Branding basics for SMEs

The Right Brand name – a successful start!

Think of the following brand names – Infosys, Biocon, Educomp, GoAir, Titan etc. These are called ‘corporate ‘brands’ or company brands. Frooti, Fastrack, Café Coffee Day, Aashirvaad are ‘consumer brands’. All of them are young, less than 25 years old! Very importantly these brands are all very successful and profitable and have a lot of good will in the market.

What is it that you find about these brand names? Aren’t the names memorable and different? These brands remain in our minds and we are not likely to forget them.

They have been created keeping the customer or the consumer in mind. There has been a naming strategy behind these brand names.

If you want your business to be successful and profitable, start thinking’ brands’. In today’s competitive environment, entrepreneurs, marketers do not have the luxury of ‘time’ to build a brand. You should be able to communicate a brand name effortlessly to your customers.

Sometimes, brand names are not understood and companies spend a lot of money trying to market such brands. Le Sancy, a soap was one such brand that failed in the nineties inspite of investing crores of rupees in marketing.

Most well known older companies have family names like Tata, Birla, Kirloskar, or geographic names like Bharat Forge, Bombay Dyeing or generic names like Reliance, The founders were pioneers and preferred their family names. They have built their brand names over a very long period of time.

Family names do help in certain professional businesses like fashion designers, architects, interior designers etc.

If you are about to start a new venture or launch a product, keep these parameters in mind while naming.

• Think ‘brands’! At first decide that your company name should be the brand name that you want to build with your customers and stakeholders. Because, finally it is the brand that will be the wealth creator for you.

• The brand name should be memorable and different

• The name should reflect your business and be understood by your customers and stakeholders. For eg Woodlands (footwear), Govardhan (dairy products)

• Names should be short, easy to pronounce and easy to spell. For eg. Nano, Hero, Titan etc. Long names invariably become acronyms like IBM (International Business Machines), MRF (Madras Road Factory) should be avoided.

• Unusual evocative names are more easily remembered. For eg. Sunsilk, Google, Pulsar etc.

• Avoid generic names like ‘Apex’, Zenith, ‘Style’, ‘Radiant’ etc because they are neither different nor memorable. There are many other business entities using these names.

• Identify a list of names and test it with your friends, colleagues and customers. See which appeals and generates the maximum response and interest. If you are unable to generate any interesting name, take the help of advertising agency professionals.

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2 thoughts on “Branding basics for SMEs

  1. Ma’am, Please share your insights on current campaigns and ads run by political parties.
    There was a lot of campaigning done for Gujarat elections, could have an insight as to how useful was Modi’s digital step in his campaign vs. age old Congress’ campaign.

    • Hiren,
      Narendra Modi has effectively used new media and has been proactive. It has given him an edge with urban vote banks and the neo middle class as he calls it. Congress in my opinion is caught in a time warp. Their Gujarat tvc that were aired were terrible. They sounded like hypocrites. It is very necessary for political brands to win trust and credibility first. They have to behave likewise. Narendra Modi has shown the way of how digital media can be used to gain people’s goodwill and to form opinions on crucial issues.

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