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Can Your Brand Pass The “10 Second” Test?

Can Your Brand Pass The "10 Second" Test?

Aflac, the company that uses the duck as its advertising icon, has started a new "You Don't Know Quack" campaign.

Their new campaign challenges NASCAR driver Carl Edwards to explain in 10 seconds how Aflac policies help protect people. Carl's response, obviously scripted, was "If you are sick or hurt, Aflac pays you cash – fast – to help pay for things major medical insurance won't cover – things like car payments, mortgage and more."

Genius!

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Do Google Codenames Make You Hungry?

Google is using names of sweets for its codenames for Android Operating System versions. Listed alphabetically the names thus far are: 1.5 (Cupcake), 1.6 (Donut), 2.0/2.1 (Éclair) and now, 2.X –to be named Froyo (which means Frozen Yogurt).

Am I the only one who finds this amusing? Some bloggers are actually attacking Google, saying that their codenames are sending the message that "sweets are good for you." Give me a break!

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You Should Always Check International Communication of Your Name, or Risk This!

The photo below pretty much says it all.

DSC00109Assitalia is one of the biggest insurance companies in Italy. I am sure the company developed its name without thinking about international considerations. In Italy, the name is probably fine. But if they ever wanted to expand to an English speaking country…well, let’s just say there might be a problem.

Most companies for which I develop names for insist that I do some sort of name verification to ensure that the names I develop have no problematic connotations in the major foreign languages. Clearly, Assitalia never thought of that!

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Naming The Store Brand

Every Sunday I go through the circulars in the paper looking for new products.  I usually spend a lot of time with the ads from the national drug store chains (Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid).  Recently, I observed that each chain seems to have a radically different philosophy on store brand naming.  And while this observation isn’t earth shattering, it exposes the marketing strategies (or lack thereof) of each chain.

For example, check out the allergy section.  The big brand names like Benadryl®, Claritin® and Zyrtec® all have store brand/private label competition.  Walgreens naming protocol for its store brand is pretty straightforward and seems to be designed to help a consumer find the Walgreens knockoff of the branded product.  You can buy Wal-dryl, Wal-itin, and Wal-zyr, and the packaging is color coded to make it easier.  This is a very consistent strategy that is designed to make life easier for the consumer and also designed to build the “Wal-“ prefix as a brand.

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To Google® Or Not To Google®

Full disclosure…I own Google stock.  I like their products and their potential.  However, I am more than a bit concerned about how they use their names and trademarks.

Microsoft® names its products in a traditional fashion.  Microsoft is the company; names like Windows, Silverlight, Bing are clearly the products.  A very logical naming architecture that makes it clear where the company ends and the product begins.

Google is a company and a trademark for several goods and services.  The Google trademark is perhaps best know for “Search engine services” (International Class 042) but Google can also be “Dissemination of advertising for others via the Internet” (IC 035) or “Telecommunication services” (IC 038) or “Financial services” (IC 036) or any of a number of different product or service ideas that carry the name Google.

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