The biggest problem that many companies face when naming a product, or a product line, is that they don’t have the right vision. Many just grab pen and paper, start brainstorming, and wait for the names to appear on the list. But they fail in a more far-reaching strategic consideration that helps them in creating value for their brand and their business. And that maximizes the chances of your registration and protection.

How much do companies invest in new product development? The figure can be very high by becoming aware of the enormous resources in hundreds of hours involving multiple teams, developing prototypes with several rounds of revisions until finally the time comes to launch it on the market. That being the case, it doesn’t make any sense not to invest proportionately to create a good name that facilitates the creation of a unique meaning for the brand.

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Keep in mind that having a bad name is the best help for the competition, it can frustrate customers and make it difficult to buy. Creating an effective name requires strategy, creativity, and method. Experience has shown us that the three elements are not always combined equally, and there are flagrant cases of major failures.

To name a product, or a line of products, we can propose two basic strategies:

  1. Define a coordinated naming architecture strategy.
    When working strategically, naming architecture It makes it easy to sort the names of all the brands in a portfolio so that the right relationships are established between all of them in order to bring clarity and shared value to the brands. SEAT and its range of sub-brands associated with the Spanish territory can be an example: Ibiza, León, Tárraco, Arona… All of them are related to each other, although they have a path for their own personality.

    But so can a solution like AUDI and its A1, A2, A3, A5, A7…

  1. Create independent names, attacking the market with unrelated brand names, with a focus more oriented to the breadth of penetration. MONDELEZ has brands in different segments, and taking only the biscuit segment we find: Lu, Oreo, Belvita, Chips Ahoy… All of them without any connection.

Which strategy works best? Depends on. The need to create a brand name goes hand in hand with the business growth strategy. The method that each Company uses will depend on its own situation, as well as that of the market in which it operates.

When customers see an obvious continuation of the brand, they expect each superior model to improve on the features of the previous one. However, when they see a rebranding, they expect fundamentally new features, and they perceive the product as truly new or different, which can be more rewarding but also riskier to begin with.

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In any case, it is always advisable to start at the beginning. The name cannot be an isolated element of the brand strategy, so the first step in its creation will always be to understand the business strategy and the brand strategy. What is the positioning and personality that protect it, what is the market, who are the customers, what is its competition.

Next, it is important to bear in mind the importance of their viability of registration in the corresponding Patent Offices and the availability of domains on the Internet. The saturation of records and cybersquatting are real conditioning factors for creativity.

Every trademark must be adequately protected, even if it is not required by law. Mistakes in this regard can become great opportunities for others. A few months ago, AIRTEL came back to light thanks to a modest company from Albacete that took advantage of the lack of ownership of the brand to take over it and its logo. Surprising.

Trademark registration ensures that no one else can use the name or brand for the same goods or services. It also protects against a certain level of similarities. And it also helps increase the value of intellectual property assets, brand equity , and brand equity.

The crisis and the reduction of budgets has often led to the creation of trademarks or sub-brands with generic names, which are impossible to register. If we have a leading brand in a segment, we enter new product categories by investing in R+D, and we decide that to save costs we are going to call our new products something like “Plus” or “Tasty”, we can give up the battle. You only have to look at how Danone left generics aside to create Danet, Vitalinea or Danonino. Others may sell custard, but only Danone sells Danet.

As Confucius said, “the beginning of wisdom begins by calling a spade a spade.”


Carlos Puig Falcó
CEO of Branward