November 2017
What's In a Name?

Jeffrey Spear - President

Jeff Spear

Business owners are constantly seeking ways to increase sales and promote enterprise growth. They understand that, if market dynamics are shifting, it makes sense for their marketing programs to keep up.


We are regularly asked to evaluate existing marketing programs, refresh existing brands, introduce new trademarks, and streamline communications. In many cases, we're finding that communications strategies, including brand names and trademarks, have fallen out of style, are no longer generating interest, and fail to resonate with intended audiences. Not surprisingly, we've noticed a few common themes.

Acronyms are cropping up on a regular basis. While Nabisco (National Biscuit Company), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) are well-known examples, acronyms are an inwardly focused and misguided communication strategy that appeals mostly to the management team within the organization. To the general public, they are rarely understood, lack emotional impact, and require considerable time to gain acceptance.

The remedy, however, is simple. When deciding on a name, use words that identify and exploit factors that are unique to your business. More importantly, make sure they are clearly understood and represent concepts, features, or benefits that are important and represent value to key buyers.

While Nabisco still uses its acronym to identify its corporate entity, they also employ far more appealing, descriptive, and compelling brand names such as Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butter and Honey Maid for their cookies.

Depending on the nature of your products and the breadth of market penetration, it's also important to anticipate and respond to regional preferences and cultural dynamics.

In Serbia, fruit producers refer to apricots, peaches, plums and other such "stone" fruits as "mushy fruit." While this terminology may be well received throughout the Balkans, other cultures perceive mushy fruit as rotten and inedible.

When Green Giant introduced its Jolly Green Giant to Saudi Arabia, the trademark was poorly crafted and translated as Intimidating Green Ogre. I doubt this was the message or reputation the company had in mind.

A cheese straw, a much-loved savory snack from the American South, has nothing to do with the cylindrical device that transports liquids from vessel to mouth. Calling it a cracker, however, would deny its regional heritage and mislead buyers.

It's easy to see that thorough research and planning is essential when creating effective trademarks and launching new brands. Whether your audience is in Denver or Denmark, Tucson or Timbuktu, taking the time to fully understand and communicate with key buyers is essential. It could be the difference between a brand that languishes and one that thrives.

To learn how Studio Spear creates meaningful trademarks and powerful brands, please call 866 787 8761 - ask for Jeff Spear. You can also contact Jeff via email:


If the time has come to overhaul, update and re-invigorate your brand image, or you'd like to change up your marketing program, please call 904 685 2135 - ask for Jeff Spear. You can also contact Jeff via email:

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