Strategic Services

Good names arise out of a deep, strategic understanding of a brand. Every time Catchword develops a new name, we start with strategy. We begin by reviewing the company or product positioning with the client, and refining it if needed. We analyze the competitive naming landscape and identify opportunities for differentiation. We determine whether the new name will fit into existing product families, naming protocols, or name styles.

Strategy is front and center to every Catchword naming project, but sometimes you need deeper or more focussed strategic guidance.

A clearer naming architecture for your portfolio will make it easier for customers to find the products they want, and easier for you to add new ones.

Creating a naming protocol is the key for naming product families, co-branded products, line extensions, and project code names, so you’re not reinventing the wheel each time you’re faced with a naming challenge.

We also offer other strategic naming services, including

  • assessing whether you even need a name for your new product!
  • identifying opportunities for brand consolidation
  • recommending a naming style (descriptive, proprietary, alphanumeric, etc.)
  • evaluating the viability of names developed in-house
  • determining linguistic and cultural implications for taking a brand global
  • maximizing internal buy-in and external interest in your name launch
Naming Architecture  |  The right framework is everything

Like a well-designed house, naming architecture should be welcoming and intuitive, so it’s easy for customers to find their way to the brands they want. Too often, though, when companies have lots of long-standing brands, their portfolio becomes a maze of names that’s off-putting to potential customers and confusing to internal audiences.

That’s where we come in. Our process includes discussions with stakeholders, an exhaustive review of the existing portfolio of brand names and those of key competitors, and an assessment of which areas need streamlining or clarifying. We then develop a range of architectural options for consideration. Once a model is chosen and refined, we’ll develop guidelines for determining when new names are warranted, and a naming protocol for how they’ll be developed.

The result is a flexible yet consistent structure for housing all of your brand names that clarifies the relationships between different brands, maximizes your budget (by eliminating unnecessary proprietary names that require expensive marketing), and simplifies future naming efforts.

Naming Protocol  |  Rules of the road to keep you on track

Like their social counterparts, naming protocols make life simpler by providing decision trees so that you know exactly what to do when a particular naming challenge arises.

Some common challenges include

  • Name categorization: master brand versus sub-brand
  • Family naming conventions: use of words, alphanumerics, or numbers
  • In-house naming procedures: steps, checkpoints, and vetting
  • Name usage: consistency in use of company name, trademark symbols, and abbreviations
  • Co-branding: process for creating and implementing names
  • Code-naming: guidelines for choosing project names that won’t turn into real names

Having clear naming protocol in place will grease the wheels of your naming process, keep your naming portfolio orderly, and control the way your brand names are used in traditional and social media.

Name Audit  |  Take stock of your name portfolio—and the competition’s

If you want to get the most out of your existing brand names, or take advantage of weaknesses or gaps in the competitive landscape, it helps to get the 30,000-foot perspective. We offer both internal and competitive name audits for clients who want the big picture.

Internal name audits
An internal name audit can answer all sorts of questions you may not even think to ask. For instance:

  • How many trademarks do you own?
  • How many of them are current?
  • Are all your product names being used correctly in collateral and other marketing?
  • Are there names on your website that you don’t even know about?
  • Do you really own all the domains you think you do?

Internal name audits include IP assessments (of trademarks, domain names, licensed names, and co-branding), reviews of internal and external communications, analysis of existing names, and most importantly, recommendations for improving name equity, management, and marketing.

Competitive name audits
Or you may want to know what your competition is up to and how their names stack up against yours. Becoming familiar with their naming styles and the organization and structure of their brand name portfolio will help you understand what they—and you—are doing right and wrong.

Competitive name audits include an in-depth analysis of the naming strategies of up to five competitors followed by an analysis of the competitive naming landscape as a whole. We also provide clients with a summary of opportunities to differentiate from competitors and ways to improve current naming practices.

How to Evaluate a Brand Name.

Blog

https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-dandelion-under-blue-sky-and-white-cloud-39669/True story: when Alex was 5, his parents paid him 2 cents for every dandelion he pulled up from the yard. He probably exacerbated the problem by blowing the seeds off the top of every one he pulled up. But we tell this story not only because it was the first line on his resume, but was a stark lesson in the arbitrariness of what we consider weeds.

Which brings us to Dandelion, a new startup from Alphabet (Google’s parent company) created to offer affordable geothermal heating and cooling systems for the home.

The idea is simple — 300 feet into the earth the temperature is always 50 degrees. Send a pipe down that far, and in the summer, the system cools your house with that air. In the winter, when the temperature outside is freezing, water in the pipes absorbs some of the earth’s heat to warm your home.

The system costs 20-25 grand, and is currently available in select upstate New York counties, which is perfect for giving people sweating it out in the city this summer another reason to dream about moving north.

Now, the sticklers out in the sticks will tell you that dandelions are weeds. But dandelions, as weeds go, are great. You can make a salad from the leaves. You can make wine out of the blossoms. Traditional medicine systems used it to treat various ailments. (A pretty useful resource for a weed!)

Dandelions are tough, resilient, and can flourish anywhere — sidewalks and concrete driveways be damned! The yellow flowers are cute as buttons. Plus, it’s downright magical the way the tiny seed umbrellas are swept off by the wind. No wonder we make wishes on them.

As a name, Dandelion gets to a natural, happy thing in your yard. It sounds elegant yet homey, suggests tenacity and strength (of a lion!), and is very pleasing to read and say. People who grew up with the flowers generally have fond associations with the word. It is a bit long syllabically, though not bad simply counting the number of letters.

But how does Dandelion convey geothermal heating and cooling you say?

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nsr-slika-431.pngThe company’s approach centers on drilling pipes into the earth to access a steady temperature, much as the dandelion sends it long taproot deep into your lawn to access a steady supply of water and nutrients. And dandelion wishes subtly suggest the company’s aspiration for a future where homes are heated and cooled with renewable resources.

Note that these are beautiful, and apt, metaphors, but don’t directly communicate heating or cooling. One could make the case that the company would be better served with a name that clearly expresses the company’s core functions given that the technology has never been marketed to individual homes before and could be unfamiliar to consumers.

But if geothermal takes off, there will be plenty of Geothermal Citys and Cool Earths around so a name like Dandelion, with its deeper meanings, will really stand out. Plus, the company may want to expand its business down the road.

Dandelion has legs (roots?) for the long term.

 

(When choosing a name, particularly when naming a company, always think long-term. You don’t want to be limited by it a few years from now. For other company naming tips, see our many Resources. If you need more help, drop us a line.)

When I was 5, my parents paid me 2 cents for every dandelion I pulled up from the yard. I probably exacerbated the problem by blowing the seeds off the top of every one I pulled up. … Which brings me to Dandelion, a new startup from Alphabet (Google’s parent company) created to offer affordable geothermal heating and cooling systems for the home.

More

Twitter

Follow Us