Saturday, August 30, 2008

The power of a name and the need for change

I maintain another blog called FULL TANK. Being a professional in the field of marketing communications and an avid observer of the process of branding, I've always felt that choosing a good name is extremely crucial. Laura Ries has changed the name of the her blog. And these are her thoughts on the change.

I appreciate the candid confessions. It triggered a thought about one of my blogs mentioned above. To begin with, my blog was just another blog. It was a record of my thoughts on very many things. Cricket, Motorcycles, Beauty, Mumbai, India, etc. I observed that I was writing more about two-wheelers. Not just quantitatively but also qualitatively. So I decided to narrow my focus for the blog on two-wheelers and record my thoughts on other things by creating other blogs like FORK (on brands and businesses), Profss Drums (on education, policy-making and governance), etc.

Over the months, I've changed the name of my first blog many a time depending on my mood. Firstly I named it Indusbeats, then Slumberic Memoirs Of an MBA, later disstraction, and then thrillon2wheels, and finally settling for Full Tank. My impatience and a thirst for something more interesting every now and then also played a part in changing names so frequently.

Just when I felt fairly convinced that I had chosen an apt name Full Tank for my blog on two-wheelers, this article by Laura Ries gives me other thoughts. What does Full Tank mean? What does it connote/signify? Many things. Passion for motorcycling, cruisers, perhaps big bikes, etc. Importantly it also signifies the object that holds fuel (petrol, to be more specific) in a motorcycle/ two-wheeler. So what happens if tomorrow the world changes and most of the two-wheelers are battery-powered? Will there be a Full Tank? Will the name make sense? I know for the moment the name's just good. But tomorrow...

So? I'm not gonna change the name yet again :) though I did feel the temptation when I was reading the article. My only point here is to discuss the importance of the process of naming and the power a name (or a brand name) possesses.

What's your brand name?


Linas Simonis, PositioningStrategy said...


Ideally, your name must express (directly or indirectly) your difference. But finding of those names is hard, after some time your difference can change.

Next choice - simple, now meaningless names. If you will give a meaning to this new word, you will have a killer brand. Think about iPod...

Pinku said...

Agree with linas...a name is nothing but the characteristics it connotes and at times the phonetic similarity with something we are already familiar with that gives rise to pleasant associations.

The name can at best intrigue the interest can be cultivated and carried forward by properties this case by the content of your blog.

which incidentally i find pretty good...happy blogging and branding

Siddharth Soni said...

Thanks. Glad you liked the content of my blog though I've found it extremely tough to spare some time and concentrate on writing.

squirrelmama said...

Excellent thoughts on branding and naming. There have been, of course, disasters in the past in advertising history. The Chevrolet Nova was a disaster when it was introduced in South America because the words "no va" in Spanish translate into: "It doesn't go." Not a message you want to deliver with a car. On the other hand, there are apparently some real brainstorming sessions to think up names for vehicles that are not even real words but convey image, emotion and style. The power of even a nonsense syllable's sound, or the way it looks on a page or in a logo, is also something serious to be considered.
Always a fascinating subject - you have to be part marketer, part psychologist, I suppose.