A predominate route to showcasing the importance of your business name and trademark could be this overheard one-liner from a speakeasy that goes “I’ll call you Tunde, since you look like a Tunde.” What exactly does a Tunde look like? The man dubbed as “Tunde” was wearing a suit; and, his silky blonde hair brushed back James Dean style. His name was Bob. Call it stereotyping, but that’s the way the chunky cookie crumbles in the contemporary, visual landscape of marketing.
If only coming up with a business name or a trademark was as easy as naming your new pet, then we’d have an interesting gamut of industry tycoons, like Garfield — a food delivery app for authentic Italian lasagna — or Scooby-Doo — an e-commerce platform that provides you a wide selection of doggy treats for your crime-busting canine. But who would take you seriously, right?
To help you in coming up with that fitting business name and trademark, here are brands who hit the gold mine with theirs:
Spilling the grains on branding
The caffeine emporium that fuels full-time insomniacs and corporate hustlers, Starbucks, has leveraged on the stereotyping game. Coffee shops have almost always been a default refuge for the stressed-out being who longs for the serene atmosphere it gives — the sound of steam out of an espresso machine; the scent of beans roasted, ground, and brewed; and, the warm light that ever so slightly shines down on your current read. These trappings of what a coffee shop is, is echoed by the Starbucks brand throughout its every visual marketing effort.
To the unfamiliar, the name Starbucks is taken from “Starbuck,” the calm first mate of the Pequod, the whaling ship from the Melville classic “Moby Dick.” To further the relaxing narrative, the brand doesn’t end with the fitting literary reference, but continues on with its trademark — the twin-tailed mermaid. With her open arms and a luring look on her face, you could almost hear her say “Come in. We have expensive but good coffee; and, baristas who address you by your first name.” And to tie it all together, Starbucks uses color coding to increase brand recognition, by producing its stirrers, straws; and, the wreath that houses the smiling mermaid, with a calming shade of green.
Not everyone appreciates art. That’s a fact. One might enter a gallery and look at a Pollock, and never understand how unicorn skid marks translate to a “Reflection of the Big Dipper.” In the marketing context, no one will understand how a warped version of a dying snail is supposed to stand for Cottbus’ tour service. In this case, a lot could be learned from the originator of quick-fix solutions to midnight snack cravings, McDonald’s.
Are those two pieces of soggy fries? However you interpret them as, they’ll always be the northern star that inches you closer to that second chin. Known for its eye-catching Golden Arches — the 25-foot high glowing ‘M’ — the fast food chain’s trademark keeps close to the business’ visual identity — casual, no-fuss, Americana — and speaks through and through to its chosen brand persona — the masses. It is because of this adherence to the general marketing rule of coherence with its target market that the brand has chosen a simple yet creative trademark to represent them.
Now lets look at the business name ‘Google’ With a name as distinct as Google — so distinct that it, for sure, never had a problem choosing its much visited domain — brand retention is not an issue for the search engine. What was supposed to be called BackRub, since it functions by searching through back links, the company that boasts a $100-billion revenue from the last fiscal year, 2017, made sure that is name was something the digital audience wouldn’t have a problem typing in their browser’s search bar.
The search engine’s one-of-a-kind name is so used by the digital savants — which is about everyone who isn’t living in the Tibetan mountain tops — that it even found its way into the pages of the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a verb — google it! There’s a certain rhythm to saying the word “Google,” and it also helps that any self-respecting smartphone, laptop, or desktop owner intuitively keys in the easy five-letter word more than a thousand times for every trivial, and some not so trivial, inquiry they come across in their mundane lives.
Back when a good business name and trademark weren’t as hard to come by as hearing a millennial exclaim “YAAAS” nowadays, the likes of Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Google focused on staying true to who they are as a brand. It always works to have a trademark that’s as definitive and indelible as the peaceful mermaid; as uncomplicated and thought-provoking as the Golden Arches; and, a name that’s as catchy and unique as Google. Having your brand name and trademark aligned to your identity as a business is never accidental or coincidental. It always pays to have a clear voice to communicate to your audience, so they understand what it is you want them to expect from you.