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How to find the Perfect Brand Name for your Company

Even more than the crazy wig and high-protein clothes, which is the name of Lady Lady Gaga. If her name is Bethany Cranston (or, say, Stefani Germanotta), forget it.

Everyone wants a Gaga name for their new product / website / startup. But if you've ever brainstormed a title, you'll know how to give it up. Every four-letter word in English has long been taken away. But you crave something unique and legally protectable. So here are art spelling mistakes ( "Gene-yus") and syllable mashup ( "TechnoRiffic"). Later, when you review your whiteboard filled with gawky names, someone walks with the blackberry that you envy. This is how to do. (Hey, is there any trademark of Graype?)

No one in the naming world more than a company named Lexicon boutique envy. You may not be able to recognize the name. But Lexicon created a $ 15 billion brand name, including BlackBerry, Dasani, Febreze, OnStar, Pentium, Scion and Swiffer.

The success of the word vocabulary shows that the great name does not come from the moment of lightning. (No one was hit 15 times.) Instead, the magic of the word is its creative process.

Considering that it recently worked for Colgate, ready to launch a one-time mini-toothbrush. A special toothpaste is held in the center of the brush, which is designed to be free of rinsing. So you can carry a toothbrush, use it in the cab or airplane toilet, and then throw it out.

Lexicon's founder and CEO David Placek's first insight was early. When you first see the toothbrush, Placek says, highlighting its small size. "You'll be tempted to start thinking about the size of the name, like Petite Brush or Porta-Brush," he said. When his team started using brushes, it was not natural to hit them, first, not to spit out toothpaste. But this new brush will not create a large quality mint foam - lighter, more pleasant, more like a breath. Therefore, they clearly recognize that the name of the brush should not be a small signal. It should signal brightness, soft and gentle.

With this insight, Placek asked his linguist network - 70 of them in 50 countries - to begin brainstorming with metaphors, sounds, and word parts, meaning light. At the same time, he asked the other two Lexicon colleagues to help. But he kept both in the dark about customers and products. Instead, he gave the team - let's call them a touring team - a fictitious mission. He told them that the cosmetics brand Olay wanted to launch a series of oral care products, which is their work to help them brainstorming product ideas.

Placek chose Olay because he believes beauty is an implied selling point for the new brushes. "Good oral care means white teeth, white teeth look better," Placek said. So the tour team began to put forward interesting ideas. For example, they propose an Ole glitter, mouthwash that will make your teeth sparkle.

Finally, it is about the light, rather than the beauty of the prevailing insight. The linguist team produced a long list of possible words and phrases, and when Placek reviewed it, a word jumped out of him: wisp. This is the perfect combination of the new brushing experience, it tests well; it is not heavy and the foam is almost none of it. It's a little. So the birth of Colgate.

Note the missing parts of the vocabulary process: when everyone is sitting at the conference table, staring at the toothbrush and part of the collective discussion name. ( "Hey, ToofBrutch - whether the URL is available!") Instead, the Lexicon leader usually creates three teams of two, each pursuing a different perspective. Some teams, blind clients, and products chase similar to related fields. For example, in Levi's new Curve ID denim jeans, which provides different references for different body types, tour team digging surveys and works.

Necessarily, this often leads to a waste of work - in the case of Wisp, the tour team finds itself in a dead end with the Olay project. But it is this willingness to work side by side and endure some inefficiency, which usually leads to a breakout situation such as a BlackBerry.

When Research in Motion adopted Lexicon, Placek and his team knew they were working with PDAs to combat negative associations: they were buzzing, they vibrated, they irritated us and stressed us. So he challenged the tour team - again, not familiar with the actual customers - cataloging things in the world, bringing happiness to people, slowing us down, and relaxing us. In other words, these negative PDA associations are antidotes.

The list grows quickly. Camping, cycling, and martinis on Friday evenings. Bubble Bath, Fly Fishing, Cooking. There is martinis on Thursday evening.

Later, someone in the list added "pick strawberries." Someone took out the word strawberry. But a linguist at the dictionary said, "No, the strawberry sounds very slow." (Think of similar vowels in draw, dawdle, stall.) Soon it was removed and replaced with the following word for BlackBerry. , Etc., the key on the PDA looks like the seed on the BlackBerry.

Actually, no. "Most customers feel that once they see it they will know the perfect name, but it will not happen that way," Placek said. Even the "Blackberry" is not easy to sell. Clients tend to have more descriptive names, such as "EasyMail". (Interestingly, the same is true of past blockbusters: some at Intel wanting to call the Pentium "ProChip," and some in P & G want to call Swiffer "EZMop." There is no doubt that someone wants to call Budweiser "EZGut.

As Lexicon's success shows, a great name can make a big difference. When some smart marketers renamed the Chinese gooseberry kiwi fruit, the fruit has become a huge blow. But we should not over-name the name. After all, we live in a world where some of the most powerful brands are called Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and General Electric. Obviously, a mediocre name is not fate. For each Lady Gaga, there is a Katy Perry. So maybe, after all, have your hope, Bethany Cranston.

Dan Heath and Chip Heath are the authors of the New York Times bestseller. Switching: How to Change Things When Change Is Difficult and Making Adherence: Why Some Ideas Survive and Other Dies.

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