During workshops I often like to make a comparison between a brand name and a suit.
Indeed, both of them need to be adjusted to your type of activity. if your costume is too tight (i.e: precise evocation) it won’t allow you to move around. On the contrary, if it’s too loose (i.e: low evocation) you will spend a lot of efforts to get credible and you might even trip over yourself in the process.
A good brand name is the one that doesn’t require loads of budget to get memorized. Ways of doing business are changing fast, but rules for brand creation remain the same: A name needs to be short, unique, catchy, evocative and rememberable. Not sure “Volkswagen” would be a popular international trademark if it were to be launched nowadays.
Things are becoming even more complex if you are considering making your brand more agile and explore different business territories. Is your trademark evocation relevant on these new segments? Would your corporate image be an asset in this adventure or a burden?
This is where begins as, Landor calls it, the Agility Paradox (2): Brands need to constantly & rapidly innovate while remaining faithful to their initial promises. So, how far can a company push its brand?
Of course there are no martingales but a common alternative emerging these past years is to create distinctive trademarks & structures for specific offers or services. This approach avoids the “one size fits all” brand pitfall and can allow to:
Address a different market segment (i.g: Transavia by KLM for low cost travels)
Enter a new channel (i.g: Boursorama for Société Générale)
Feature a more ethical engagement, more transparent operations (i.g: Fuelosophy & Sun Snacks by PepsiCo)
Regarding this trend it’s interesting to follow the success of the so the called Clean Slate Brands. A new breed of companies, born clean, claiming to have learned from old enterprises’ mistakes and moved by “more customer empathy and less capitalism” (sic).