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.
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.
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.
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.
Stay tuned for Pt 3 of our Working With Ann Arbor’s Branding Team series, and we’ll catch ya next time.
If you’re looking for branding help in the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti area, feel free to get a hold of us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.