Brewery Blocks

Naming Names

What you name something is one of the most important steps marketers may take if a product, project or program is to be successful. A creative and memorable name is an important part of your brand identity. There are no hard rules about creating clever names, but here are a few guidelines to follow:

Be collaborative, part 1: Start with a small group and brainstorm ideas. It’s rare, but you actually may hit a grand slam right off the bat. If you are so lucky, test the name with a select few of the target audience. CFM was cooking when it came up with the concept for “Old Voltage Meter,” a commemorative ale celebrating the 100th anniversary of Local 48 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Be collaborative, part 2: Sometimes it helps to take your initial thoughts to a larger group. When managing communications for the Portland City Hall renovation project, CFM asked top PR professionals for public relations agencies and local governments to serve as volunteers in a focus group. The city was delighted with the outcome. The group came up with the phrase “ Historic Portland City Hall: Restoring the Heart of the City.”

Be visual: Words alone are not enough. Powerful images are a must. In the IBEW and city hall examples, the memorable phrases that were selected inspired wonderful visuals. A great name influenced the logo introducing a new neighborhood to Portlanders — “The Brewery Blocks: In Portland’s Pearl District” — and associating the exciting new project with the energy of the trendy urban community.

To Be Memorable, Be Remarkable

Important messages may not stick if not creatively delivered. It’s one thing to craft well-honed key messages. It is another to leave a lasting impression.

At this year’s Portland Communicators Conference, one of the workshops covered creativity in messaging. The presenter, Betsy Hanning of marketing communications agency AHA!, said that to communicate key messages effectively, we need to create something remarkable.