28 February 2013
We have tried to cluster the Luxury Interior brand name types into three distinct categories: Literal, Fabricated and Metaphorial names
Most names in the premium Interiors and Home-interest sector fall into literal or Descriptive name types. Literal names are purely descriptive of what a company or product does or its function. We would consider sub-categories within this Literal category that would include Founder names; Place names or georgraphic reference; Acronyms of earlier descriptive names, that over time have been shortened. Collectively these names have never been the most powerful in general branding terms but certainly, within the premium and luxury strata of the industry we focus on Founder names carry the same Prestige and Heritage as other Luxury fashion categories.Unfortunately, since the rise of the Internet and online searching, it has become nearly impossible to build an effective brand around a new Descriptive name.
A name rarely has to describe what the brand is all about -- that will become evident by the context surrounding the brand. The job of the name is to get your brand noticed, remembered and talked about, and that is rarely achieved by Descriptive names.
Positives of literal names include ease of understanding, and in the case of a founder’s name they tend to be high-imagery names that produce vivid mental pictures that aid recall and so are more memorable, trademarking is easier. Many of the leading luxury brands are born out of the original atelier's family name and today carry great brand equity. Capitalising on their history and original craftsmanship. Negatives are lack of differentiation with purely descriptive names (common keywords), and lack of depth or meaning, or story associated with the product or service.
These tend to be combination of two words or key words. These synthesized names can be derived from Latin or Greek roots, often as prefixes or suffixes. These tend to be low-imagery names. A sub-category we find is Abstract names these can be based on alliteration (repeated sounds) or rhyming. Most made-up names can sound important or intelligent, and usually obtain trademark and domain name availability.
Significant negatives include difficulty in understanding and, often, a lack of meaning or emotion. As a result, fabricated names may require significant marketing spending to be successful.
Metaphorical names create an association, or ideally, an emotional response that somehow relates to the company or product in an intuitive or relevant way. They relate to the desired positioning, and are aggressively different than most competitors in any given category. They are by definition unique and differentiated—a key to effective positioning.
Indeed, of the three name types, Metaphorical names can be highly memorable, offer the opportunity to change whole business categories or industries, sometimes with the name itself generating publicity far greater than paid media exposure. The negative of metaphorical names is when no perceived meaning or relation to positioning exists; the name can seem random or odd.