All posts by Martin Jelsema

About Martin Jelsema

Coming up on 50-years doing advertising, branding, market research and new product marketing.

Foundational Illustrations as a Branding Element?

Logos have always been pretty static. Even in the age television, when a logo was animated it retained its identity. But in recent years, there has been a trend toward not only animating by presenting the logo in different forms and formats

Chuck Green, blog master at PagePlane, recently posted about an art gallery in New York City that has taken its logo and morphed it with each of six different web pages. It is pretty slick. It starts with the illustration below.You could see it morph by clicking Charming Wall.

CharmingWall - variable logo

Chuck labeled the technique, “Foundational Illustration” because there is a basic piece of art from which the variations spring.

I commented on Chuck’s blog that I had mixed emotions about this type of logo presentation. When there is no continuity in the logo it will not perform one of its traditional duties with authority; that is providing immediate brand recognition. It does however attract attention and provide a uniqueness which leads to a pleasant and memorable visual treat.

I concluded as long as a great number of advertisers do not use this technique the small number of companies who do use it will find it beneficial. But if people start jumping on this bandwagon, confusion will reign.

Branding for Bucks Naming Resources

Last blog I mentioned the three most useful reference books I use when generating name candidates.

But I neglected to publish the Amazon links to these volumes.

Here they are:

Word Menu by Stephen Glazier.

Rogets 21st Century Thesaurus edited by Barbara Ann Kipfer.

The Complete Word Book by Mary A. De Vries

In addition there are several other good sources of name candidates that I’ve had some success with. Several are “classic” reference books and the rest books I’ve picked up and found useful on more than one project.

The Synonym Finder by J.I.Rodale

Word Stems: A Dictionary by John Kennedy

Brewers Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, edited by Ivor H. Evans

Dictionary of Art and Archaeology by J.W. Mollett

Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion by W. L. Reese

Merriam Websters Geographical Dictionary

The Complete Rhyming Dictionary by Clement Wood

The links above were current at the time of posting. Several are out of print and only used copies are available, so you may find upon clicking the link for a particular volume that it’s sold out.

As promised, I’ll provide some info on web-based naming resources and software in future posts.

Branding for Bucks: Beginning the naming process

Business naming or product naming deserve all the time it takes to get it right.

Now I will admit some companies thrive with a poor name, just peruse the list of INC 500�s fastest growing companies for proof. But I believe their good fortune will be short-lived.

Try to think of well-managed, poorly named companies that are over 50-years old. You�ll find many mediocre names on that list, but very few duds.

The name can be everything, so make sure it�s right.

Remember in my last Branding for Bucks blog I spotlighted three aspects of success through the naming process: be open-minded, prepare to create and review many, many candidates, and expect to be disappointed at least once or twice when top candidates will not be available.

Then I promised to speak to resources available to create long lists of candidates. I�m going to keep that promise right now, even though it�s been delayed more than a month.

Name Creation resources � Books

Prior to the Internet, the most common and valuable naming resources were thesaurus�s and dictionaries of all types. I personally own over 75 of them: dictionaries of science, mythology, art, philosophy, slang, idioms, clich�s, new words, obsolete words, foreign words, crossword puzzle words and variations on all the above.

I also have an Atlas handy because as I stated at Business Naming Basics, you�ll find a plethora of candidates in the lists of cities and counties from around the world.

But I keep coming back to three major in-print resources � three books that aren�t dictionaries or atlases.

First is Word Menu by Stephen Glazier. In this tome, Ideas and concepts are grouped by subject. Words relating to those subjects are grouped together. For instance, four and a half pages are devoted to �dance�. Thus, you�ve got a mini dictionary/thesaurus on a single subject in just a few pages. And all the words are there.

Next comes Barbara Ann Kipfer�s Roget�s 21st Century Thesaurus in Dictionary Form. Though a very thorough and concise thesaurus, I find its greatest value from a section in the back, the Concept Index. Here under subjects as abstract as �States of Being� to specifics like �Weights and Measures� you�ll find word associations and synonyms that can lead you into some nooks and niches you�d probably not have explored without this comprehensive guide.

And last is the Complete Word Book by Mary A. De Vries. This volume is more wide-ranging than a namer needs, but its lists of action words, prefixes, suffixes, pleasing words, foreign terms, common abbreviations and many more can be reviewed quickly and scraped for name nuggets.

Next post I�ll speak to the resources available as software and as Internet sites. In the meantime you might want to accumulate some of the titles I�ve mentioned here. I suggest you begin, just as I did, by visiting several used book stores, and possibly the Amazon used book associate program. Just type in the book title and click the �used book� button. Under the retail price.

Business Naming is so important that I set up a separate blog just to address company naming. I call it Business Naming Basics. There I provide naming tips as well as discussions of the four major components of acquiring a great corporate name: preparation, generation, evaluation and registration. Check it out � click Business Naming Basics.

Networks and Tribes, oh my!

There’s been a lot of Internet marketing gurus, including Jack Humphrey at Friday Traffic Report, that are espousing tribe-gathering.

As a traffic building and customer retention process, I absolutely endorse the concept. But it’s nothing new.

Just ask Harley Davidson owners.

In fact, if you get right down to it, isn’t that the purpose of branding, either on-line or off?

That might even develop the shortest and most accurate definition of branding ever devised: gathering a tribe.

Branding for Bucks: preparing to name

the naming processNow we�re ready to tackle the naming process.

Naming your business can be the most excruciating aspect of brand-building – unless you�re prepared for it.

Entrepreneurs are usually impatient and action-oriented, so when it comes to naming they might find themselves �settling� for a second-class name just so they can get on with the �important� matters of business-building. Continue reading Branding for Bucks: preparing to name