Yawn Marketing is a rubbish name and most of the time we don’t really like it.
It isn’t particularly memorable or exciting, it doesn’t tell a story, and doesn’t really suit the way we do business. But it is marginally better than anything else we came up with… and that’s what counts.
Most people are pretty sceptical about new ideas. Anyone who’s pitched a new logo, re-designed a website or been involved in any kind of branding exercise will know that. Most names look pretty bad when they’re new to you, and one person’s Eureka moment is another person’s damp squib.
Marketing agencies and consultancies are lucky on this score. The bar for naming your brand is low and the threshold for bullshit is high (see for yourself). But look at most brands in most industries and you’ll find their names aren’t particularly inspired: Next, Virgin, The Beatles, ‘Smiggle’. Yes, they all have origin stories and some kind of reasoning behind them but not many would pass muster in a meeting room on a rainy Monday morning.
The main difference is time. A name sounds an awful lot better when it’s settled in and stops being new – when everyone agrees to disagree and gets on with the fun stuff of actual branding.
Because in most cases, the name doesn’t actually matter. A good brand is all about good branding and a good brand name is just a good place to start. The messaging on your website, your customer service, your product, the attitude of your staff; those are the bits that count. Those are the bits that do the heavy lifting, not what’s in your url.
Stuck for a name?
Everybody loves a good brainstorming session. Our advice is to give the exercise a little time, but not too much.
Boil the brand down to its bare essentials. Write half a page covering everything that really matters to you. What are your points of difference? Your core values? What do you want everybody to know? Unless a name directly contradicts something on that page, it probably fits.
So pick a name that fits and move on to the fun stuff of actual branding.
And if you launch your brand and still don’t really like the name? Wait.
Author: Sam Edwards