The branding lesson of “Manatee gray.” Target’s blunder, or triumph?

Posted on Apr 21, 2013 | No comments (yet!)

Recently, WGN radio asked us to discuss branding issues, starting with a Target stores’ mini-scandal. Imagine a plus-size dress labeled as “Manatee gray.” It’s worth a listen. Our takeaway was not about Target’s unfortunate error, but their brilliant response. The interview also veered into other areas, including Acura’s inept model-naming, the Wii, and “the quicker picker-upper.” Correcting […]

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How to throw away $50,000.00

Posted on Jan 18, 2013 | No comments (yet!)

Met today with an IP attorney who told the horror story of a client firm which had paid $50,000 for a rebranding engagement, having outgrown their original name. The agency (which he discreetly did not name) labored for months, only to eventually recommend using their initials. Appalling. On top of that, the agency never did […]

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Global naming, and the “no va” myth.

Posted on Aug 5, 2012 | No comments (yet!)

Naming for multinational markets demands you learn what the name suggests in multiple languages and cultures.  You don’t want to discover too late that your brand means “poop” in Punjabi, or “fraud” in Farsi. But which and how many languages? The easy answer is, as many languages as are spoken where you market, now or […]

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Startup Success Step #10

Posted on Apr 14, 2012 | No comments (yet!)

Company naming is a major neglected area of startup investment. Many entrepreneurs believe they either lack the capital to get professional help in naming, or believe it’s a do-it-yourself area where they can save a few bucks for the dozens of other startup expenses tugging at their wallet. They named their children after all, and […]

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Our naming rules, revisited

Posted on Jan 3, 2012 | 7 comments

We do a lot of naming, sometimes after a company launches a DIY effort, or (worse yet) tries the sure-to-disappoint employee contest gambit, the dismal results of which lead to a renaming effort two years later. We gently remind you of the mantra of every professional outsource: “Do in house what you do best; turn to […]

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