generic words,” we mean words that are far too common, or have multiple meanings, because if they’re already defined, they can’t define a category.

When Vanessa and I went out on our own, our first brand was called “Good Stuff Studios.” And, my gutsy entrepreneurial friend, it doesn’t get much more generic than that. “Good” is subjective, so it doesn’t really mean anything. “Stuff” is about as generic as it gets. And as for “Studios,” that could be any kind of studio – design, music, dance, video, movie, etc.

Mayniax Branding - Name the Branding Mistakes in the Good Stuff Studios Logo!

What I’m saying is we chose an awful brand name early on. But when it comes to you, we know better! We wouldn’t dream of using words like “group,” “technology,” “business,” “solutions,” “systems,” “company,” “good,” “stuff,” “studios,” etc.

Name the Branding Mistakes!

Especially since the goal in the first place is to use a made-up word.

Sidenote: I should’ve been way more into Dr. Seuss.

The “Word”

This is one of the easiest parts of branding for us, because you likely won’t fight us on it!

At this point in the game, we’ve chatted quite a bit. We’ve gotten to know ya, and have probably all drank 10 times our combined body weights in caffeine. We have a good idea of who you are, and you have a good idea of who we are.

And so we start throwing words out there that remind us of you. The ultimate goal being that the word we all come up with will remind people of your brand, which will ultimately remind people of the category your brand’s in. It’s another top-of-mind thing.

We come up with the right word, we all celebrate over some red eyes, and now it’s time to start bringing this whole thing together!

And notice we haven’t even gotten to your logo yet! That’s because that’s part of the strategy, and we’re still nailing down your culture. Don’t worry, we’ll get to it.

It’ll just require a little more caffeine.

In Closing

Stay tuned for Pt 3 of our Working With Ann Arbor’s Branding Team series, and we’ll catch ya next time.

Stay gutsy!

If you’re looking for branding help in the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti area, feel free to get a hold of us at contact@mayniaxbranding.com. And don’t forget to visit our About page, just to see if you’d wanna work with us, anyway.

Oh, and you should probably fill your coffee cup. It’s getting low.

Dave Murray

Our Own Brand’s Renaissance

Our Own Brand’s Renaissance

We’ve undergone a bit of a brand renaissance as of late. I’m gonna talk a bit about that in this post, but first…

I hate yoga.

Of course, that implies I do yoga. And I do. Sometimes, I do yoga. There, I said it. Feel free to confiscate one of my man cards. Most of the time, I’m cool with yoga. It actually relaxes me. And therein lies the problem. There’s nothing worse than being calm and relaxed when one’s super jazzed about typing on something they’re especially geeked about.

But for you, the people, I shall power through!

Editor’s note: There was gonna be a pic of Dave, all relaxed and stuff after yoga, in this spot. But…he looked a little too relaxed.

The Renaissance of Mayniax Branding

When we started our sort-of humble branding biz in July of 2014, it was because we were sick of seeing entrepreneurs needlessly struggle, when we knew all they needed was a little brand strategy help to set them on the path to success. We wanted to help them live the lives they’ve dreamed of since starting their entrepreneurial enterprises. But man, you guys have crazy dreams!

Towards the end of 2015, we started seeing just how wonderful the entrepreneurs we deal with really are. We saw they had fantastic dreams! Benevolent dreams! These weren’t those evil rat-bastards we hear about, sitting in ivory towers trying to squeeze every last penny out of us. These are people who want to change the world for the better! These are people with dreams of housing the homeless, preparing high school kids for careers, and helping us all live healthier lives. And we started realizing, it’s not just about helping these people live their dreams. It’s about helping these people change the world! And it’s about helping them change a world that could do a helluva lot better than it’s doing now.

The Mayniax Branding Mission Statement(s)

Mayniax Branding - Our New Mission Statement

Our old mission statement read, “Our job is giving gutsy business owners and entrepreneurs a shot at better lives, and we brand the hell out of their businesses to make that happen.”

But with our newfound understanding of just how crazy you guys are, that wasn’t good enough. So, here’s the new one, “The world is broken. And we believe entrepreneurs are the only ones who can fix it. But they’ll never get that chance if no one cares about their brands. So, with a little bit o’ nuttiness, a little bit o’ research, and a lotta bit o’ guts, it’s our job to make people care.”

And don’t judge us because we haven’t updated the site, just yet.

The New Culture of Mayniax Branding

Mayniax Branding - More Passion. More guts. More caffeine.

If you’ve been paying attention to some of our other blog posts, or just know a little something about branding, you may be wondering how this will impact our culture. The short answer is, “It won’t.” The long answer is that we’re even more sure we’re doing the right thing for our clients, as well as ourselves. We’re even more passionate. We’re even more gutsy. And yes, we’re even a whole lot more caffeinated!

We aren’t, however, planning on writing anymore blogs after yoga.

Stay gutsy, gang!