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BRANDING | 10 Most Common Naming Mistakes | Part Five

8. Thinking Everything Needs A Name.

New products, innovations, technologies, ideas, and acquisitions: As organizations expand and grow, there are more and more opportunities for the launch of new products and services—and the need to name them.

It’s in these cases where it’s important to ask whether a new brand or product truly needs a name. Too many names and brands in a portfolio often add to customer confusion—as opposed to signaling expansion or innovation—and can work to dilute your main brand.

This is where brand and naming architecture is vital. Create an organizing principle based on your brand strategy to guide decisions around naming so you can determine the ideal relationship between your main brand and any new sub-brands, line extensions, and flankers. Then choose naming approaches, for each, from there.

Not everything needs a name. Find the right focus for branding so your naming strategy always pushes equity to the brands that matter—and so your offerings always help your customers make the best decisions they can, quickly and easily.

9. Keeping Names That Are No Longer Relevant.

As it often happens, the more we use a name, the more it becomes the right name—one that we are comfortable with, one that we associate with and understand, or even one that comes with an acquired brand. But many companies mistake this for the real equity in a brand name: the ability to drive consideration and choice.

Brands, by nature, evolve based on new and updated offerings, changes in the market and in customer demand, and innovation. In some of these cases, existing names may not be able to stretch with the offering or may not have the right fit and relevance to meet longer-term business objectives.

So it’s important to test names for fit and stretch. If you find the name no longer works, or it doesn’t have customer permission for a new definition, avoid abrupt changes that may alienate any core audience invested in the name. And make sure that any equity that does exist transfers to your new brand name.

Plan your re-naming and migration strategy carefully to smooth the transition from old to new. And keep your brand names relevant to truly position your company well.