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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 Gutsy Advertising

Our Own Gutsy Advertising!

Vanessa and I declared this the year of advertising, and holy crap, has 2016 delivered!

Our Gutsy Networking

We’ve gotten a little more selective about the networking we do. We’re part of a B2B networking group, attend specific A2Y Chamber events, and are going to more structured entrepreneur events. I’ve even joined a committee dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build their businesses, because hey, that’s what we’re all about anyway!

Because of networking, I’ve been able to set up some talks to help us get business, help us get the Mayniax Branding name out there, and help us give entrepreneurs some free, much-needed branding advice. We’re cool like that.

Our Gutsy Blog

I’m really working hard on writing a blog post at least every two weeks, and with my schedule – along with being on a constant lookout for rabid spider monkeys – that’s pretty tough to do. In fact, I’m writing this at 12:02 am. Ah, the things I do for our gutsy entrepreneurs.

Our Gutsy Newsletter

The newsletter goes out every two weeks, generally without fail. After all, we’ve always got something to talk about – even if it’s just a branding tip or two. Plus, it allows us to link back to our website so Google sees we’re kind of a big deal!

Our Gutsy Social Media

This is one of the things I’m most excited about. A goal of ours for this year is to own page one of Google in any and all “Ann Arbor branding” searches. One of the ways to do that is to load up on social media. Something we know about social media, however, is that for it to work, you need to have a consistent presence. And we just didn’t have the time to make that happen.

And then we met Stefanie Mitchell, of S Mitchell Marketing. In Vanessa’s and my nearly six years of networking, she’s the first person we’ve come across who knows more about social media than we do. So we gladly handed the social media baton to her to make things happen for Mayniax Branding.

Except for Instagram. Because Vanessa and I like pictures.

As an added bonus, Stefanie also has us creating content for ads on social media, as well as Google AdWords. And as another added bonus, with her rocking our social media, Vanessa and I can spend time doing the things we’re actually good at.

Our Gutsy Commercial

The commercial. Ah yes, the commercial. In the grand tradition of Apple’s “Think Different” campaign – and partly because of the wise words of Simon Sinek – we realized the most important thing we could advertise is, duh, the most important part of any brand: Why it exists in the first place. In fact, our “why” and story have been at the center of all our advertising this year.

The problem is, we didn’t know anyone who could really help us communicate our “why” as passionately as we wanted it communicated. Or so we thought. Enter George Pariseau, the founder of Brainstream Creative.

George is a pretty easy-going dude who gets serious about videography. He also understands enough about marketing that, when we said, “We trust ya. Just do what you do,” we knew he wouldn’t let us down – even though I completely changed the script the night before we filmed it.

My bad.

Our Gutsy Upsell

That just sounded, well, dumb. Gimme a break – it’s 12:32 am.

If you’re in the Ann Arbor area, and thinking about getting your business branded, fill out the form on our Contact page. We’re happy to answer any questions you have, and never charge for the first hour. We’ll even spring for a caffeinated beverage or two. For you, not just us. Though we’ll probably spring for a caffeinated beverage or two for us, as well.

Because sometimes we’re up late at night writing blog posts.

Stay gutsy, gang!