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Why Great Brands Never Die: The Everlasting Value of a Red-Hot Name

Why Great Brands Never Die: The Everlasting Value of a Red-Hot Name

Our beloved consumer brands are falling like flies: Pier 1, Lucky Brand, Forever 21, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Tuesday Morning, 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and now Brooks Brothers. In fact, bankruptcies are up over 60% vs. one year ago.

But, just because these companies are struggling and restructuring, don’t bet on the names going away any time soon. Virtually all of them will be resurrected, joining the ranks of NordicTrack, Sports Illustrated, Sharper Image, Barney’s, and whose brand names were the most valuable asset of the company.

5 Rules for Creating a Hot Brand Name

1) Pick Your Name Carefully

Perform your due diligence in terms of trademark and domain so it is clear, distinct, and without any “confusingly similar” overlaps.

2) Don’t Name the Business After Yourself

The research is clear that businesses not named after the founder sell at a higher valuation than self-named ones do. Think about it: do your successors want to be president when it’s your name on the masthead or building?

3) Avoid Negative Connotations

Whether it’s a foreign language faux pas or morphed term (the rise of Isis, for example) negative connotations have caused many companies and organizations to change their names.

4) Strive for Mindshare & Market share

Just like at the bar from the long-running television series Cheers, make sure everyone knows your name.

5) Think Longevity

The brand Modem Media outlived the technology. (Quick: what’s a modem?) Twentieth Century Fox made it to the 21st century, although it now exists as a subsidiary under Walt Disney with the 20th Century Studios moniker. And, Boston Chicken had to change its name when it started selling hams, leading to Boston Market.

Questions about naming? I’m all ears.

To your sizzling success,


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