Everyone knows that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When it comes to your business, the first impression that many customers get doesn’t come from your product, your service, or even your customer service team. It comes from your name. This could be the name of the company, the name of a specific product or service… you name it. As such, the importance of a brand name can’t be overstated!
Even though there are so many memorable business and brand names that are seemingly irrelevant to the product or service they provide (think Amazon, Starbucks, Google, Häagen-Dazs, Ikea, and so on), the importance of brand name remains the same. Since names are the first impression that many people have of your company, and they’re the foundation of your overall brand image, a well-chosen name should be memorable, easy to spell, and Google-friendly, first and foremost. With this approach in mind, brand success is made easier.
When it comes to marketing, this is nothing new. Why brand consistency matters—and begins with a well-chosen name—is the knowledge that goes back to the early 1900s, when companies began to realize that product quality on its own simply wasn’t enough to outsell the competition. For that, they’d need memorable logos, creative packaging, and product jingles that stayed with potential customers long after they heard a commercial on the radio. Above all, they’d need memorable names.
Names such as Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dunkin’ Donuts, Williams-Sonoma, Pizza Hut, and 7-Eleven all enjoy an enormously valuable brand presence built, in part, thanks to a memorable name and brand consistency that’s been maintained for decades. Each one is virtually synonymous with the product or service that they offer. What you might not know is that all of these companies were actually founded before 1960. Their longevity and success are tied to offering a good product or service, sure, but they’re also a product of their consistent branding, year after year.
What is a Brand Name?
A brand name, very simply, is the name by which consumers know your business, your product, or your service. Whether you’re selling canned soda or a real estate development, you’ll need a brand name not only for your company itself, but for each specific product, service, or line that you sell. Brand names are often associated with company logos or other design elements, but a brand name is more than just your logo. It’s what people will call your company or your product anytime they talk about it, post about it to social media, or recommend it to their friends and coworkers. You can see why choosing the right name is so vital. It’s literally how your company, your product, and everything you do will be known from that point on.
Why Brand Consistency Matters
Imagine that you have a friend you’re trying to introduce to the rest of your social circle. Each time they show up, they’re dressed completely differently than last time, they act differently, and they insist on being called by a different name. Your other friends wouldn’t know what to make of them—and they’d almost certainly be confused about what to call them. That’s what it’s like when a brand isn’t consistent. It can lead to consumers not even knowing what your brand is and makes it difficult for them to recommend it to other people.
There’s a deeper reason why brand consistency matters so much, though. It comes down to trust. You want the people who interact with your brand to not merely know what it is. You want them to feel good about it. That means building trust so that consumers not only recognize your brand, they rely on it. Think about the people you trust. They’re reliable, they’re straightforward, and most of all, they’re consistent. That’s what your brand needs to be if it’s going to win the public’s trust and keep it.
As a marketing and branding solutions company, L&P knows the importance of the brand name, and we also know that the choices behind every branding decision go well beyond catchy, memorable names and colorful, recognizable logos. Your brand is the sum total of your business as it is perceived by the consumer market. It is your product or service, your customer experiences, your people, your company, the charities you support, your vision and mission, the promises you make, the values you uphold, your reputation, and so much more.
Every aspect of your business is connected to your brand, and everything that your business stands for should be considered in every aspect of your brand strategy, across all marketing efforts and channels. To say that it’s nuanced would still be the understatement of the year. But here at L&P, “nuanced” is our middle name. We understand what it takes to help shape your business into a brand that’s unique and recognizable and creates an immediate connection with potential customers—starting with choosing the name that’ll help identify your business or product to the world.
Here are a couple of examples:
Kissing Tree – This distinctly Texan community for active adults aged 55 and over needed an equally distinctive name. That’s why we dug through archival records at the University of Texas about the land where Kissing Tree was being built until we found the story of the Kissing Tree. According to legend, when Sam Houston came to the town of San Marcos, he was welcomed with a giant handmade Texas flag. Standing beneath a spreading oak, he thanked each of the women who had made the flag with a kiss on the cheek, and thus the legend of the Kissing Tree was born. When we found the story, we knew we had a name that would get people talking—just as Sam Houston did all those years ago—which would help open the door for us to tell them about the community and its legacy of hospitality combined with gentle irreverence. We even had an actor dress up as Sam Houston and tell the story at prospect events, which shows how a good name can lend itself to marketing opportunities right out of the gate.
Collins – Sometimes you don’t have to go far to find the perfect name for a community. Issac Newton Collins was the first settler on the land where the community is being built, and his family still owns the land today. In fact, generations of his family have lived and gathered here, so it only makes sense to name the community in a way that honors not only the original owner but a family legacy that goes back more than a century. The name reminds prospective homebuyers that this is a place where families can build a life that will last for generations.
Tallgrass – Indigenous peoples often selected a location name for its ability to communicate something unique about its natural features, connecting people to the place. Texas is fortunate to have a wide array of beautiful and memorable landscapes, and sometimes the best way to make something feel like a destination is to pay tribute to the local landscape in a way that conjures the kind of images that homeowners might want to see when they look out their window. Tallgrass conveys the essence of the region where it is built and brings to mind the Coastal Bend area where the community is located. The naming approach Another benefit: The letters lend themselves to strong typography, even looking a bit like tall, waving grass.
Easton – There are many ways to honor the place where a community got its start. A direct approach is a name that explains where the community is located and how to get there. Collaborating with Brookfield Residential, the Easton master-planned community took its name simply from the fact that it is located on the east side of Austin. However, beyond the name of the community itself, developers wanted to highlight the many parks in and around the neighborhood, which led to “park” becoming foundational for a whole nomenclature system for the different parts of the community, as well as community events like Parkapalooza. It even inspired the red park bench which became a part of the logo and an iconic symbol of this master-planned community in east Austin.
Double L Ranch – Sometimes the best naming approach is no approach at all! Founded in 1898, Double L Ranch was a 5,00-acre working cattle ranch. Owned by a single family for generations, the land is now being transformed into a master-planned community where hundreds of new families will put down their own roots and begin their own legacies. We decided to leave the name, and literal (cattle) brand as is. What better way to honor the land’s history and celebrate its future?
Of course, even the best name in the world means nothing without a good product or service to back it up. If you deliver something amazing, your company’s name will become synonymous with excellence, no matter what that name is. While it’s important to pick the name that’s right for your company, it’s also important to have fun with the process, make sure that the name you choose is easy to Google, and focus your real energy on making sure that you deliver something unforgettable.
Whether you’re trying to build a new brand from scratch or have an established brand that just needs to be refurbished a bit, L&P can help you find the intersection of what you have to offer, what your customers want, and what sets you apart from the competitors, and then channel that into an effective and consistent brand identity. From coming up with that all-important brand name to fashioning all of the disparate elements of your company into a consistent brand message, L&P is your partner for what your company needs, every step of the way.