A classic mistake for start-ups is to ask one name to fly solo. It’s usually the product name. Since entrepreneurs have to be obsessed with their product to start a business, that’s probably to be expected. But then how can you be sure you’re talking about the company when it has the same name as the product? Which brand promise do you want to imply or express?
Apple Computer owes its name to a small apple farm where Steve Jobs spent time each year with friends in the mid-70s. And it was the name of both the product and the company until the Lisa, Mac and other new products came along. That’s the typical pattern for start-ups. It was also a long time ago in terms of today’s marketplace.
Today you need all the brand power you can get to claim and hold a place in customer minds, and you need this the minute you start marketing.
Products can be treated as brands – given proprietary names and a brand platform as the backbone of marketing communications efforts. Or they can be given descriptive names and associated with a brand. But they’re missing out if they are denied the halo effect of a corporate brand.
The corporate brand is the face of a business strategy – what the company wants to be known for. In time, it becomes the organizing principle that simplifies the complexity of multiple products and the umbrella that facilitates new product acceptance.
The cost need be no greater for two than for one if you do it right – and you’ll build a far stronger foundation for ongoing sales and profits with both.