Bad Brand Names that Make Good Business Sense

FacebookLinkedInTwitter

logo-vertical-calidad-media

 

They don’t roll off the tongue, Lexicon doesn’t brag about having created them and you won’t find them tattooed on many hairless chests, but names like this one can serve their owners’ business interests well.

The Spanish company Gamesa (pronounced gah MEH sah) is a world leader in wind turbines. Gamesa is actually an acronym that stands for Grupo Auxiliar Metalúrgico, Sociedad Anónima. Even our readers who speak only American should be able to translate the first part. The second part, S.A., denotes a specific type of corporation. This naming protocol is common in Spain:

These are just a few of the many organizations that make acronyms/abbreviations/initialisms and their legal structure a part of their brand names. Even our beloved Inditex is shorthand for Industria de Diseño Textil, S.A.

Why do they choose names that are the creative equivalent of nails on a chalkboard? Two reasons. The first is history. Many of these companies were created decades ago, when brand identity models were still just a glint in David Aaker’s eye. The second, and more important reason, is gravitas. Being an SA requires investment that only makes sense for businesses of a certain size. Including it in the name is an easy (if indelicate) way to convey a sense of mass.

So while these names aren’t the kind that one tends to come up with during caffeine and sugar-fueled brainstorming sessions, they do serve their owners well in smoky boardrooms filled with captains of industry.

And it’s not just a Spanish phenomenon.

Some names just sound bigger, more serious, more established and more reliable. If you’re naming a new company, division, product or service, we’re not suggesting you lift one of these names. We are suggesting that you think carefully about what you’re offering and to whom, and then consider whether a name that’s less creative might actually be more effective.

After all, would you rather buy armored transport from General Dynamics or from Mobli? Or a urinal for your hospital from American Standard or WeeWorld? Actually, hold on a second. That’s not a bad name…

Corporate Culture
Black Friday = Good Marketing for REI

The major outdoor sporting goods brand REI made a somewhat strange announcement this week: they will be closed for the unofficial annual American celebration of consumerism on Black Friday.

Learn More
Brand Strategy, Social Media, Strategic Branding
Kiwis, Sheep and Ferns: A Pastiche of National Clichés Battle to Become New Zealand’s Flag 2.0

There’s an emerging trend to replace Procrustean national symbols with more sparkly versions of the same by means of a popular vote.

Learn More
Brand Strategy
Please Don’t Make Me Talk to People: What is Fueling the Services to Get Us to Talk to Each Other Less?

Everywhere you look, there seems to be a new product or service designed to get people to talk to each other less.

Learn More
Culture, industry
How Are We Supposed to Make Money on the Internet Now?

For most, the release of Apple’s iOS9 was a welcome development.

Learn More

Ready to talk about how your brand and culture can do more for your business?

Let's talk