I am in the middle of a serious re-branding, which has forced me to revisit my thoughts on branding, which have been highly influenced by the brand whisperer, Al Ries. Below are a collection of mostly his thoughts, which I think are the most important considerations of any brand. If this is all you know about branding, I think you’ll be better prepared than most people:
- A brand is nothing more than a name. But a name is the most important branding decision you will ever make. In the shortrun, a company needs to be innovative to thrive. But in the long run, the competitors catch up, and the only thing that differentiates the company is the name.
- Here are some rules I look for when picking a product name:
- Easy to spell
- Easy to pronounce
- Short + simple (short length and small number of keywords)
- Easy to remember
- Meaning baked in
- Singular purpose
- The mind doesn’t deal in letters or words – it deals in SOUNDS. This is why combining generic words rarely works.
- Finally, a brand becomes stronger when you narrow its focus. Some people recommend narrowing the focus until there is no existing market — and at that point you create a new category where you are the leader.
- And never underestimate the importance of selling yourself as the leader. Leadership is the single most important motivating factor in consumer behavior.
The company that I am re-branding is the leader in data-driven marketing training.