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Naming of Family Business Empires

Tuesday March 21, 2017,

9 min Read

Most families have great last names, but some have the greatest ones and as such that quality assists them in the transformation of a family business name into becoming a global icon? Creating globally workable Intellectual Property and name brand identity assets is a very specialized game, so let’s go microscopic and study the rules of engagement and global business naming challenges.

Unlike creating name for a product or a corporation the roots of family business names are always deeply inherited. Rarely are they changed. Even at oddities, best is to learn to live with them; but it’s imperative to acquire in-depth understanding, professional evaluation of all the unique characters and powerful meanings and messages imbedded in the obvious size, style and personalities of the name. This enables creating matching opportunities to optimized and refined performances towards iconization. This demands special high value workshops focused on global naming complexities, naming trends and patterns, with commanding knowledge and experience in global corporate nomenclature.

National or global positioning of a Family Business image is a very serious and competitive race and only well trained champions get a chance to win.

FACT: All names are not created equal, some are easy, short and powerful, some very boring, long, with twisted spelling making them hard to type, remember and just borderline impossible. The solid proof is wide open in any global Family Business Directory.

When family names are desired to become massive commercial successes and legendary icons the following critical points become prerequisite knowledge

Bird Eyes View:

Disadvantage: A surname is not a proprietary trademark asset, like Panasonic or CNN, surnames are in public domain and therefore anyone can use it. Therefore it’s far more critical for family name based business identity to appreciate the unique challenges in building a unique national or global brand name identity.

Disadvantage: A surname is the often the most confusing and damaging element when used by multiple family members in multiple businesses confusing the marketplace and a disaster when families end in conflicting postures.

Disadvantage: A family name has a unique history and foot prints, the passage of time is a double edge sword edge, some names have legendary tracks, some ups and downs and some lost in the fog of the past. Irrespective a family name is still a family name and carries a lot of luggage.

Iconization Process:

Advantage: No matter what history, certain parts of the history can be clearly defined, refined to append with the name in use in business. Not to be confused with typical image and branding exercises of using old pictures and folksy stories but about nomenclature play and search out subtle and stealth messaging.

Advantage: No matter how common a surname is either due to historic popularity or large family member’s usage, special nomenclature treatments can be deployed to seek out distinction. Not to be confused with logos and slogans this has more to with the alpha-structure of the name in business.

Advantage: The secret of naming is hidden in knowing if a family organization has too many names in use or just too few. Each internal and external name in use either as main or sub-identity has to be professionally evaluated based on the laws of naming and rules of marketing and achieving image supremacy in the national or global market place.

Five Reasons Why Names Are Changed

Naming of Family Business Tree is the single most important component and a double edge sword of corporate communication, on side may be the most valuable asset and on the other a dangerous device to suck up all the profits in hidden costs, lack of sales and trademark battles.

FACT: A mediocre operation under the top brand name identity will still produce mediocre results but a first class operation under a mediocre name brand identity may end up producing mediocre results.

Recently, ABC Namebank conducted a global study. Large lists of the Corporate Name Identities of major businesses spread around the world were evaluated and analyzed for their Intellectual Property assets, ownership of the name with matching dotcoms and the trustworthiness of the personality of the name in four categories. Presented in special pragmatic and solution based workshops to create smart and globally workable and trademarkable name identities with matching dotcoms here some of the key points.

Some of this directly applies to Family Business Naming Architecture

SUITABILITY: How Truly A Name Describes Itself And The Nature Of Its Business.

When names are totally irrelevant to the business, they often mislead or confuse shareholders and consumers alike. This large group of corporate names is an interesting mixture of alpha structures, creating strange name identities, projecting weird, non-related, connotations, confusing and conflicting with the actual business itself.

PERSONALITY: How A Name Stands Out Among Other Competitors With Honesty.

When names are borderline silly, nonsensical, overly creative, too trendy, projecting a short life expectancy, they scare everyone. This group of accidental names only makes fun of shareholders' money. Business can sometimes be all fun but corporate image making is a very serious business.

REGISTRABILITY: How The Corporation Globally Owns A Name With Its Identical Dotcom.

When names are tangled in trademark litigation worldwide they only become a liability and an expensive burden to the corporation, bleeding marketing and advertising dollars. Companies in this group each have hundreds or, at times, thousands of similar and identical names in the global marketplace. E-commerce, with all its vengeance, only crushes these names on search engines. Customers and shareholders can hardly find the right company at the right time.

RESPECTABILITY: How A Name Matches Its Real Image With Actual Goals And Results.

When image is credible and matches the projected goals, shareholders feel comfortable and consumers trust the corporation. These small groups of shining stars have one of a kind, unique, powerful, global name identity and image. The name clearly identifies with their goals and what they do. This creates respectability and clearly provides them with ongoing trustworthiness.

Special Remedies to fix Corporate Naming

Respect: A name must have an alpha-character to qualify and gain respect. Face of honesty, integrity, reliability and credibility. No room for "PurpleFrog," "PinkRhino," "Globe-a-Con," or "Tomorrow Inc." Sobriety must prevail because corporate names are not beer commercials. Generic or descriptive names, like OneCell, or GeneralKable...will die as technology changes.

One Face, One Name: Stand up with a happy, healthy face. Don't try too many masks and transmit multiple personalities. This can seriously blur the image. Advertising is wasted in harnessing a common mind share. Is the name image selling Accounting or Space Navigation, Computers or Distilled Water? Honest names are truly honest about what they do.

Future Friendly: If you think you're on top of the world, then show it with your name. Old-fashioned names will not attract customer's attention to your ongoing evolutions. Glories of the past often lose their value with the changing times. Face cyber-branding realities of tomorrow's global e-commerce.

Become a Star: Have a star quality in your brand name. Its alpha-structure should be bright, clear and shiny. Don't educate the universe on how to spell, pronounce or remember a weird spelling or obscure origin of a blunt klutzy name. No need to be a matchstick when it can be a flashlight.

Freedom to Travel: Spread your wings and fly away. Wander country to country with your name-identity and explore global opportunities. No room for difficulties of global translations, connotations, secondary meanings, foreign obscenities, pronunciations and all other language issues. Today, marketing is ONLY global, BURN all the other books that say otherwise. Think locally, but name universally.

Pride & Joy: Be a leader. Set an example. Take pride. Introduce it globally with full confidence. Why the embarrassment? It's not stolen, or is it? Watch competitors struggle with confusion, disfunctionalities and embarrassing naming stories. Shine where others hide.

Rightful Ownership: If you own a corporation, why not its name? Today, 93% of corporations do not own a global trademark with an identical domain name. This is the easiest thing to do. Shortages of global names are only myths successfully established by logo-branding firms. Fix it immediately as there is no winning without a global trademark with an identical Dotcom.

The books ‘Naming for Power’ and ‘Domination, the gTLD name games’ plus ‘Image Supremacy’ are great resources to fully appreciate the landscape and acquire mastery at this subject. There are also very special high level Family Business workshops on creating global ‘intellectual property’ assets. Explore in some details as they will provide extraordinary power and market reach.

Five Star Standard of Naming:

For global age players seeking global age platforms ready to fully appreciate the global power of owning an iconic and globally workable name identity here is a quick test www.fivestarstandard.com

Today’s Wars:

Top Level Domain Names impacting global naming is so caught-up with thousands of new choices and millions of options of $10 domain names…so what happens to all the wasted campaigns, what happens to all the Intellectual Property issues, who wins and who loses the trademark fights in the end and domain name resolutions under what rules of global image and what laws of corporate nomenclature will ensure success. Naming is not a creative exercise rather it’s a black and white battle of facts and figures backed by rules and regulations and trademark and domain registration applied with laws of corporate nomenclature. Anyone can name but naming a global icon is a science and requires master expertise and experience

In Summary:

A new world of global image supremacy and iconic name identities have opened up. With less than 1% names capable of such races there are phenomenal opportunities for founders and owners to go for the brass ring and seek out a globally workable iconic identity with lock solid ownership. Corporations are fighting for global positioning while shareholders are frightened by the fake crazy chase of marketing dollar and advertising hoopla. For those genuine, honest and progressive corporations of the real economy armed with realistic goals; there are still a lot of opportunities to stay clear of these polluted and damaged name identities. Seek out professional naming solutions to your marketing needs making sure that your names are on solid ground and can pass the acid test of trustworthiness. Always start with a professional audit and co0mpleletley evaluate all your current name identities in use to make sure what hidden messages are they projecting.