Brand Naming Best Practices with Rob Meyerson

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Rob Meyerson is a brand naming expert and author of the new book Brand Naming. And, as I said many times during the episode, “we don’t talk about brand naming enough!” Luckily Rob does and did so for us this week. If you’ve had anything to do with naming, you need to listen to this episode (and check out Rob’s book).

About Rob Meyerson

Rob Meyerson is a namer, brand consultant, and principal and founder of Heirloom, an independent brand strategy and identity firm. Prior to founding Heirloom, Rob’s previous roles included head of brand architecture and naming at HP, director of verbal identity at Interbrand in San Francisco, and director of strategy at FutureBrand in Southeast Asia. His past clients range from the Fortune 500 to Silicon Valley startups, from San Francisco to Shanghai, including brands such as Adobe, AT&T, GE, John Deere, Disney, Guitar Hero, Intel, Meta (Facebook), Microsoft, Walmart, and Yahoo.

An experienced namer, Rob has created names for companies (Corelight), nonprofits (Swing Left), products (Sierra Wireless Octave), and services. Rob has written about brand strategy and brand naming for leading publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, Insider, The Guardian, VentureBeat, and Branding Strategy Insider.

Episode Highlights

No respect, I tell ‘ya. No, we didn’t start the show by doing Rodney Dangerfield impersonations but Rob did note the difference between the attention that logo design gets vs. brand naming. “There’s a disparity in the amount of respect naming gets. People think ‘that’s just a word, anyone can do that.’”

How should you start the brand naming process? Like all creative work, it starts with a brief. “You need something that documents what you want the name to be, who your competition is, etc.”

Brand naming best practices. After talking about the different types of names (from descriptive to abstract to compound words), Rob discussed other process best practices. His book features chapters on the important steps of trademark, linguistics, and domain checks.

Brand naming quick hits … I asked Rob for a favorite brand naming example and an example of a not-so-great name. Rob really likes the Swiffer brand name. “It’s a coined word that feels like a real word.”

What brand name is Rob not a fan of? He pointed us to Tribune Online Content’s failed TRONC brand. Beyond being a not-so-great brand name (“it sounds gross”) but they also “mishandled the launch.”

What brand has made Rob smile recently? Rob is a big fan of the sparkling CBD beverage Recess. Why? “You can tell they have a lot of love for design and the name speaks to taking a break.”

To learn more, go to BrandNamingBook.com (FYI - we talked about adding descriptors like this to URLs) and check out Rob’s personal website.

As We Wrap …

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

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