- Written by Eric Mack
Naming = the ultimate leverage: nowhere do you get so much “bang for your buck” than choosing a name for your business, product, or service.
Create a name that’s impossible for customers to forget. Don’t focus on creating a name that’s “nice” or “easy to remember.” Instead, focus on creating a name that’s impossible to FORGET.
The mind remembers names by SOUND, not by sight. Names are sounds before they are printed words — so focus on the SOUND primarily. Repetitive sounds and rhythmic sounds win in this domain — so use them.
Avoid “cute” or “funny” names. Spending money is serious business — and most people don’t want to laugh when they’re doing it. Rarely does a cute or funny name work — so avoid them.
Use names that promise results, benefits, and/or solutions if possible. Most people think that a name is something very different from their “other marketing.” Not so — use everything you’ve learned so far to create a name that promises a BENEFIT.
Rhythm makes names much more “sticky” in the mind. We have a system called the “phonological loop” that acts as an auditory buffer. Use repetitive and rhythmic sounds to keep your name bouncing around LONGER.
Names that I’ve created: Double Your Dollars, Self-Made Millions, Be More Productive
Do use and include: alliteration, rhyme, power associations
Favorite name examples: Coca Cola, 3 Day Blinds, YouTube, Bed Bath & Beyond
Positioning — what it is, and what it’s not. Positioning is a game that you play in the mind — not a game you play in reality.
You don’t “position” your product by comparing it to other products. You position your product by creating a new MENTAL CATEGORY that it can be first in.
Human minds use categories as “shortcut decision makers.” The world is complex and full of product options. Most of the product options are not perceived to be significantly different from other available options.
When two options are similar to each other, we consider them to be roughly the “same” option and we “throw one away” to conserve mental space.
It’s no use competing — if you do, you’ve already lost. Competing is a rough game in marketing, and it’s one that is usually LOST when competing with an established competitor.
The reason is that the competitor has already gotten into the mind of your customer. It’s much better to create a new category — that you can be first in — and let others compete.
How to create a mental category: start with an aspect of your customer’s need that’s critically important to them. Examples include speed, convenience, specific results, a guarantee — whatever is the key element to your customer.
Base your new mental category on a key need that is currently unmet — that your particular product meets.
How to “niche” your category: drill down into a need to find the “high emotion value” 20% that is going unmet.
Discover the words, phrases, and specific “emotional hot buttons” that customers use to describe it. Research to find out the “niche within the niche” that you can own in the mind.
Categories diverge just like species diverge. Every business category eventually becomes two categories — or more. Computers became laptops and desktops, cars became compact cars, midsize cars and luxury cars.
Anticipate this process, and split the category yourself… to create a category that you can own. Big companies lose because instead of creating a new niche and a new business, they try to take the old stuff they used to do and re-label it. Think IBM, Microsoft, Google and Facebook.
Name your new category. To get into the mind first, name your new category — so that customers will see you as the INVENTOR of it. Win by creating and promoting the category itself, not just your particular business or product.
Who was the first? Who was the first search engine? Who was the first energy drink? Who was the first portable MP3 player? Most people will say Google and RedBull and iPod — because they were first in the MIND. It’s better to be first then it is to be better.
Examples of categories: health foods = WholeFoods Market. Online auctions = eBay. Luxury New York condos = TRUMP. Social networking = Facebook. Online videos = YouTube.