NEWH - November 2004 - (Page 28)

what’s in a brand name? everything! by Cynthia Tripp Kampf, Owner and Principal Tripp Design, Chicago, Illinois Each day, you are consistently bombarded with words and images clamoring for your attention and loyalty. They call themselves brands, and all promise to satisfy what they think they know about your cravings for comfort, value, success, aesthetic, convenience and gratification. But with so many brands competing for you, how can they hope to cut through the clutter and capture you with their benefits and reason to buy? They can reach you with a great brand name that tells a compelling story. To contend for market share, a brand must own a magnetic name before the fabulous graphics and enticing phrases come into play. Creating a distinctive, memorable one with market appeal is part science and part art. The most important things to consider during the naming process are: • • • • • • Visual appeal Aural appeal Language differentials Ownership Image Memorability Brand names must also conjure immediate positive associations 28 with a problem solved, a desire fulfilled or a life made easier. Winning brands connect cultures and address potential language conflicts. For example, other cultures can’t always pronounce English letter combinations such as “TH” (earth, worth, thistle). Worse yet, translations from English to another tongue can have a negative impact, as in the case of the Chevy Nova; “no va” means “it doesn’t run/go” in Spanish. Winning brand names communicate on humanity’s most basic levels. Research has confirmed that infants as young as 7 months can spot brand names as sensory markers. One study reported that “children rely on perceptual clues due to an inability to form mental or abstract representations….They have fixed views of things by age 7 but begin to categorize as early as 18 months of age.” Perception of names influences the various appeals to interested audiences. Take Howdy Doody restaurants as a hypothetical example. Among consumers over 50, the Howdy Doody brand evokes images of a cozy diner. But most of Generations X and Y find little relevance or attraction in its propositions. A brand name can even control damage and public opinion during or after a crisis. The cruise-ship line “White Star Line” changed its name to Cunard after an accident involving its ship called “Titanic.” Good move. Yet earlier this year, the same company introduced the “White Star Service” program, which offers VIP treatment on board their new luxury cruise ship. Knowing what it does about the brand’s past, will the market respond favorably? One can doubt that it will. Like any living thing, a brand can wither up and fade away if taken for granted. A brand name requires continued investment in order to thrive and grow. While not always fatal, the rebound of a name can be costly, as Cendant can tell you about their expenses with Howard Johnson hotels. How can this be avoided? Learn more about your customers. Arrange current focus groups. Refine your copy. Polish your graphics. And most important, always deliver on what you promise. Keeping your good name is indeed worth its weight in gold. Cynthia Tripp Kampf is the founder of Tripp Design, a full-service brand development firm that conceives, creates and implements branding programs.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - November 2004

NEWH - November 2004
Letter From the President
Outgoing Editor
Hospitality News
Maintaining a Sense of Place...
Design-Related Resources Shine Brightly at 2004 IH/M&RS
Beds in Banks
The Fullerton Singapore Hotel
Woman of the Year - Lyndall De Marco
The Glasshouse Hotel, Edinburgh Scotland
What’s in a Brand Name
What You Need to Maximize Publicity
Coming Events
Chapter News and Events
Embrace Adaptive Re-Use Projects
NEWH UK Supports Serious Fun at Barretstown
IH/M&RS Gold Key Awards

NEWH - November 2004