Creating a brand image that resonates positively with consumers is something every company needs to succeed - but it doesn’t come easily. Gathering community feedback removes the guesswork from your brand design process.
The importance of a strong product name and the power of intangible assets (logos, branding phrases) is drilled into the minds of young professionals all across the global business landscape - and for good reason.
Creating a new product name that both fits your existing brand and resonates positively with consumers is something every company needs to succeed - but it doesn’t come easily. Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Nike allot yearly budgets for their marketing teams in the hundreds of millions. Very few businesses are able to compete with that level of advert spending and brand development; however, achieving strong brand resonance in the minds of consumers is still within reach for smaller firms and start-ups.
To develop a healthy brand image that works for your product line or business, utilizing the same brand development practices utilized by billion-dollar corporations is often the best strategy for success. What practice yields the best, most immediate results for your brand development process? Two words - consumer research.
To showcase how Helpfull’s surveying methodology can transform the way you develop your brand, we’ll be creating our very own product line from scratch; and we will be utilizing the Helpfull community’s guidance throughout the creation process.
First, let’s take a brief look at:
According to Investopedia, a brand is “a unique identifying symbol, mark, logo, name, word, and/or sentence that companies use to distinguish their product from others.” To expand on this: a brand encompasses all the various elements that make up a company’s public image. It’s as broad and overt as brand logos and company slogans, and as minute and precise as proprietary fonts, color hex codes, and stationery type.
For this article, we’ll be focusing primarily on how to create a resonate product name - one that can be applied to a diverse product line, and one that will score positively with our test audiences.
When developing a product name, make sure you are keeping an open mind and developing a large, diverse pool of ideas. The more choices you have on the table, the greater chance you have of developing a brand name that sticks. Keep the following considerations in mind when drafting your list.
If you have a clear understanding of what a name must entail, the process for developing these ideas becomes much more approachable. It's also vital to choose a name that is easy to spell and makes sense for the market your brand is operating within.
One last tip to consider: make sure that you're developing a list of words that relate to your desired brand image, or your product line. A list of words that pertain to your company can be used to directly develop your product name (by combining certain words), or at the very least can guide your creative development as you work through the creative process.
For the purpose of our experiment, we developed a theoretical start-up company in need of some serious branding help. After taking care to make sure we had our target market in mind and a clear idea of the new product we would sell, we propositioned the Helpfull community for aid:
“My company is ready to launch a line of pens made of recycled cardboard & paper by-products; we're hoping to follow it up with a line of other Eco-friendly stationery, and we need to develop a name for our products. Which of the following names sound most appealing to you? Please leave any notes or comments you have on the names provided.”
In just 20 minutes, we’ve received our first batch of results. Our target audience responded most strongly to the names Sustationary, Nature’s Mark, Recyclick, and Eco Savers. We can now disregard the other naming conventions moving forward; but before we continue developing our product name ideas, we need to consider the new insights and critique we’ve received from our Helpfull pollsters.
In the comment section, pollsters share their considerations on the many brand names we’ve asked them to test for us. Our potential customers gave us feedback on everything from the "pronounceability" of the name to brand image clarity, and even commented on the effectiveness of the puns in some of our choices.
We do want to develop and narrow down our selections as we move through the naming process - so this time, we’ll only be testing four product names.
For the second survey, we decided to drop the weakest performing product name from our shortlist - Eco Savers - and replace it with something new. We wanted to test how well consumers responded to blunt, professional nomenclature - so we’ve subbed in the name Sustainable Stationary in our testing batch.
Another batch of testing comes and goes, and we’re left with new leaders in our on-going name development process. This time, consumers voted overwhelmingly for Nature’s Mark - a name they viewed as professional, clever, relevant, memorable, and one of the most descriptive names of the bunch. They noted how the “Mark” aspect of the name relates back to our position as a stationery company - much like the product name Sustationery does - while being less overt, and therefore more professional.
When the brain recognizes the words “Coca-Cola”, we’re not thinking about just words on a page; we’re conceptualizing the colors of the brand, our past histories with it, and the emotions we’ve associated with their products.
In order to test the associations audiences make between each unique name and our brand imagery/products, we want to use a rough example advertisement for each of our three naming concepts. When looking to find the right color scheme for our logo design, we wanted to use the color scheme that works best for attracting customer attention on the shelf. We eventually decided upon using primarily greens and yellows - two colors that are strongly correlated to the concepts of growth, nature, friendliness, and optimism.
After a half-hour’s time, our final batch of testing is completed. Given the success of both the Nature’s Mark and the Sustationery brand names throughout all three of the testing stages, we’re confident in moving forward with our brand development.
The largest firms in the industry would not spend millions of dollars a year on focus groups and researching product names for their brand were it not for the strong, immediate results that these tests yield.
The healthy, positive reception both of our final ideas received from our Helpfull audience over the three surveys tells us that we’re moving in the right direction for developing our brand. We were to continue workshopping these ideas, another round of tests is very likely to leave us with a product name that is sure to send us sky-rocketing to the top of the sustainable-stationery industry.
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