Our Head of Brand Strategy will be happy to answer your questions
Philippe Henco +49 211 97175500 | email@example.com
Brand And Product Naming Infused with Emotion
What Distinguishes a Good Brand or Product Name?
We’re all familiar with descriptive namings. They describe functional attributes or a business category. This approach can be successful, as seen with examples like Facebook. However, purely descriptive names have several drawbacks: they are often interchangeable, lacking specificity, sometimes uninspiring, and have become quite common. At KittoKatsu, when we have the opportunity to decide, we usually take a different path: we aim to develop ‚ownable namings.‘ These are names that are distinctive, powerful, memorable, emotional, and, most importantly, legally protectable in an increasingly crowded landscape of brands and products (a critical factor, as trademark offices continually tighten their rules on protectable names and terms). ‚Ownable namings‘ encapsulate an emotional idea or story that withstands the changes a brand or company undergoes over time. While the path to creating them may be somewhat complex at times, the long-term success is all the more rewarding.
Does a New Name Have to Be Loved Right Away?
No. Brand names evolve with the products and the brand’s emotions, as well as the entire visual identity. This combination activates names. Of course, namings must be developed with a certain logic and strategic approach and meet various qualitative checkboxes. However, when considered in isolation, they may not always unleash their full power during presentation without any context. Think of Apple: would you name an electronics brand like that today? Imagine if we presented this brand name to you as the result of extensive development. How would it appear without anything around it? Probably not very impactful. However, when combined with narrative, products, corporate personality, design, and customer experiences, the name gains momentum over time. Until it becomes an icon. So, consistent brand management is what ultimately infuses energy into brand and product namings.
Does the Domain Always Have to Be Available for a Brand Name?
No, it’s nice if it happens, but it’s often not possible today. Many domains are already taken, reserved, or held for resale. Even major brands with ample resources frequently struggle to secure the exact web address they desire. However, there are still many ways to find the right solution for a new company, brand, or product name in such a situation. For example, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, couldn’t obtain the domain alphabet.com, so they came up with a creative solution. Their web presence is now found at abc.xyz. This demonstrates how you can navigate such situations with a playful approach—showcasing flexible brand management.
Additionally, descriptive elements can be helpful. For instance, in the case of the brand name QiQu developed by KittoKatsu, we didn’t choose the domain qiqu.com but opted for qiqu-skinrepair.com. This makes the category of the brand immediately visible to consumers. It’s not just for consumers, though; Google can also more clearly categorize the domain during indexing with a descriptor that directly explains what can be found at the address, which can have a positive impact on ranking.
How Can a Brand Name Be Qualitatively Evaluated?
1. Avoid Bias in the First Impression The first impression is often based on our value system but not on the strategic assessment of the decision. Therefore, when evaluating a new brand or product name, it’s essential to let it sink in before reaching a final judgment.
2. Set Aside Risk Aversion Our instinct is often to minimize risks rather than assess potential. So, be bold in your evaluation, as new opportunities only emerge when you dare to take risks.
3. Don’t Always Follow the Alpha Leaders The opinion leader (or the highest in hierarchy) often has a strong opinion that many tend to follow. Instead, engage in open discussions and give everyone at the table a voice in the decision-making process. A team can achieve much more collectively.
Who Do We Support in Naming Development?
- Consumer Goods / Grocery
- Food / Beverages
- Healthcare / OTC
- Life Science / Pharma
- Beauty / Fashion
- Automotive / Mobility