CREATIVE TRADEMARKS FOR NEW PRODUCTS
For something that seems simple on the surface, developing a brand or product name is difficult. Coming up with a creative name that sounds good is hard enough, but then you have to consider trademark availability, domain name options, and retail sales strategy. Now all the fun is gone and all you are left with frustration. Don’t worry. We are good at this. We have developed a lot of brand names and then craft the market positioning statements, tag lines and other feature/benefit statements that make people want to buy your stuff.
5 GUIDELINES FOR NAMING
1. PERSONAL OR CORPORATE?
There are two basic categories for brands: Personal and Corporate. Personal brands are built around an individual and his or her reputation. Corporate brands are built around a company and its mission. For example: Oprah, Tony Robbins, Martha Stewart are personal brands. Their products adopt the perceived quality and style of their namesakes. Google, Apple, Starbucks and Tide are corporate brands. It doesn’t matter that much who is in what roles within these companies, since the corporate name is what carries the promise of value. Often, we encounter people who are their brands, but don’t perceive the value their name and reputation carry. It may seem arrogant to name your brand after yourself, but if you are the reason for your product’s success, it may be the smart move. The flip side is, if you build your whole brand around you, you can’t sell the company because, without you, its worthless.
2. SHORTER IS BETTER
The shorter and simpler your brand or product name is, the better. Shorter names are easier to remember, make for bold logo designs, and are easier to apply to product packaging, web sites and social media. The trade-off is, the longer names are easier to register as trademarks and buy available Internet domains. We often run into confusion over names vs. tag lines. A Tag line can change as often as needed, based on your market positioning, product offering and market conditions. A name is forever. You never want to change your brand name unless there is significant damage to its value due to law suits, product failures or bad press.
3. BE UNQIUE
While every State will allow you to register a corporate entity name that is the same as names in other states, or around the World, you want to select a name that is unique to your brand and/or product. This is the hardest part of naming: Being unique. Often the best way to be unique is to invent a word that is made up of other root words that say something about your product and brand mission. Here are some examples along with the product’s description:
MiracleWipes™ – Powerful cleaning towelettes that work without smearing and are safe for skin
SkinMedica® – Professional skin care products
PartiStartr™ – Hangover helper that starts working before you need it
AirMedia® – Internet content delivered wirelessly
4. TOP 10 LIST
We usually come up with thirty or more awesome names only to find out that most of them are already being used by someone else. To save us all from complete frustration, we like develop a lot of possibilities, throw out the bad ideas, and reduce the options down to the Top Ten List. That’s the list we share with you. With ten options to choose from, you can usually find one or more you love. You can also consider the likelyhood of earning the trademark, securing an available domain name, and then moving into logo design.
5. USE AN ATTORNEY
When it comes to finalizing a name, use an attorney that specializes in intellectual property law. While we have many years of experience doing this, we can’t advise you on legal matters and we don’t file trademark applications. Using an attorney to handle your trademark filing makes life much easier and greatly improves your chances of being awarded the trademark on that awesome name we all worked so hard to develop.
If you are reading this, then we didn’t bore you to death yet. So, before that happens, maybe you should look through our portfolio of brands and see if you like what we.