Monthly Archives: December 2012

Developing a food brand name. Way beyond a brainstorming session.

Creating a great new food or beverage brand name and visual identity is so much more than a brainstorming frenzy. It’s a process, that when faithfully adhered to, results in memorable, successful food and beverage brands.

Considering the significant resources invested to support a food brand, from developing its visual presence and packaging, to  marketing support, advertising, public relations, and a myriad of promotional and image building activities over time, it doesn’t make sense to short-circuit the brand name creative process. Taking these steps will keep the process on track and help ensure a successful outcome:

Timeline. Developing a brand name requires adequate time for creative efforts, legal input, and decision maker buy-ins. The process is much easier to manage when everyone has a realistic expectation of the time and effort required before the process begins. A well planned timeline also keeps the process on track by defining milestones and an anticipated completion date.

Solid Creative Brief. The best creative efforts are built on a thorough understanding of strategic objectives for the food or beverage brand, the type of name most suitable for the brand, and the criteria for evaluating creative concepts. While there is always a temptation to rush directly into brainstorming, a solid creative brief provides the yardstick by which ideas can be measured in meeting the objectives for the brand.

Decision-maker Buy-in. To achieve a successful food or beverage brand development process, it is imperative to identify all of the decision-makers and engage them in the process from the very beginning. Their early input will drive creative efforts in the right direction and will alleviate surprises at the end of the process.

Continuous Legal Input. Brand name and visual identity development is as much a legal process as a creative one. Proposed names and decisions on which food product categories are applicable to the brand need to be legally searched for availability. An initial list of proposed names should be submitted to the legal team as early in the process as possible so that unavailable names can be eliminated and alternatives developed. This is a back-and-forth effort between the creative team, the decision-makers, and the legal team, until an acceptable name is agreed upon and cleared legally. Because of the longevity of food and beverage brands, and the resources needed to build them, it can be very short-sighted and expensive not to complete the legal due diligence upfront.

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