The customer is a key consideration when choosing a name. Here’s the third of our ten pointers to help give the right impression.
3 – Working for your customers
Marketing is all about customers. So, of course you have to assess your different customers, markets and languages in relation to your name. The holy grail for global companies are of brand naming are the names that work around the world. However it’s rarely that simple and many have to adapt to different geographical territories or live with the fact that not everyone will get it in the same way to begin with.
Some brands change to homogenise around the world. Cif was once Jiff. Snickers was once Marathon. And we still buy them both.
It helps if customers can understand the name and are able to pronounce it. Remembering it and telling all their friends about it is another ‘nice to have’ feature in a name.
In western countries many people have trouble pronouncing Korean car manufacturer Hyundai. At one point the company invested in trying to get foreign markets to say it the correct Korean way – Hee-Yun-Day. But it just created more confusion. In the end they relaxed. After all, they are selling lots of cars to happy customers. Why worry?
It pays to be wary about asking customers for their opinions on naming. Like McVities Hobnobs, some of the best brand names have been rejected by customer focus groups. Test the name carefully in conjunction with the product and see how they like it in practice. If they don’t reject it out of hand it’s a good sign they may grow to love it.
Come back soon – our next installment is about Ownability…